2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Eli Coltin, Purdue University (Daniels)

Eli Coltin

Purdue University, Daniels School of Business

“An economics student who dabbles in computer science.”

Fun fact about yourself: I don’t own any pairs of jeans.

Hometown: Wexford, Pennsylvania

High School: North Allegheny Senior High School

Major: Computer Science, Economics, Data Science

Minor: None

Favorite Business Course: ECON451 – Game Theory

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Undergraduate Researcher for Honors College (working with City of Lafayette to improve quality-of-life)
  • Undergraduate Researcher for Economics Department (analyzing effectiveness of teaching ethics in the classroom)
  • Teaching Assistant for Computer Science Department
  • Project Manager at Purdue Solutions Consulting Club
  • Team Captain of 1st Place Team at 2021 UChicago Trading Competition

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Goldman Sachs, Summer Engineering Analyst; New York City, NY
  • BNY Mellon, Summer Analyst; Pittsburgh, PA

Where will you be working after graduation? Goldman Sachs, Engineering Analyst

Who is your favorite business professor? Dr. Kelly Blanchard has been my favorite business professor to learn from and research with. In the classroom, Dr. Blanchard’s focus is on turning economics topics into understandable ideas. She does this through relatable stories and metaphors, and I think this goes a long way for engaging students like myself to enjoy learning about economics. I also performed research with Dr. Blanchard, and she was a great mentor who pushed me to combine data analysis and theory to create actionable insights. My experiences with her have improved me as a student, scholar, and person, and I am sure she has impacted many other students in a similar way.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Economics is a major factor in any government or company’s decision, so it is important to understand. You can have an amazing idea for a product, but it will be difficult to be successful without applying the lens of business.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Business topics require a large scope of knowledge to truly understand and derive meaningful insights. For example, to understand the healthcare business, you also have to understand the politics of a country and the beliefs and values of residents in the society. These business topics intersect many other fields, so there is always a lot of learning to do.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I was limited in terms of general business electives that I had time to take due to the business school’s economics curriculum and my other majors being in the College of Science. I feel that the benefit of undergraduate education is the opportunity to pursue a breadth of learning rather than focus on a small topic of understanding. So, I would want to make more of an effort to take business electives that sounded interesting to me to improve my knowledge base rather than focusing on taking courses that would allow me to check off degree requirements in the most efficient way possible.

What business leader do you admire most? One business leader who I look toward is the owner of an affordable generic drug company and the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban. This is because of his commitment on focusing on issues that affect a large amount of people and are valued as important. Through more affordable drugs, more people can afford to improve their health. A large number of people value sports, and Cuban is regarded as an involved owner who brought Dallas a winning team after decades of failure. I feel this focus on bringing positive change to day-to-day issue is an admirable idea.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my research with Purdue’s Honors College and the City of Lafayette to create actionable insights about reversing the city’s resident retention decline. I analyzed public data from 3,000 Lafayette households and provided recommendations to the city that could lead to improvements in resident lives in the future. I am proud of this research because of its real-world impacts and how it has shown me the importance in thinking about every point in a data set as a real person’s life story, not just a number on my screen.

Which classmate do you most admire? David Nickel is a student who I admire as an interdisciplinary scholar. As an Electrical Engineering student, he has shown great ability to excel across multiple, largely unrelated fields. I have had the pleasure to research quality-of-life and compete in finance competitions with David, and in all these instances he shows great dedication to learning and succeeding in these topics, which inspired me to work harder while collaborating with him.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my parents, as I believe they have instilled good habits in my life which have led to success. My mother has taught me a love for learning, and my father showed me the value of hard work. I think these two life lessons, and all the life lessons which would number too many to list, have given me the strong scaffolding to independently grow as my own person and achieve continued success.

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

  1. I would like to have the opportunity to work internationally.
  2. I want to give back to the Purdue community through returning for future campus events to help students achieve success.

What are your hobbies? I enjoy backpacking, trying new foods, and general learning/reading.

What made Eli such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Eli Coltin is the perfect example of the interdisciplinary student who thrives at Purdue. An Economics major, Eli is in the Honors College and carries a triple major combining data science and computer science with economics.

The amazing thing is he does all with excellence, which has been recognized by him competing for the Truman Scholarship and Marshall Scholarship, presenting research on Capitol Hill, and working consistently with faculty research mentors on analyzing data to identify ways the City of Lafayette can become a better place to live and how faculty can more effectively teach ethics at the undergraduate level. He’s won case competitions and interned at Goldman Sachs. His future is incredibly bright!”

Cara Putman
Clinical Assistant Professor
Director, Brock-Wilson Center for Women in Management



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