2020 Best & Brightest: Saachi Bedi, Villanova School of Business

Saachi Bedi    

Villanova School of Business

“Golden retriever enthusiast and occasional half-marathon runner.”

Fun fact about yourself: I walk dogs in my spare time. It’s the perfect stress relief between classes (and I make some money doing it).

Hometown: Princeton Junction, NJ

High School: West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North

Major: Applied Quantitative Finance

Favorite Business Course: Introduction to Derivatives, Financial Modeling

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Bloomberg Finance Lab, Research Assistant
  • Villanova School of Business Student Ambassador
  • Mergers and Acquisitions Society, Investment Banking Workshop Member
  • Business and Leadership Society, Secretary, Events Committee Head
  • Women in Business Society, Member
  • Alpha Phi Fraternity, VP of Philanthropy
  • Beta Alpha Psi Honors Society

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch: Investment Banking, Leveraged Finance (New York, New York)
  • Goldman Sachs: Investment Banking, Industrials (New York, New York)

Where will you be working after graduation? Investment Banking Analyst at Goldman Sachs (Industrials)

What company do you admire most? The company I admire most stems from my admiration of the U.S Women’s Soccer team. I have followed the team since I was a kid and its players continue to inspire me every day. The team is well known for leading the fight for equal pay between men and women. Four of my favorite players – Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, Meghan Klingenberg, and Christen Press – are the CEOs of Re-inc, a purposeful lifestyle brand to “challenge the status quo.” This company still has work ahead of it since it only started last year, but I’m excited to see what comes next.

Who is your favorite professor? Dr. Shelly Howton. Her passion for finance is easily recognized in the classroom and outside of the classroom. She always invests her time to help her students succeed. My first encounter with Dr. Howton was during my sophomore year before I even had her as a professor. Howton and another impactful professor, Dr. Caitlin Danhausser, took time out of their schedule to hold captivating morning discussions on current events. I was applying for internships at the time and reached out to Dr. Howton for advice. She personally took the time to meet with me, helped me prepare for interviews, and stayed in touch with my progress. Her genuine interest was felt then and is still felt now that I have her as a professor. I am one of many students in the business school who greatly benefited from her guidance.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? VSB is a special place where you can thrive from day one — not just when you are an upperclassman looking for an internship or job. Since freshman year, I was encouraged to seek opportunities and network to discover what fields and companies interest me. Getting involved early helped me realize my passion for investment banking quickly and was instrumental in my recruiting process. The relationship between faculty, alumni and students goes beyond the classroom, and so many individuals invested themselves in my success.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Throughout my time at VSB, I realized business is far more than money and numbers. I learned to appreciate the innate humanity behind business. Understanding the fundamentals of finance allowed me to appreciate how interconnected humanities and finance are and inspired me to apply my skill set in a meaningful way in the real world. I definitely recommend that other business majors read my favorite book: The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return by Mihir A. Desai.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Studying business can lead to a fulfilling life by combining your passions with your work. It provides you valuable skills for the real-world and serves as a prerequisite to making an impact. During your time at school, figure out what impact you want to make. Make the most of your classes, talk to your professors, and allow yourself to utilize your new-found knowledge to pursue your goals.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I was surprised by the endless possibilities of majors and exit opportunities when going into business school. I always wanted to enter the business world, but I was curious about areas like computer science. I was surprised that I didn’t need to choose one or the other in a major, but instead I was able to combine both in my Applied Quantitative Finance concentration. My major gives me the tools to pursue my passion while countless of other classmates in the business school are pursuing their own unique and meaningful paths. 

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my first half-marathon in Spring 2019. I set this goal with my best friend and we stuck to a ten-week plan. The journey itself while preparing for the race was especially rewarding. On top of this, my grandfather was a senior marathon runner before he passed away. It felt great to follow his footsteps and discover a new passion.

Which classmate do you most admire?

Nicole DeRogatis is my classmate and close friend who is traveling a slightly different path than I am. She is incredibly passionate and creative. Her energy and warmth are apparent the first time you meet her. From traveling to Peru for volunteer work with animals to joining me to walk a neighborhood dog, her care for animals shines through. Just recently, she got accepted to her dream veterinary school. She amazes me every day and makes me appreciate the other paths one can travel in their career that are meaningful and fulfilling.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I owe a lot of my success to my brother and mentor, Neil. He was a successful technology analyst at JPMorgan Chase, NY. Then, he decided to pursue his passion for journalism and now uses his degree in Computer Science to do complex data analysis for his stories. In 2018, he was one of the youngest nominees for a Pulitzer Prize in investigative journalism. He is the first person I go to for advice and has inspired me to follow his footsteps and use my work to achieve a greater good.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

Start a business with my mom and dad

Be on the board of a charity

What are your hobbies? Running half-marathons, yoga, basketball, soccer, golf, walking dogs

What made Saachi such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“I have known Saachi for almost three years as the advisor of a women in finance group and now as her professor and believe that she is truly deserving of this distinction.

Saachi is a truly impressive woman who is at the top of her class, part of the inaugural class of an Applied Quantitative Finance concentration in VSB, and a research assistant in the new Gmelich Lab for Financial Markets. Saachi is a very strong advocate of promoting and supporting women in finance and has worked hard during her years in VSB to ensure that she is a role model for future women finance majors. Saachi is an avid participant in service-oriented activities across campus and in her community including her role as VSB Student Ambassador, VP of Community Relations for Alpha Phi, and a Gold Award Recipient and lifetime member of the Girls Scouts. Saachi is a born leader who often leads by example as can be seen by her involvement with the Business and Leadership Society, Women in Business Society, and Alpha Phi.

As a finance lab intern, Saachi has played an important role in helping to introduce professors and students to new databases and presentation platforms in the lab. Her patience in assisting both students and professors with the new technological innovations and software programs has been key to allowing everyone to feel comfortable in the new environment and making sure that the lab is accessible to all. Along with a small group of about 20 students, Saachi has helped push the department’s finance education to new levels that now include a number of STEM classes taken alongside more traditional finance coursework. Academically, Saachi’s participation in VSB and the finance major are grounded in a true interest in her field of study.

I first met Saachi when she participated in Coffee Chats led by myself and another professor where we discussed current events and careers in finance. Even as a sophomore with limited courses in finance, her participation and contribution to the discussions stood out among her more senior peers. One of her professors has described her to me as “fastidious” in her work ethic and “extremely motivated” to learn all that she can about finance. As a sophomore, Saachi was awarded a highly sought-after internship with the Leveraged Finance group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and then proceeded to move on as a junior to another prestigious internship with Goldman Sachs. I was not at all surprised to learn that Saachi had received a full-time offer from Goldman. I am excited to have Saachi in class this semester and although it is early have already noticed that she is always prepared and asks insightful questions that often go beyond the scope of the normal class material.

Saachi’s involvement with the Finance Lab and her strong advocacy of promoting and supporting women in finance are two of the main reasons I believe that she has been such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020 and to Villanova University.”

Shelly Howton, Ph.D.
Professor of Finance
Chair of Department of Finance & Real Estate
Villanova School of Business


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