2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: Sambriddi Pandey, University of Virginia (McIntire)

Sambriddi Pandey

University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce

“Big fan of public broadcasting, trying new cuisines, and skydiving.”

Fun fact about yourself:  I went to 6 different schools before entering high school

Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal

High School: Oakton High School

Major: Concentrations: Finance & IT

Favorite Business Course: Marketing with Professor Derick Davis: Professor Davis’s style of teaching went beyond simple lectures, and incorporated many marketing cases that applied psychology and customer behavior to general marketing concepts. After every class, I could find something in the news that pertained to what we had learned. Outside of class, Professor Davis has also always been available as someone to talk to and seek guidance from, and I am incredibly grateful to have had him as a professor during my time at McIntire.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Hoos First Look: Co-Director
  • McIntire Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging: Intern
  • Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope (CASH): Volunteer Income Tax Assistant
  • Fourth-Year Trustee
  • Virginia Venture Fund member; Impact Fund: Vice President
  • Class Council: First-Year Representative, Second-Year Class Treasurer, Third-Year Representative
  • Lawn Resident

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Jefferies, Investment Banking Intern (New York, NY)
  • CAV Angels, Venture Intern (Charlottesville VA,)
  • Providence Equity Partners: Providence Strategic Growth, Growth Equity Intern (Boston, MA)
  • The Foschini Group, Product Management Intern (Cape Town, South Africa)

Where will you be working after graduation? Jefferies, Investment Banking Analyst

Who is your favorite professor? Alongside Professor Davis, Professor Adelaide King—my third-year Strategy professor—has been incredibly helpful during my time at McIntire. Aside from her talent at teaching, I admired how much she cared and advocated for all of her students. I always knew that I could reach out to Professor King, and often used her office hours to ask questions beyond coursework.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? I’ve learned that leading with empathy and having a sense of gratitude for your role and position can take you very far. Business is not a zero-sum game, and many decisions will transcend companies and generations. Beyond understanding the needs of shareholders, it is equally important to account for other stakeholders, especially those who do not have a seat at the table.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Don’t be afraid to fail. I remember my first year, I got rejected from an organization that I thought would be super-important in helping me to learn more about business. As a first-year student with no experience and no network of older peers to turn to, I was very disappointed and questioned how successful I’d be. Reflecting on this experience today, I am really glad that I did not let this one “no” stop me from pursuing other opportunities, as so many other doors have opened for me.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Through interacting with alumni and guest speakers, I’ve been most surprised by the variety of roles and value that a business education can bring to organizations outside the scope of traditional business. These conversations have often highlighted how careers are not linear and that majoring in business offers flexibility to experiment and pursue career paths that may not be traditional.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Some of the most important lessons and defining moments for me have been through taking classes in Global Studies, Politics, and Education. If I were to go back and do business school again, I certainly would take more classes in these subjects, as they have not only broadened my worldview but also have, in turn, shaped me into a better business student.

What business executive do you admire most? Mellody Hobson is a trailblazer in business and a leader who fiercely embodies the qualities of authenticity and self-awareness. As a first-generation student, I am inspired by the career that Mellody has created for herself in finance and the impact that she continues to have in the communities that she grew up in. Mellody has always been a supporter of diversity and is also known for her work in promoting financial literacy. Overall, I admire how Mellody’s upbringing has guided her work and informed her approach to finance.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I joined Hoos First Look (HFL) during my first year at UVA and served as Co-Director during my fourth year. As the nation’s only student-run fly-in program, HFL brings high school juniors to UVA with an all-expenses-paid trip—likely their first trip to a college campus. During the duration of the program, we provide resources for the college application process, financial aid, and knowledge to achieve academic and personal success. Although this organization is entirely outside the realm of business, I am incredibly proud of my involvement as I’ve been able to give back to the FGLI community and work with other FGLI peers at UVA.

Which classmate do you most admire? Ricky Wojcik: Ricky always contributes thoughtfully to every discussion and is who many people know they can turn to for help. His passion for sustainability and excitement for learning is something I greatly admire. Outside of McIntire, Ricky is the founder of Aspen Astronomy, which offers stargazing tours to clients in Colorado. Even while running a business and maintaining his respected involvements at McIntire, such as the Promotions class, Ricky still never misses a beat when supporting his peers; he is very humble and constantly helps others. As someone who grew up living abroad, Ricky’s experiences and worldview have also always contributed to engaging discussions on business and entrepreneurship, and I know that he will be an incredible leader one day.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents and I moved to the United States when I was four years old. I am deeply thankful for all of their sacrifices for me and know that I would not be in the position I am today without all they have done. Throughout my journey at McIntire, I have also had mentors who have contributed significantly in helping me navigate both McIntire and the professional sphere. Rich Diemer, specifically, has been one of those people. As a mentor that I met through CAV Angels, Rich has guided me both professionally and academically and has always been an advocate for me. I admire Rich’s dedication to CAV Angels and am so proud of the group’s growth. CAV Angels has been an incredible lens into how an angel group works, and I am appreciative of Rich’s consistent support throughout my time at UVA.

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

  1. I hope to someday give back through working in public service.
  2. I’d like to use my career to advocate and help create opportunities for FGLI students interested in business.

What are your hobbies?

  1. Staying up to date on current events and watching food and culture documentaries from Vice and New York Times
  2. Figuring out how to master a banana bread recipe—still not there, but hopefully soon.
  3. Trying out new experiences in Charlottesville with my friends before graduation.

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

“The Integrated Core Experience coursework in a virtual environment is difficult enough. Cultivating and giving to back to the community is harder still, yet this is where Sambriddi leaves her mark on the Class of 2022. Not only is Sambriddi a First-Generation student success story that inspires others to know they can do it too, but she has also helped to enact change to ensure that is the case. Through her deep involvement with Hoos First Look, as well as her outreach to and mentorship of First-Generation students considering McIntire, she has illuminated the pathway to success for all those that will follow. We in the First-Generation community recognize the importance and impact of her efforts and extend our deep appreciation.”

Derick Davis
UVA McIntire School of Commerce Assistant Professor of Marketing

“As a leader, Sambriddi cares deeply about the experiences of her classmates, peers, and the next generation of students. It is evident in how she shows up at McIntire, in her leadership across Grounds, and in her work with First-Generation Students. It has been my pleasure having her as one of my Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging interns this year; we are a better unit and school because of her passionate and thoughtful servant leadership. Sambriddi has a kind spirit and a very inquisitive mind that she channels to think broadly about complex challenges. She has a dynamic personality and is a tremendous representative of the McIntire community.”

Katherine Lawrence
Associate Director of Student Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


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