2021 Best & Brightest Business Major: Rohan Parikh, Villanova University

Rohan Parikh

Villanova University School of Business

“I like to think of myself as open-minded and have a wide range of interests!”

Fun fact about yourself: I am a die-hard Brooklyn Nets fan, and prioritize watching every game regardless of where I am (family weddings included)

Hometown: Marlboro, NJ

High School: Marlboro High School

Major: Applied Quantitative Finance

Minor: Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning

Favorite Business Course: Student Managed Funds with Jerome Heppelmann. In this course, not only did I learn so much practical knowledge but we got to work as a team of 11 portfolio managers in managing a piece of the university’s endowment.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Presidential Scholars Program – I received a four-year, full merit scholarship to VSB and, as a part of the program, hosted scholarship candidates every year and helped to plan the interview weekend for them.

Co-President of the Villanova Finance Group – I held this throughout the end of junior and senior year. We worked to put together events, worked with faculty to put together a curriculum for training first-year students and beyond, managed the calendar of meetings and events for societies, and helped to create the Mock Superday event which we hope to host for years to come.

President of SAMOSA – This is the South Asian multicultural organization on campus. As the President, we put together the largest multicultural show on campus with 600+ students attending and created a platform for students from Villanova and the local community to showcase talent. We raised over $2000 for school supplies and meals for children in India.

In addition to those, I was also on the Dean’s Undergraduate Student Advisory Council (DUSAC) within VSB, served as a VSB Ambassador, and a Peer Advisor.

Where have you interned during your college career? After my sophomore year, I interned at Fidelity Investments in the Risk Group. After junior year, I interned at Bank of America in the Debt Capital Markets Group.

Where will you be working after graduation? Analyst, Debt Capital Markets at Bank of America

What company do you admire most? I admire Bridgewater Associates, and specifically Ray Dalio. Dalio wrote a book called Principles and publishes videos regularly explaining the unique culture and philosophy behind how he manages, trains, and treats his employees. Dalio started the company out of his NYC apartment and has transformed Bridgewater into one of the largest private companies in the US. I admire the company for their unique culture and transparency, and Dalio for the life and work lessons he explains in his book.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I gained was that forming relationships is essential to learning. My classes have been fantastic and taught me the foundations of everything I have needed to be prepared for a career in finance. However, the conversations and relationships I have formed with peers, professors, and professionals in the industry are where I have grown the most

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? What has surprised me most not necessarily about majoring in business, but about VSB in general is that the faculty have been so willing to help throughout the years. Because many of them have either been teaching for a long time or have worked in the industry, they were very willing to connect me with older students or colleagues they had, or sit and talk to me about the markets. They provided me with so much to prepare me for internships and my job next year that I am very grateful for, and it has shocked me how much individual attention they are willing to give.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? One thing I would do differently is that early on in my first year and at the start of sophomore year, I participated in many different groups on campus without a meaningful role in any one. I felt I had spread myself too thin and it was overwhelming, but I had not dedicated my time to focusing on any one thing entirely. If I were to go back, I would definitely do fewer activities and instead focus my time on the few I was passionate about earlier on.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Over the last four years, the achievement I am most proud of is putting together the SAMOSA show in December of my junior year. Being responsible for putting together the team and delegating responsibilities required us to determine a plan for the show well before any action was taken. It was incredible seeing nothing turn into a packed Villanova Room that raised $2000 for a great cause. In addition, this is a cause I am very passionate about. There is so much diversity of thought on our campus; however, there are only a few platforms were people get to see talent and dances and culture that they otherwise may not have seen. It was really special to see a team of twenty students work hard for several months on this project, and seeing my family, friends, and professors come out to support the cause was something I am really proud of helping to spearhead.

Which classmate do you most admire? One of my classmates whom I most admire is Elizabeth Ford. She is also a VSB Presidential Scholar and a senior finance major. Her work ethic and organizational abilities are incredible, and I have been lucky to share classes and activities with her throughout all four years. We both served on DUSAC and were Peer Advisors and VSB Ambassadors. We also spent time together as Portfolio Managers in the Villanova Wildcat Fund. Organization skills and communication skills are something I have always known I need to improve and work on, and seeing her balance personal, academic, and professional responsibilities in an organized manner has taught me a lot. I am lucky that both of us are working at Bank of America starting in July.

Who would you most want to thank for your success?

I would most want to thank my parents. Not only have they provided me with resources and love my entire life, but they have been very supportive with making decisions academically, socially, or with anything. I am very lucky to have a strong support base behind me and to have a large extended family of role models that I know I can lean on.

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

  1. Be able to help undergraduate students through the same processes that I went through (teaching about my job/role or with business societies as frequently as possible and generally become a mentor).
  2. I want to learn enough to become an expert in a specific niche/field down the road.

What are your hobbies? Playing Golf, Brooklyn Nets basketball, Quentin Tarantino movies. I love to spend time with friends, playing strategy board games and being outdoors.

What made Rohan such an invaluable member of the Class of 2021?

“I have known Rohan for four years as an advisor and his professor in two different classes. I believe that he is truly deserving of the distinction of the Best & Brightest.

Rohan is an extremely impressive scholar majoring in Applied Quantitative Finance and working as a research assistant in the Gmelich Lab for Applied Finance. Rohan stood out as top of the class in both my Fixed Income and Financial Modeling & Valuation courses. Based on discussions that I had with him and his participation in class, he is surely one of our most gifted scholars in VSB. The combination of a strong conceptual understanding of finance supported by the math and statistical knowledge from his AQF classes allows Rohan to contribute valuable insights in course discussions. Rohan’s engagement with the course material and his tendency to ask challenging questions make him enjoyable to have in class.

Rohan is an enthusiastic and committed leader at Villanova where he serves as president of two different large and important groups on campus. As the leader of SAMOSA, he organizes the largest multicultural event at Villanova and provides a variety of cultural and social events to our student body. Over the last year, I have had the opportunity to work extensively with Rohan as he and a co-president took on the role of leading the Villanova Finance Group for the department. Rohan’s effort was especially crucial for the department as it was reorganizing the society to provide a level of educational and industry experiences to finance majors that are critical for their preparation for their careers. The amount of time and effort spent by Rohan to develop best practices for the society was a monumental task that he did with no complaints. His decisions and suggestions were always made with the ideal of being inclusive of all students and his quiet and unassuming leadership style was one of encouraging collaboration and teamwork across all participants. He helped organize large scale events that brought in thought leaders in the finance industry to share lessons and experiences beneficial to all VSB students. Rohan’s leadership role at Villanova also extends to other areas as he is a member of the Dean’s Undergraduate Student Advisory Council and both a VSB ambassador and peer advisor. Rohan is a portfolio management for the Wildcat Fund where he supervises and mentors a group of analysts conducting research in the information technology sector. He is also extremely active in community service through his involvement with the Special Olympics and fundraising with SAMOSA for the South Asia Flood Relief Fund.

Future graduates of VSB will benefit from Rohan’s efforts with VFG to build a solid foundation for a finance society that is inclusive and valuable to all students.”

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


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