2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: George Ingrish, Tulane University (Freeman)

George Ingrish

Tulane University, AB Freeman School of Business

“Born to fly, addicted to adventure, and a chronic overachiever.”

Fun fact about yourself: I got my pilot’s license when I was 17, and now I’m a commercial pilot and flight instructor.

Hometown: Natchitoches, Louisiana

High School: St. Mary’s Catholic School

Majors: Management and Physics

Minors: Finance, Engineering Science, and Russian

Favorite Business Course: Student Venture Accelerator

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:


Tulane Aviation Club

Founder and President

Recognizing Tulane’s lack of aerospace programs/opportunities contrasting a significant on-campus interest in the industry, I founded Tulane’s first aviation club. As President of Tulane Aviation, I’ve created valuable educational experiences, networking events, and leadership opportunities for students interested in aviation.

Key responsibilities and accomplishments:

  • Recruited over 100 students with an interest in aviation
  • Planned aviation related educational workshops and social events
    • Pilot license 101 workshop
    • Trip to New Orleans WWII Museum
    • Basics of Flight workshop
  • Facilitated professional networking events with industry professionals
    • W. Lemoine fighter pilot, airline pilot, and motivational influencer
    • Mark Powers former CFO of JetBlue airlines
    • Luis Cuadros business/data analyst at Avianca Airlines
    • Col. (Ret) Michael Hales Director of Aviation at DSU College of Business
    • Richard White aviation cybersecurity professor and researcher
  • Secured exclusive discounted flight training for TU Aviation members through local business partnerships
  • Appointed and lead an executive board to plan speaking engagements, educational events, and group expeditions

Undergraduate Student Government


As Senator, I represented students in the Tulane Undergraduate Student Government through discussion in bi-weekly senate conventions and weekly Student Safety Committee meetings. Senators write and vote on legislation focused on enhancing the experience of Tulane students and faculty.

Tulane New Student Orientation & Leadership Programs

Wave Leader

As an Orientation Leader, I mentored a group of 24 first-year students as they transitioned to life on campus during Tulane’s New Student Orientation and Fall Welcome. My responsibilities included facilitating conversations centered on campus life, ensuring group attendance at orientation events, giving campus tours, and guiding individual students coping with stress. Through orientation leading, I developed interpersonal leadership skills needed to communicate team goals and vision effectively. Following New Student Orientation, I’ve continued to work with new students within various organizations and programs that they are now deeply involved in.

Community Work/Leadership

Civil Air Patrol

Finance Officer

The Civil Air Patrol is an Auxiliary group of the U.S. Airforce founded on three pillars: Search and Rescue, Cadet Development, and Aerospace Education. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the community through our knowledge and skills in aviation. I work as the Finance Officer in the Billy Mitchell Senior Squadron based out of the New Orleans Lakefront Airport. Duties include:

  • Managing the flight squadron’s finances, which includes yearly budgets, dues collections, and reimbursement authorizations
  • Facilitate a quarterly Finance Committee meeting with superior officers to present financial recommendations
  • Adhere to instructions from superior officers to serve the community through teamwork, leadership, and generosity


Volunteer Pilot

In the wake of Hurricane Ida, I flew emergency relief supplies to South Lafourche Parish to support communities without access to electricity or necessities. I continue to be a member of AERObridge to support future relief missions across the state.

School Awards and Honors

  • Tulane Honors Program
  • Newcomb Tulane College Dean’s List
    • Fall 2018
    • Spring 2019
    • Fall 2019
    • Spring 2020
    • Fall 2020
    • Spring 2021
    • Fall 2021

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Avidyne Corporation; Melbourne, Florida; Business Development Intern specializing in advanced air mobility (AAM)
  • Escarra Research Group Tulane; New Orleans, Louisiana; Research Assistant specializing in technoeconomic analysis

Where will you be working after graduation? Undecided

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? My most important takeaway from studying business is that the greatest opportunities for success present themselves when you question the status quo, seek out inefficiencies, and empathize with your peers. Oftentimes, I think people oversimplify business as a combination of knowledge that people can apply to specific jobs. This way of thinking narrows a student’s ability to fully capitalize on the skills acquired during business school.

Before I founded Tulane’s first aviation club, the norm had been that there would never be enough students interested to support such an organization. I proved this assumption wrong because I thought of the club as a business where I truly sought to understand which students were interested in aviation and what types of activities they valued the most. With the help of all the communication, marketing, and management skills learned in business school, we were able to create valuable experiences and leadership opportunities for a lot of students. Note that this was not a profit-generating business, but it was a tremendous success thanks to our desire to develop innovative solutions for a group of students underserved by the status quo. Regardless of whether you work at a Fortune 500 company or a small non-profit, always equate problems to opportunities, and success will be soon to follow.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? The biggest piece of advice I’d offer is to explore other areas of study during your first year of college, whether that’s other business majors, science/tech, or liberal arts. Don’t be scared to double major once you find a couple of areas of interest. A business education is a valuable asset that can be enhanced by understanding other fields of study, particularly if you aspire to be in a managerial or strategic role. For instance, a good manager at a tech firm doesn’t necessarily have to be an engineer, but it is crucial to have a foundational understanding of the technology. Likewise, a good leader at an investment bank would benefit from understanding corporate finance in addition to managerial frameworks. The more knowledge you have under your belt, the more opportunities become available, and at that point, the sky is the limit.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I’ve been most surprised about how valuable the “soft skills” of business are in different fields of study and other unrelated activities. Early on, I took a Management Communication class taught by Professor John Poirot, who described the class as “business school boot camp.” It was a fast-paced class that quickly refined our written communication (e-mails, memos, etc.), presentation, and professional skills. At one point, I remember myself and my classmates sprinting across the business school to grab memos from the printer to meet impending deadlines. While it initially seemed annoying, I could not possibly quantify how often I’d use these skills in the future. For instance, my engineering design group developed a very successful prototype because my memo writing and presentation skills complimented my teammates’ engineering skills well. Also, most goals that you want to achieve will require you to develop professional relationships will many people of different backgrounds. When building your network, strong communication skills and professionalism always allows you to put your best foot forward. Writing a crafty e-mail and being on time are seemingly simple things that have tremendous power to create opportunities. 

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I had to take 19-20 credits per semester on average plus summer school to graduate with a dual-degree, two majors, three minors, and an entrepreneurial management specialization. Despite the work paying off and the fact that I’ve been able to acquire a great cross-functional skillset, I think I would take things slower if I had to do it over again. College has a lot of academic pressures to achieve in your coursework, but ultimately, I think extracurriculars and experience can be equally as valuable. Taking 20 credits a semester made it difficult to fully devote myself to my extracurricular leadership roles and work experience. If I just had one or two semesters with less workload, I think my extracurricular impact could have been much better.

What business executive do you admire most? I’m most inspired by Elon Musk, primarily because of his hard work and dedication to solving some of our world’s future challenges. Despite not having much formal business education, Mr. Musk leveraged his engineering skills and dedication to create some of the most successful companies in our time. I believe that luck does factor into launching successful businesses, but I’d argue that hard work, discipline, and dedication are the more important determining factors. Launching the United States’ first successful electric vehicle company when the battery technology was not entirely there was no easy task. I’ve heard stories about Mr. Musk working 18 hours days on the factory floor with his employees to ensure production quotas were met, and I think this was a key factor to how Tesla survived multiple run-ins with bankruptcy. What’s most inspiring about Mr. Musk is how he’s focused on solving challenges that create positive value for humanity. One could argue that many recent business executives have created technology platforms that have questionable or harmful effects on society. Mr. Musk isn’t selling gimmicks that profit from people’s data. He’s delivering valuable products to help people travel in a cheap, environmentally friendly way.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m most proud of how I was able to leverage my passion for aviation to found Tulane’s first aviation club. To me, this achievement ranks the highest because of the impact TU Aviation club has had on Tulane students and the impact it will have for years to come. Universities across the country have aviation interest clubs for pilots, aspiring pilots, and for people simply looking to work in the industry. When I got to Tulane, I realized each class had at least 3 or 4 pilots and countless others interested in aviation. My efforts to organize these people into Tulane Aviation club allowed us to tap into local and alumni resources to connect interested students with flight opportunities and mentors. We hosted many guest speakers, including the former CFO of JetBlue, aviation safety analysts, military pilots, airline pilots, and popular aviation influencers. At one point, the Career Center lead at our business school was sending me students interested in the aviation industry so that they could learn more and connect with some of the guest speakers we hosted. We also negotiated with a local flight school to secure exclusive flight training discounts for TU Aviation members. It was gratifying to see students getting in the airplane that wouldn’t have been able to do so without the help of the club.

Which classmate do you most admire?  I’ve met many great people at Tulane that are admirable in their own ways, but I’d say my most admirable peer would be Will Reynoir. Will is a senior management and finance major with many different extracurricular leadership roles. I look up to Will because he is very confident in his passions and integrates them into his professional life. For instance, he’s currently taking a class focused on analyzing mid-cap equity markets. Over the past few years, he’s developed a strong interest in Web 3.0, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs. Right now, he’s working on a petition to allow the class to also analyze crypto markets and promote future crypto interest within the finance department at the business school. The takeaway is not to be deterred by your school not offering something you’re interested in and to always push for change as there are likely many others interested in similar things.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? This is a difficult question as there are so many people I’d like to thank, but if I had to choose one it’d be my father. I grew up in a small town in North Louisiana with 35 students in my graduating high school class. The overall environment did not promote higher education or career interests outside of town. My parents, especially my dad, always pushed me to succeed in all aspects of life, from school, extracurriculars, sports, and standardized testing. He never hesitated to provide me with any necessary resources that I felt would help me tackle a project or advance my knowledge. Without these resources and constant guidance, I do not think I would have pursued career aspirations outside of Natchitoches and truly fulfilled my potential.

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

  • Starting an aviation company
  • Traveling the world as part of my career

What are your hobbies? Outside of flying airplanes, I enjoy skiing, mountain biking, mountain climbing, hiking, and pretty much anything to do with adventure. My favorite experience was climbing Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the Lower 48.

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

George Ingrish is one of the most committed students who has been part of my two-semester Student Venture Accelerator, an intensive capstone course taught during the senior year at the Freeman School where students work in teams to build their own new ventures.  Rather than coming up with ‘solutions in search of a problem to solve,’ as many students tend to do, George approached every aspect of new venture creation with impressive intellectual curiosity and exceptional analytical abilities far beyond what most undergraduates possess.  George is a hard worker, he’s serious-minded, and he’s a strategic thinker, which makes for a powerful combination as an entrepreneur and leader.”

Rob Lalka
Albert R. Lepage Professor in Business &
Executive Director, Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Freeman School of Business, Tulane University



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