Having grown up in Silicon Valley, Neha Shah saw firsthand what could be accomplished at the intersection of business and technology. So when she arrived at Virginia Tech in 2016, she knew exactly what she wanted to study.  

Unfortunately, she was not confident that she could handle majoring in two different subjects. Then she discovered the Pamplin College of Business and the Department of Business Information Technology, which allowed her, as she put it, “to study both subjects under one major.”

Shah was convinced to attend Virginia Tech, in part, by her uncle, a fellow Hokie. “He loved it here,” she said. Once she visited campus for the first time, her decision was an easy one. “The sense of community I found here was like nothing else. I immediately fell in love.”

Attending a school all the way across the country comes with a unique set of challenges, however. “My freshman year, I didn’t know anyone,” Shah said. “So, I took it upon myself to get involved.”

And get involved she did. Since first setting foot on campus, Shah has been a member of the Collegiate Women in Business, where she has served in a variety of positions, including her previous role as chief communications officer. “Through the Collegiate Women in Business, I was able to travel to different cities – D.C., Nashville, New York – and meet with alumni, all of whom were able to share with me their experiences,” she said.

Shah also serves as co-president of the Dean’s Student Advisory Council, and has previously been a part of Pamplin’s Undergraduate Mentoring Program (PUMP), as well as Pamplin’s International Ambassador program, among other organizations. “One of the biggest things I have taken away from my involvement with different clubs and organizations is philanthropic awareness,” said Shah. “There are so many different causes that you can become a part of and so many different ways that you can help.”

One service project that Shah participated in, a study abroad trip to Punta Gorda, Belize, inspired her to begin studying what would become one of her two minors – international business. “I love learning about different cultures and the way they conduct business,” she explained. Shah’s other minor, psychology, was born out of her interest in finding out what drives people and how their brain works at a chemical level. “It also really helps with business to understand how the brain works,” Shah added.

After serving as a risk and financial intern at Deloitte over the summer, Shah was able to secure her position at the “Big Four” accounting organization, signing on as a cybersecurity analyst. “Cybersecurity is such a growing industry, and I am excited to begin my career,” she said. The position will also allow her to move a little closer to home, as it will be based in Los Angeles.

Graduating will be bittersweet, however, as Shah is quick to point out. “Virginia Tech has been an amazing experience,” she explained. “I’m so excited to see where all of the graduates end up in life. No matter where, though, we should all be proud of all that we have accomplished while we were here.”

— Written by Jeremy Norman

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