2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Rehan “Reh” Balsara, Syracuse University (Whitman)

Rehan “Reh” Balsara

Syracuse University, Martin J. Whitman School of Management

“I integrate cutting-edge technology and Data Science with management principles to drive business initiatives.”

Fun fact about yourself: I became India’s youngest-ever AMFI-recognized mutual fund advisor.

Hometown: Mumbai, India

High School: Kodaikanal International School

Majors: Triple Major in Business Analytics, Finance and Management

Minor: Psychology

Favorite Business Course: Data Mining for Business (BUA 466)

Through this course, Professor Michel Benaroch inspired me to apply data mining techniques such as classification, clustering, association analysis, and optimization to develop predictive models for managerial decision-making.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work, and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Class Marshal 2023, Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University
  • Dean’s List
  • Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society
  • Renée Crown Honors Program
  • Whitman Undergraduate Board Member
  • Dean’s Inclusive Excellence Award
  • Invest in SUccess Scholarship
  • SU Grant – Book Award
  • Management Department Research Assistant
  • Lead Undergraduate Ambassador
  • VP of Operations for the Undergraduate Office
  • Campus Ambassador for the University 100 Program
  • Peer Leader of the Peer-Led Team Learning Program
  • Whitman on Wall Street Program
  • Silicon Valley Entrepreneurship Immersion Program
  • AMFI Registered Mutual Fund Advisor
  • Founder of the Kodaikanal Financial Literacy & Inclusion Program
  • Pramerica (Prudential) Spirit of Community National Award
  • Accounting Star
  • IMPRESS Star – Class House Rank #1
  • D’Aniello Freshman Merit Scholarship Award
  • Founder of the Sparrow Court Ornithological Initiative
  • High School Valedictorian

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Ernst & Young (EY), Chicago – Strategy & Transactions Diligence Analytics Intern
  • Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), Mumbai – Investor Education Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? After graduation, I will combine my academic qualifications in Business Analytics, Finance, Management and Psychology with my technical expertise and professional experience to contribute as a Business Analyst with a leading firm in the Financial Services industry.

Who is your favorite business professor? I greatly admire Professor Cameron Miller who taught my Strategic Management course, mentored me as a Research Assistant, and guided my thesis on the impact of New Fund Offers in the Mutual Fund industry. Professor Miller has inspired me to excel as a student and researcher by consistently supporting my academic and professional growth.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? My undergraduate education has provided me with a deep understanding of the strong interrelationship between quantitative business disciplines. I have studied and demonstrated the tremendous impact of incorporating learnings from diverse fields such as Psychology and Data Science into management decision-making.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? I would advise business students to focus on networking and teamwork in addition to assimilating academic knowledge. Working closely with peers and learning from them can add significant value to a university business education.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Throughout my business education, I have been surprised by how many important management decisions are still based on intuition and gut feeling rather than economic facts and studied data analysis. It is my view that methodical data collection and scientific data analysis should be employed by managers and businesses across functions and industries.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? While at business school, I was fortunate to participate in several programs that facilitated interaction and cooperation with leading businesses on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley. These experiences allowed me to apply my education in a real-world business context, and I would have appreciated the opportunity to expand this interaction to even more locations and industries.

What business leader do you admire most? I admire Warren Buffett for his ability to analyze business models and identify long-term value compounders. Professor David Weinbaum’s engaging and interactive course on Investments has opened my mind to analytical frameworks for studying industries and companies.

Which academic, extracurricular, or personal achievement are you most proud of? As Class Marshal of the Whitman School of Management, I am proud to be a member of the Undergraduate Board and represent the business school at graduation.

Which classmate do you most admire? Over my years at business school, I have taken several classes and worked on many projects with Justine Salerno. Justine is a great team player and consistently adds value to our projects through her positive attitude and academic expertise across the areas of Supply Chain, Business Analytics, and Math.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank all the outstanding teachers I have had over the years, and in particular, Professor Kıvanç Avrenli who introduced me to the field of Business Analytics which has become an area of my specialization.

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

1. To remain at the cutting edge of data science and technology by mastering ongoing advancements in computer programming languages and Business Intelligence tools.

2. To contribute to the academic advancement of my fields of study through pathbreaking research.

What are your hobbies? Music and travel balance my studies and professional engagements. I have played acoustic and electric guitar over the past decade and enjoy experiencing new places, cuisine, and cultures.

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

“Reh has done extraordinarily well during his time at Syracuse. His cumulative GPA is 3.86 on a 4.0 scale. He was the top student in my investments class out of the 101 people who took it with him. Reh has a strong background: he has taught himself R, Python, and SQL, he is a Renée Crown Honors Program student, an IMPRESS Star, an Accounting Star, and has been on the Dean’s List every academic year. Last summer, Reh accepted an offer to join Ernst & Young’s highly selective Business Analytics internship program in Chicago, IL. Beyond Reh’s academic preparation, it is the breadth of his accomplishments that truly sets him apart. He is one of Whitman’s lead admissions ambassadors and an AMFI registered mutual fund advisor in India, coordinating investor education covering over 1,000 participants. The leadership skills he has acquired through these activities are invaluable. Reh’s intellectual curiosity is also extraordinary. He wrote a research paper on Prospect Theory and Loss Aversion for the course he took with me and presented it to the whole class. Somehow, despite all his accomplishments, Reh is humble and easy-going, has a nice sense of humor, and is well-liked by his fellow students.”

David Weinbaum
Professor of Finance and Harris Fellow
Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University


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