2019 Best & Brightest: Shivani Vora, Villanova University

Shivani Vora

Villanova University School of Business

Life recipe: one cup of sweetness, one quart of adventure, one gallon of sassiness.”

Fun fact about yourself: I have watched the Friends series over 20 times start to finish and can recite every episode.

Hometown: Wayne, New Jersey

High School: Wayne Valley High School

Major: Economics, International Business, Honors

Minor: Business Analytics

Favorite Business Course: Honors Innovation & Design Practicum

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • InterHall Council – Freshmen President, Executive Board Advertising Chair, Executive Board President
  • Business & Leadership Society – Public Relations Chair, Advertising & Marketing Chair, Executive Board President
  • Deans Undergraduate Student Advisory Council – Student Representative, Majors Committee Head
  • Honors Student Advisory Board – Student Representative
  • Honors Program – Mentor/Adviser to three undergraduate students
  • Global Leadership Fellow, Center for Global Leadership
  • Saint Thomas of Villanova Scholar
  • Honors Global Scholar: Politics, Philosophy, and Economics
  • Omicron Delta Epsilon, International Honors Economics Society
  • Robert A. Neville Distinguished Student Award
  • Villanova’s Living our Values Award
  • Villanova’s Wildcat Award
  • Forbes Under 30 Scholar

Where have you interned during your college career?

Web2Asia – Shanghai, China – Market Research Intern

Ernst & Young – New York City, New York – Transfer Pricing Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be an Incoming Analyst with Goldman Sachs in their Finance Division.

What company do you admire most? Rosie’s Coffee at Villanova Station is a female-owned business on campus. The atmosphere is incredibly welcoming and everyone you meet is genuinely interested in who you are and how your day is going. The sole purpose in the case of this company is not profit, but meeting the needs of students and daily commuters. Trust me, the season specials are a need, not a want.

Who is your favorite professor? Dr. Mary Kelly is my favorite professor because she chooses to build relationships with her students outside the classroom. She cares about each student’s interests and how that relates to the class. She was one of the first people I wanted to confide in during my internship and full-time career choices.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? I enjoyed the constant support and guidance. Whether each student knows it or not, there is always a faculty or staff member looking out for them, seeing if there are any opportunities to take advantage of. I wrote a paper during my Study Abroad in China and two years later The Center for Global Leadership encouraged me to send my paper to the Greater Philadelphia Asian Studies Consortium where I was able to speak about my experience at the University of Pennsylvania.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Business is the most effective when you are able to apply it to real concepts. Studying concepts has no weight behind it unless you leave the classroom and understand what is going on around the world. It is incredible how after reading the news you are able to connect at least one concept you learned in class.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? No matter which field of business you are studying or pursuing, you are working both the qualitative and quantitative parts of your brain. It is not enough to know the material or memorize the definitions, you must understand society and your environment in order to truly make an effective change. You need to have a passion for people.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I was most surprised by how applicable business is in all aspects of life. From understanding basic consumer purchasing behavior to developing a new pharmaceutical drug, some field of business is involved. I entered the field with the thought that business meant Wall Street when in reality, it means the world.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…architecture because I have always been interested in designing as well as studying how people live. I would love to put other people’s dreams or thoughts into a creative drawing which later becomes a structure for them to pursue their next steps.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? When I first studied Indra Nooyi, I knew she was someone I wanted to aspire to be. Her diverse educational background and her drive for improvement is inspiring. Even more so, I admire the work ethic that allows her to find a balance between her home and work life.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of receiving Villanova’s Living Our Values Award based on my work with Student Involvement. Villanova’s values are Veritas, Unitas, and Caritas, which translate to the truth, community unity, and love for humankind. It is an absolute honor to be recognized as someone on campus who can embody those qualities.

Which classmate do you most admire? Jonathan Mack, a senior Economics and Philosophy Major is a classmate I admire. Though Jonathan has strong values and ethics, he examines every piece of information with an open mind and various perspectives. He makes me deeply question why I do or think about certain things and challenges me to be a better person with every action I take.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My fencing coach in high school, Ann Marie McGrath, is the first person outside my family who not only made me feel incredibly special and unique but pushed me every single day to be a better person and a better leader both on and off the fencing strip. She managed to become my role model, best friend, and coach in one person and I hope to make her proud.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Step foot on every country in the world and see the Aurora Borealis.

What are your hobbies?

Drawing: Oil Pastel, Graphite, Charcoal, and Pen & Ink

Competitive Epee Fencing


Yoga and Hiking

What made Shivani such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“Shivani is the type of student and person that reminds me of how teaching can be a very rewarding vocation. I had the pleasure of having Shivani in my Industrial Organization class during the fall of 2017.  She excelled in the course for all of the typical “A” student reasons – hard work, active participation in class, coming to office hours, asking questions to facilitate learning, and the ability to communicate her understanding on exams and written assignments.  But, what makes Shivani stand out is her approach to learning and the pure joy she experiences when she challenges herself to think about the course material in a way that allows her to apply and retain it. More than any other student I have encountered in my 20+ years teaching, Shivani is motivated by the love of learning.  She is an outstanding student.  But, more importantly, she is an outstanding human being.”

Mary T. Kelly
PhD, Assistant Professor, Economics,
Villanova University School of Business


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