2017 Best & Brightest: Seroja Boyakhchian, College of William & Mary

Seroja Boyakhchian

Raymond A. Mason School of Business, The College of William & Mary

“Picture a retiree in a young man’s body: hobbies consisting of crosswords, coffee, and cantankerousness.”

Fun fact about yourself: My name is written on a diskette aboard one of the Mars Rovers. I believe NASA ran a promotion back in the early 2000’s and a cousin got my name on it as a birthday gift. My dream, for an embarrassingly long time as a child, was to become an astronaut and go to Mars – just to check the rover and make sure NASA wasn’t scamming seven-year-old me.

Hometown: Burke, VA

High School: Bishop Ireton High School

Major: Business Analytics – Data Science Emphasis, plus Marketing Concentration

Favorite Business Courses: Legal Environment of Business, Customer Insights for Innovation, Financial Services, and Organizational Behavior and Management

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College: Anderson Scholar- Mason School of Business; Interfraternity Council President; Vice President Alpha Tau Omega; Omicron Delta Kappa- Eta Circle Member; Order of Omega; Cooking Chair- The Campus Kitchen at W&M  

Where have you interned during your college career? Impact IT Group- Williamsburg, VA: Marketing Analyst Intern; Genworth, USMI – Raleigh, NC: Sales Analytics Intern.

Describe your dream Job: My dream job would need to have three key characteristics. For starters, I would need to be working on or near the cutting edge of technology. I’ve always loved computers, I picked my Business Analytics major for just that reason, and I can’t picture myself in a low-tech job. Second, I would have to be working in a collaborative, team-based environment. Third, I really hope to have a job that helps me develop new skills, not just capitalize on skills I already have. Learning is something I want to continue for the rest of my life and having that element in my career is very important to me.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? I love majoring in business because everything is very real-world, social, and practical. Money, trade, products, services, and cutting-edge ideas are what drive both today’s business and everyone’s lives. I know that there will always be a future with my degree, new developments to explore, and new markets to understand which will keep my life interesting and fulfilling. Additionally, being a business major means majoring in people. Nearly all of my classes are team-based in some respect and I love the collaborative feel that my education has had. I know I’ll get to work with intelligent and driven people for the rest of my life and I’m looking forward to the next wave of people I’ll meet in my field.

Where would you like to work after graduation? I have accepted a position as an Associate Consultant with Bain & Company in Washington, D.C.

What are your long-term professional goals? My long-term goals are to do well at Bain & Co., get my MBA, and find an industry that I would feel keeps me challenged and motivated as an employee. I don’t have a single end-goal or position that keeps me motivated, rather I find the process of developing myself and exploring my own next-steps to be very fulfilling and try to keep an open mind as much as possible.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? If business is for you, take as many business-related classes as you can. It wasn’t for many classes that I figured out what I wanted to do and I’ve switched my major twice as a result. Don’t be afraid of changing up your plans, change is just another step forward towards your future.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…I was four years old and I set up a “store” in my kitchen hallway where I tried to sell my parents pots and pans back to them. I’ve been chasing that kind of business model ever since.”

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…a computer programmer, specifically in the field of mobile technology.”

“Before I entered business school, I wish I had known…exactly how difficult more advanced Accounting classes are. Taking Intermediate alongside the introductory business block was one of my more difficult semesters.”

What was the happiest moment of your life? Seeing my parent’s faces at the Anderson Scholarship award ceremony. They’ve sacrificed a great deal to help me get to where I am today and seeing them that happy and that proud meant a lot to me.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? While I was the Interfraternity Council President, I put a great deal of work into helping to develop and implement recommendations from the Fraternity & Sorority Task Force on Sexual Assault and Harassment Prevention. Knowing that I’ve put a few bricks in the ground work for a healthier and more aware campus culture here at William & Mary is something I’ll carry with me after I graduate.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? An owl. It’s an intelligent animal who is already fully associated in popular culture with wisdom and thoughtfulness, two qualities that I really hold in high esteem.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? The people most responsible for my success are my parents. I am the person that I am today because they have provided me with the motivation, upbringing, and support necessary to succeed and I have their example to follow when I give my coursework and my career my best shot.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I want them to think of me as a team-player, serious about my work but good natured, and as someone who tried to stretch to reach their potential. I’d also like for them to think of me as someone they can connect with after graduation, to keep up friendships and further each other’s careers.

Favorite book: The Hobbit

Favorite movie: The Godfather pt. 2

Favorite musical performer: Frank Sinatra

Favorite vacation spot: Ellsworth, Maine

What are your hobbies? I enjoy cooking, basketball, reading, and trying to find the world’s best cup o’ joe.

What made (Student) such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2017?

“Among hundreds of extraordinary students from around the world, Mr. Boyakhchian has already distinguished himself as an outstanding scholar, student leader, and community volunteer. We can expect continued greatness from him as a future business leader, mentor, and selfless volunteer to those less fortunate.”

William L. Stauffer, Jr., Esq.
Clinical Associate Professor, Business Law
College of William & Mary


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