2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: Eric Zhang, New York University (Stern)

Eric Zhang

New York University, Stern School of Business

“A Wordle addict in love with Ultimate Frisbee aspiring to make an impact.”

Fun fact about yourself: I used to play the Pokemon Trading Card Game competitively.

Hometown: Vancouver, Canada

High School: St. George’s High School

Major: Business with a Concentration in Finance and Computing & Data Science

Minor: Psychology

Favorite Business Course: Social Impact Consulting

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Inter-Club Council – Co-President (2021), Director of External Affairs (2020)
  • NYU Ultimate Frisbee Team – President & Captain (2020-2021)
  • Management Consulting Group – Director of Alumni Engagement (2020); Treasurer (2019)
  • NYU Stern Orientation Leader
  • NYU Stern Street Team Ambassador
  • Beta Alpha Psi Honor Society
  • NYU Admissions Ambassador

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • RapidSOS: Business Development Intern (New York, NY)
  • PwC: Technology Consulting Intern (New York, NY)

Where will you be working after graduation? PwC: Technology Consulting Associate

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I’ve gained from studying business is to not be afraid of talking to people, whether it’s a classmate you’ve never talked to or a high-level professional. These professionals have been in your shoes before and want to help you with your journey studying business. The more you talk to people, the more you realize how different journeys can sometimes end up leading to the same result; each person has their own experience and it’s always worth hearing their unique story.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Explore, explore, explore! There are so many underrepresented aspects of business that you don’t hear much about because they aren’t mainstream, such as Actuarial Science or Sustainable Business. You never know how interested you are in something until you try it out so be sure to try out a course or two at your future school. It’s also always great to know a bit about everything.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I was surprised by how much emphasis is placed on soft skills in the business world. Studying business, I thought it would be all about crunching numbers on Excel. In reality, so much of it is about teamwork, interpersonal skills, and communication. For example, working in teams is inevitable for your internship or job, and business school prepares you well for it.

What business executive do you admire most? Business executives play a huge role in preserving the environment by reducing their company’s carbon footprint. Because of this, I admire Jesper Brodin, CEO of IKEA Group, because he places a huge emphasis on ensuring IKEA’s carbon footprint is as small as possible. His green initiatives include committing to electric vehicles for all last-mile deliveries and producing more renewable energy than they consume.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m most proud of my work for Inter-club Council (ICC). I focused my work on improving students’ health by creating stress-relieving events and creating changes to our club system to make the process easier for students. One of the events that I organized and managed was Crewmate Carnival, an ICC-streamed event that aimed to build community and relieve stress through the pandemic. It was the first of its kind and deemed a success after having over a hundred viewers.

Which classmate do you most admire? Sydney Cheng is an amazing friend, fellow ICC E-Board member, and one of the classmates I admire the most. Her level of work ethic and attention to detail is astounding and something that I strive to reach. Sydney is always there to give a different point of view on a subject and will always put her friends first; her leadership is apparent and I’m lucky to have worked with her for the years we were on the ICC E-Board together.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My older sister, Christine Zhang, is my biggest cheerleader and mentor and the reason I am where I am. Seeing her get to where she is today inspires me to work harder in all aspects of life and whenever I’m stressed and anxious about my future, she’ll always be there to calm me down and reassure me; she supports all the life decisions I’ve made, and I couldn’t ask for a better sibling. I’m so thankful and lucky to have a sister who is so loving, encouraging, and wise.

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

  1. Teach a college-level course focused purely on everything related to consulting whether it’s recruiting, debunking common myths, or going through an actual project.
  2. Travel to as many countries as possible for business trips.

What are your hobbies? I love playing basketball, cooking and trying new recipes, playing the occasional game of chess, doing the New York Times Crossword, and finding the best places to eat on social media.

What made Eric  such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?  

“Whenever I speak to Eric I have to remind myself he’s not already a graduate student. Smart, confident, and aware, Eric always seems to know exactly when to voice his opinions and when to let others be heard. He balances a fierce drive and competitive spirit with a humble, easy-going demeanor that folks naturally gravitate to. If I had to sum up Eric, it would be like this: play him in a game of chess (or other strategy game) and Eric would simultaneously beat you, cheer you on, help you improve your game, and make you want to play again. How many people in this world can do all that?”

Brian Hanssen
Director, Management Communication and Clinical Associate Professor



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