2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: Yash Tanna, Santa Clara University (Leavey)

Yash Tanna

Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business

“I love talking to new people and learning about their backgrounds and experiences!”

Fun fact about yourself: I ran a custom t-shirt printing business for two years!

Hometown: San Jose, CA

High School: Piedmont Hills High School

Major: Economics

Minor: MIS

Favorite Business Course: Business Ethics

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  1. Associated Student Government (ASG) VP Community Development  – 2 years
  2. Associated Student Government (ASG) Community Development Chair – 2 years
  3. Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI) – 1 year
  4. Residence Life Community Facilitator (RA) – 1 year
  5. Alpha Kappa Psi Member – 3 years
  6. Alpha Kappa Psi VP of Relations – 1 year
  7. ACE Leadership Program
  8. Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society
  9. Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society

Where have you interned during your college career?

Company Location Role
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Santa Clara, CA Financial Analyst Intern
Opal San Jose, CA Algorithm and Product Marketing Intern
Veritas Technologies Santa Clara, CA Transformation Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? Deloitte Consulting – Strategy Analyst

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Business has taught me about the responsibility I have in ensuring my education provides a positive impact in the lives of friends, family, and community. At Leavey, classes such as Business Ethics and Sustainability Management gave me a perspective of the potential business has to improve the lives of employees and the community while also reversing harm such as environmental destruction. Additionally, in my ELSJ class, I worked with small minority-owned businesses, which continued to reinforce the idea that my education can be a tool that I use to help my local community flourish.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Every student in a business-related major should learn how to network early in their college careers. This skillset will help in two ways. First, students will be able to learn about the countless roles, opportunities, and companies in the professional world as well as learn about differing perspectives from professionals. Second, networking at Santa Clara itself will set you up for success in the classroom and with what to do with your four years on campus. Both versions of networking have helped me understand what career opportunities I can pursue, provided referrals to help me get into those roles, and has also given guidance on how I can best start my post-grad career.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Over the past four years, I have been pleasantly surprised at Santa Clara’s focus on conscientious business practices. I expected to learn about basic business principles and establish my foundations for Economics and Information Systems, but the university’s focus on also providing a well-rounded community-focused education transformed how I viewed the business world. In particular, the Conscientious Capitalism class provided a great perspective of business leadership revolving around care and support to ensure we manage companies for the stakeholders, not just shareholders.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I believe that the best way to maximize your potential in business school is to join different programs and organizations pertaining to business. I was grateful to be a part of the ACE Leadership Program and Leavey’s honor society but didn’t participate in any clubs that met niche interests such as the Real Estate Association, the Bronco Investment Fund, or the Bronco Venture Accelerator. Joining these organizations would have helped me learn about exciting opportunities much earlier as well as connect with fellow students who are also learning and growing alongside me. Your educational experience is going to be shaped by the opportunities and experiences that you take advantage of and the Leavey School of Business does a great job offering those to its students. Overall, as a freshman, I would aim to join as many clubs as possible and then filter out to a handful that align to my interest areas!

What business executive do you admire most? This past summer, I had the opportunity to work under the Senior VP of Transformation at Veritas, Phil Lew, who was very skilled at aligning his large organization with a people-first mindset which included one-on-ones and meetings with every layer of the organization (including interns like myself). His ability to learn about people’s goals, ambitions, and lives made him extremely personable and better able to connect with any Veritas employee that he met whether it was the CEO or an intern that just started that summer. I’ve focused on emulating this in my own organizations by setting intentional interactions outside of meetings with my organizations, making sure every meeting and project aligns to Associated Student Government’s mission, and ensuring that everyone gets an opportunity to take on more responsibility through promotions.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of hiring and developing twelve student leaders during my two years as the VP of Community Development for Associated Student Government. Through team meetings and one-on-one discussions, I helped them understand how to break down large projects into timelines and smaller tasks while understanding the important milestones needed to create successful programming (such as Midnight Breakfast and Welcome Back SCU) for the Santa Clara community. As a result, these leaders have been able to apply these skill sets to other organizations on campus such as ResLife, the MultiCultural Center, ASG Senate, and various other student organizations. This has resulted in them taking on even more leadership and building even more community on campus.

Which classmate do you most admire? I believe that Kenji Ma has been my biggest supporter and role model over the past four years. We met during our freshmen year of college, already talking about planning our four year plans and what our post-graduation career paths would look like. At the time, I had no idea that he would become someone who consistently pushed me to do more and to explore and learn about different opportunities and careers. Eventually, we both landed on the consulting track and started to help each other with case interview preps, networking, and exploring different opportunities. He also inspired a passion to explore roles in business where I can align my focus on working with startups, growth, and investments with our shared personal values of providing positive impact in our communities. As a result, I’m interested in moving into startups or venture funds focused on creating technology to uplift communities or provide positive value to the world.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank Ross Urbina, a recent graduate of Santa Clara University, for showing me the ropes when it came to networking, resume, and cover letter writing, as well as my introduction into the consulting world. I’ve spent countless hours with him prepping case studies, discussing future career roles, and also getting his thoughts on classes at Santa Clara. I don’t think I would have had the same four years or professional mentality I have today if it wasn’t for his guidance. He’s truly been an amazing friend and certainly someone I’ve turned to for advice and help over my past four years at SCU.

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

  1. Top MBA Program: After a few years of work experience, I want to go to a great MBA program and expand my network and knowledge while opening up new doors and opportunities to explore!
  2. Joining a social impact startup: After a few years or my MBA, my goal is to transition to start-ups that focus on advancing technological solutions for people while expanding and providing opportunities to underrepresented communities. I can also envision working on the VC side, helping to fund these startups and see the measurable impact from an investor standpoint.

What are your hobbies? I try to hike, go to the farmers market, or get my work done in coffee shops on the weekend to get some space from constantly being on campus! Additionally, playing basketball or video games has been an amazing way to keep my mental and physical health up. Outside of school, I’ve really enjoyed bread-making, backpacking, and helping out underclassmen figure out their own professional careers.

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

Yash is an exemplary representative of the LSB class of 2022. As a student, he maintains an extremely high GPA, takes on learning opportunities with great curiosity, and communicates his perspectives in a clear, coherent, and powerful manner. Outside of the classroom, Yash has been very active with Associated Student Government where he has been impactful with his work in addressing the issues of dating violence and student isolation and anxiety caused by the global pandemic. He’s also an active participant in the ACE Leadership Program and the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. Yash has demonstrated time and again that he is extremely capable, hungry to make a difference, and can be counted on to get the job done.”

Bill Mains
Director, Assessment and Special Projects
Director, Conscientious Leadership Initiative in the LSB
Leavey School of Business – Dean’s Office



Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.