2021 Best & Brightest Business Major: Amanda Arboleda, University of Georgia (Terry)

Amanda Arboleda

University of Georgia, Terry College of Business

Likely found doing yoga, at the movie theater, or eating chocolate chip cookies.”

Fun fact about yourself: I have a slight obsession with the TV show, Friends… yes, I definitely purchased HBO Max just so I could watch it. In fact, I am a back-to-back champion of Friends trivia on the past several cruises I have gone on.

Hometown: Dacula, GA

High School: Dacula High School

Major: BBA Economics | Emphasis in Consulting

Minor: Certificates – Personal & Organizational Leadership, Workforce Diversity, and Professionalism

Favorite Business Course: My favorite business course is Leadership and Personal Development with Dr. Laura Little. Though this class may seem slightly unconventional, it was one of the most applicable and practical classes I have ever taken. This course involved in-depth self-examination of skills, personality, attitudes, and behaviors – all designed to increase self-awareness and leadership competencies. Through class discussion and group work, we were able to analyze these insights, experience them first-hand, and discover the value of leadership. I have saved all of the thought leadership articles Dr. Little presented in class, as I know I will continually reference them throughout my career.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Terry Women’s Initiative | Senior Coordinator
  • Women in Economics | President
  • Terry College of Business Undergraduate Student Services Student Assistant
  • Institute for Leadership for Leadership Advancement | Leadership Fellow
  • Terry College of Business Ambassador
  • Mary Virginia Terry Scholarship Recipient
  • Sea Island Scholar
  • Undergraduate Microeconomics Tutor
  • Kappa Delta Sorority | Alumnae Relations Chair
  • Order of Omega (top 3% of Greek life)
  • HEROs | Team Member

Where have you interned during your college career? During the Summer of 2020, I worked with EY in their People Advisory Services (PAS) practice as an Intern in Atlanta, Georgia. During this time, I worked on a strategy project with a global media conglomerate preparing a return-to-work plan for a post-pandemic world, completed numerous upskilling workshops (e.g., design thinking), and participated in volunteer activities through EY’s outreach program.

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be working for EY in their People Advisory Services (PAS) practice as a Staff Consultant in Atlanta, Georgia.

What company do you admire most? The company I admire most is Dove. Dove has shown over again their commitment to their values: acceptance, inclusivity, and diversity. Their mission: to help people everywhere develop a positive relationship with their bodies. Through the Dove Self-Esteem Project, the company delivers lessons, workshops, and online resources aimed at self-esteem education for young people. Dove not only talks the talk, but they walk the walk. Dove’s strong commitment to social responsibility is unparalleled and deserves my admiration.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I have gained from studying business is the idea that with perseverance and tenacity, anything is possible. Business is certainly not known for its easy courses and lack of involvement, especially attending a competitive college with rigorous standards. However, in my junior year, I stumbled upon Marie Forleo’s book, Everything Is Figureoutable. This practical book teaches actionable steps and the value of self-discipline. The idea is simple: if you want to achieve something great, there is always a path to get there. After hearing her ideas about how this one belief can create unstoppable success, I am confident that I can accomplish all I set my mind to.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? The easy answer to this question involves attending major fairs and examining career paths to determine the subset of business where you’d like to focus. To truly be successful in business, you need to be passionate. Passion creates insurmountable motivation for success. It is the motivation that allows you to truly enjoy your work, to embrace enthusiasm during the early mornings and late nights and to pioneer through your career. My advice to a student looking to major in a business-related field: find the passion that sets your soul on fire and follow it.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The thing that has surprised me most about majoring in business is the general camaraderie and community that I have encountered. When I first thought of majoring in business, I imagined it to be a cut-throat and dog-eat-dog world (i.e., students fighting tooth and nail over internships and leadership positions). However, it turned out to be much more of a supportive environment than I could have ever hoped. In fact, I met my current mentor, Elisha Finney, through her efforts to give back to the students at Terry College. Her philanthropy, generosity, and kind spirit are echoed through the countless hours she has spent with me. Whether it be faculty, peers, or alumni, folks in business are always happy and willing to lend a helping hand.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? In my lifetime, I am most proud of my continuous efforts to better the experience and accessibility of resources to women in business. Through my leadership positions, I have worked to cultivate a path to success for these women. With Women in Economics, I saw the need to speak up and engage more women in this conventionally male-dominated industry.

As President, I have championed the organization’s growth to over 130 members in its first year. As Senior Coordinator of the Terry Women’s Initiative, I serve to streamline the retention and advancement of Terry students. By creating personal and professional development events, we work to instill confidence in the goals of women on campus. Lastly, as a Leadership Fellow, I have worked with Restoration Women, an organization aimed at equipping local women with life and job skills, to help them achieve 501(c)(3) status. Looking back at these experiences and opportunities, I credit my passion for helping others as the reason for becoming a recipient of the Mary Virginia Terry Scholarship. The opportunity to serve others in my community through servant leadership makes me most proud.

Which classmate do you most admire? The peer that I admire most is my classmate Casey Ridley. Casey and I met early on in our freshman years while taking intended-business courses together. During this time, I was still unsure of my path and purpose, but Casey was certain of his. Although Casey was deeply involved in student organizations on campus and a full-time student, he was also an entrepreneur with a business located in Chattanooga, TN (you did the math right, this is over 3 hours away from campus). Even as seniors, Casey still manages these facets with seeming ease while also building a real estate portfolio. His ambition for driving change, determination for success, and love of business is infectious and spreads to anyone he surrounds himself with. I admire Casey for many reasons, but most for his passion.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? The person I would most want to thank for my success is my dad, Juan Carlos Arboleda. My father immigrated to the United States at 10 years old from Medellin, Colombia. Knowing virtually no one and speaking a foreign language, he dove-in head-first, striving for the “American Dream.” Years later, he has accomplished just that: he speaks fluent English, serves in a leadership position at a luxury toilet manufacturer, and volunteers his time with students learning soccer. The stories of his challenges and wisdom of his experiences have served as motivation for my hard work and determination. He has always supported me and my efforts whether through encouragement (being my #1 fan) or constructive criticism (being tough on me when nobody else would). I would absolutely not be the person I am today without him.

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

  1. Learn a second language (i.e., Spanish to better communicate with my family)
  2. Pursue and obtain an MBA

What are your hobbies? Some of my hobbies include puzzles, cooking, and going to the movies with friends.




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