2021 Best and Brightest Business Majors: Ankita Kodali
“Flexible planner driven to capitalize on every moment, motivating peers to achieve their full potential.”
Fun fact about yourself: My goal is to visit every state in America during my lifetime, and so far, I’m a little over a quarter of the way there!
Hometown: Union, New Jersey
High School: Union County Magnet High School
Favorite Business Course: Advanced Corporate Finance with Dr. Ben Sopranzetti. The class really challenged me to break out of my structured accountant mindset and think outside the box!
Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:
- NJBIA Rising Star Award Recipient
- NJCPA Scholarship Award Recipient
- RBS Roslyn Kuchin Scholarship Recipient
- RBS Omotayo Okusanya Scholarship Recipient
- Rutgers Honors College Presidential Scholarship
- Dean’s List: Fall 2017 – Fall 2020
- Deloitte FanTAXtic Case Competition – Regional Honorable Mention (2nd Place)
- Rutgers University Business for Youth (RUBY) – President, Program Coordinator, Founder
- Beta Alpha Psi: Accounting and Finance Honor Society – President of Theta Mu Chapter
- Rutgers Business School Summer Camp – College Mentor and Camp Counselor
- Rutgers Business School Innovation Committee – President, Secretary
- Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society – Inductee
- Rutgers Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship – Leadership Team and Life Group Leader
- Managerial and Cost Accounting – Teaching Assistant, Tutor, and Recitation Instructor
- Rutgers Office for Diversity and Academic Success in the Sciences – PreCalculus Supplemental Instructor
- Financial Management – Teaching Assistant
- RBS Office of Career Management – Digital Marketing Intern
Where have you interned during your college career?
- Summer 2018 – Financial Research Associates – Edison, NJ – Forensic Accounting Intern
- Summer 2019 – WilkinGuttenplan – East Brunswick, NJ – Audit and Tax Intern
- Summer 2020 – Deloitte – Parsippany, NJ (Virtual) – Audit and Assurance Intern
Where will you be working after graduation? Deloitte – Audit Associate
What company do you admire most? I most admire Deloitte because of their focus on people and their drive to innovate continuously. What drew me to Deloitte is they really emphasize well-being and flexible working to promote work-life balance. They also encourage better working teams through their workshops on Business Chemistry, which help to understand and emphasize the variety of personalities of people you work with. During my internship last summer, we were completely virtual, making networking and learning about the company challenging.
Still, I was blown away by how accessible and willing everyone was to help, no matter what their position. My recruiter recommended a couple of people and, from there, I was able to connect with so many people from various levels within a welcoming environment. At a time when social distancing creates a barrier to connecting with people, my virtual internship at Deloitte ended up being a significant networking opportunity. Furthermore, Deloitte dedicates a lot of resources to advancing technologies and continuously innovating. I’m so excited to be starting my career at a firm that is pioneering new technologies while putting its people first!
What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I gained from studying business is that working with people, who think and work differently than you, creates a significantly better outcome. I learned that the diversity of thought in every group or team is critical for any project, not only because of the various ideas but also because of everyone’s contrasting abilities.
What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Don’t be afraid to try something new; you never know what you’ll discover. Early on, say “yes” to opportunities even if you’re not sure if you’re interested because they can result in some of the most rewarding experiences. Especially when entering the business world that is constantly growing and expanding, you need to be willing to try something different and adapt to the changes.
What has surprised you most about majoring in business? What surprised me most about majoring in business is the importance of the lessons learned outside the classroom, namely, soft skills. I was shocked to find no career path or formula to follow to be a “business person.” No matter what you major or minor in, majoring in business develops a framework for any career. You learn how to network, share your ideas in a way that makes people want to listen, and effectively work on a team. More than the buzzwords of business, learning soft skills, such as public speaking, leadership, communication, and teamwork, have been crucial during my college career.
Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of the successful launch of the RUBY Program (Rutgers University Business for Youth) over the past two years. The RUBY Program’s goal is to provide high school students with an experiential learning opportunity to help them become successful business leaders. The program was initially created by the Senior Associate Dean of the Rutgers Business School, Dean Martin Markowitz. Two years ago, it was no longer running. After learning about it from Dean Markowitz, I was determined to help him relaunch it.
With Professor Richter’s help, I revitalized the program’s three-year curriculum and reached out to many New Jersey high schools to get their students involved in the program. For the 2019-2020 school year, I coordinated with six different high schools to bring 10-15 sophomores from each school for 3-4 on-campus visits to learn about business and put together their own business plans. We also enlisted the help of 20 college mentors to develop the program and mentor the 65 RUBY students through virtual meetups before and after the on-campus visits. Due to the pandemic, we had to take the entire program to the virtual landscape, but it did nothing to hinder its growth. During the 2020-2021 school year, the program has grown to include nine different high schools with 80 sophomores along with the original cohort of 65 students who are now juniors. Planning the logistics and the events with the 50 college mentors who are a part of the program has been such a great experience. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the RUBY Program.
Which classmate do you most admire? I most admire Samantha Moy, who was my college roommate and a close friend of mine since high school. Even though she was an engineering major and I was a business major, we went to career fairs and networking events together since day one of college. Sam has always motivated me to dream big while planning and taking the small steps towards that dream. I admire her constant drive to be the best she can be and the grit she has in the toughest circumstances.
Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my parents for teaching me the importance of perseverance and putting 110% effort into everything I do. They have supported me wholeheartedly through all my career and academic decisions, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for their constant and unwavering encouragement. My parents are hard-working people, but they always find a way to add some fun to all we do.
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?
- Once I’ve learned a decent amount in my career, I would like to teach at the Rutgers Business School, even if it’s part-time, and give back in any way I can.
- I would like to hopefully become a partner at an accounting firm sometime in the future.
What are your hobbies? I love listening to music and making music. I play piano, guitar, and sing. I also enjoy organizing events, rooms, closets, anything! It’s almost therapeutic for me and later helps me find things! I’ve always admired how beautiful traditional henna designs look, so recently, I’ve been practicing designs of my own and sketching some out as well. Spending time with family and friends playing board games, card games, virtual games through Zoom, or watching movies and TV shows are also some of my favorite things to do.
What made Ankita such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?
“Ankita is a motivated, caring, organized, creative individual who, through her focused attention, has helped many others. From the time Ankita was a sophomore, she was engaged in helping RBS students. She has been a teaching assistant in both accounting and finance classes, holding weekly recitation sessions as well as one-on-one tutoring sessions. She has also taught weekly classes for underrepresented students for the Office for Diversity and Academic Success in the Sciences, assisting in homework and understanding mathematical concepts. She was the president of the Rutgers Business School Innovation Committee which works with the administration to develop creative solutions to school issues.
I began working with Ankita when she came to me to advocate for the resurrection of RUBY – Rutgers University Business for Youth. This program focuses on students in underserved communities with the goal of providing them with the guidance and support to be able to enter a college business program, preferably the Rutgers Business School, and subsequently embark on a success career in business. The program was suspended due to lack of support. Ankita was able to restart the program by engaging a large number of RBS students to serve as mentors, reach out and include many new high schools, engage faculty, and develop new programs for these capable and motivated high school students.
In addition to her extracurricular activities, Ankita has been able to participate in two internships, serve as a tutor at the Kumon Math and Reading Center, and help low-income individuals prepare their tax returns through the program run by Beta Alpha Psi Accounting Honor Society. Ankita has managed to do all of this while maintaining her almost perfect GPA of 3.97.”
Senior Associate Dean
Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick
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