2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Nubia Teklu, Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)

Nubia Teklu

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

“I’m an authentic, passionate community-builder who brings a sense of humor to everything I do.”

Fun fact about yourself: My family is from Ethiopia and the last time I visited the country was when I was 5 years old.

Hometown: Springfield, Virginia

High School: West Springfield High School

Major: Business Administration

Minor: Human Computer Interaction

Favorite Business Course: Modern Data Management/Data Management Fundamentals

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Young African Leaders Association (First Year Representative)
  • Tartan Ambassador (Sophomore Year)
  • Resident Assistant (Sophomore and Junior Year)
  • SPIRIT (Treasurer)
  • Black Latino Business Association (President, Junior and Senior Year)
  • Business Presentations Teaching Assistant (3 semesters)
  • Community Advisor (Senior Year)
  • Dean’s List Honors (Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2022)

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Aravenda | Vienna, VA | Data Analyst Intern
  • Cisco | San Jose, CA | Business Analyst Intern
  • Salesforce | San Francisco, CA | Strategy & Operations Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be working at Google in NYC as a Customer Growth Associate

Who is your favorite business professor? My favorite business professor is Professor Clara Burke. Professor Burke was my Business Presentations professor and I had the pleasure of being her TA for this class for 3 semesters. Since my first class with Professor Burke, I could tell that she genuinely cared about her students. I am usually a more reserved person in class, but Professor Burke was able to foster a safe environment where I felt comfortable actively participating and stepping out of my comfort zone. Through being her TA, we have built a strong relationship and I credit a lot of my confidence in public speaking to her.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Communication and teamwork are key. Throughout my time studying business, group projects challenged me to develop my presentation skills and how to effectively communicate with others who have different viewpoints. In order for us to successfully complete group projects, we needed to collaborate and work together. These experiences taught me that I don’t have to do everything myself as an individual contributor and to appreciate the different talents that others bring to the table.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Explore extracurricular activities that can help grow your leadership skills. I believe students who major in a business-related field need to have a balanced classroom and out-of-classroom experience leading teams or volunteer groups. My extracurriculars outside the classroom were where I could apply what I learned in my business studies to real-life experiences. My advice would be to take advantage of the various opportunities on campus, be strategic with your involvements, and use them to help chart your potential career paths.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? What surprised me the most about majoring in business is the vast amount of career paths and opportunities available. Coming in my first semester, I wanted to study finance, but quickly realized that was not where my passion was found. I began learning about a number of different careers such as data analytics, product management. and solutions engineering that caught my attention. A major in business truly allows you to be flexible post grad and explore many different opportunities.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? One thing I would do differently is build more connections with other business students. I got to make connections with many of my peers outside of Tepper. While I am grateful for those connections, I wish I took more time to also build connections with my direct peers in Tepper. Throughout my internship searches, I often felt alone, so having more connections to students pursuing similar careers would have been helpful.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of serving as the Black and Latino Business Association’s President my junior and senior years. I initially got involved with BLBA during my first semester and deeply resonated with the club’s mission. There are many accomplishments that I have been able to achieve during my time as President that I am proud of. One of these includes growing the club to over 100 members and creating a tight knit community that supports each other in our professional and personal lives.

Another accomplishment I am proud of is being able to bridge the gap between undergraduate and graduate students of color. During my first and second year, I felt as though we were separated from the MBAs. It even felt quite literal because of the separation in the building.

Through our annual Career Breakdown Event and networking events, we have been able to forge a lot of meaningful connections between the two groups.

Finally, the most rewarding part by far has been sharing my journey and advice to underclassmen. As a Black woman in business, I struggled a lot with not seeing anyone who looked like myself in the classroom and in leadership positions. I often felt like I needed to be perfect in order to prove to myself and others that I belonged here. Being transparent with my struggles with other Black and Latino students is really important to me so that they understand the immense value they bring and feel supported.

Which classmate do you most admire? I mostly admire Remi Adeoti. Remi was my first-year roommate and my closest friend in Tepper throughout my time here. Remi was the very first person I contacted about helping grow the Black Latino Business Association. Overall, she was the best support I could have asked for. It was admirable how truly dedicated Remi was to the mission of the club and supporting our students. From freshman roommates to graduating seniors, we have grown a lot together and I cannot wait to see how much we continue to grow in our personal and professional lives.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my older sister, Meronne, the most for my success. She has been extremely helpful throughout my entire life and especially during these college years. She helped me throughout the college application process, build my first resume, and prepare for interviews. Most importantly, she has helped me believe in myself. Constant encouragement and affirmation from her have helped build my confidence as a strong women leader. Without her, I would not be where I am today.

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

  1. Become a solutions engineer or product manager
  2. Build relationships with potential sponsors who will vouch for me when I’m not in the room

What are your hobbies? Tennis, rug tufting, and cooking

What made Nubia such an invaluable member of the Class of 2023?

“Throughout her undergraduate career, Nubia has focused on community and creating spaces for all students to thrive in residence life and student clubs. Recognizing that our Black and Latino Business Association needed new student leadership as campus opened in fall 2021 after severe pandemic restrictions, she revitalized the organization through her leadership and created a vibrant leadership structure for the club’s future. Nubia’s brilliant leadership and impact will reverberate through our community for years to come.”

Dr. Jennifer Wegner
Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs
Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business


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