2024 Best & Brightest Business Major: Pratika Katiyar, Northeastern University (D’Amore-McKim)

Pratika Katiyar

Northeastern University, D’Amore McKim School of Business

“Writer, activist, and coffee enthusiast who is passionate about music, family, traveling, and creating change.”

Fun fact about yourself: I’ve spoken on a panel at the United Nations!

Hometown: Fairfax, VA

High School: Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Major: Business Administration and Communication Studies, Concentration in Finance

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Responsible Investing

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • President – Northeastern Women in Business
  • No Limits Dance Crew
  • Phi Alpha Delta (Pre-law Fraternity)
  • College of Arts, Media, and Design Admissions Ambassador
  • Member of Board of Directors – Student Press Law Center
  • Research Assistant – Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
  • Research Assistant – Initiative for a Representative First Amendment at Harvard Law School
  • Honors Thesis: “AI at the Border: Surveillance, Human Rights, and Governance”
  • University Honors Program
  • Dean’s List & Scholarship (2021-2024)

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • NBCUniversal – Standards & Practices Intern (New York, NY)
  • PEN America – Digital Policy Fellow (Washington D.C.)
  • Amazon – Privacy Program Manager Co-op (Boston, MA)
  • Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society – Research Assistant (Cambridge, MA)

Where will you be working after graduation? I am hoping to pursue graduate school!

Who is your favorite business professor? Dr. David Myers has been my favorite business professor at Northeastern. He taught two of my finance classes, and never failed to bring tons of energy and liveliness to class to make the material engaging and relevant. He is humorous, understanding, and a big supporter of the work I do both inside and outside of the classroom. His way of drawing real world connections to understand complex financial concepts, coupled with his passion for sustainability, helped me realize that finance can also be leveraged for social impact.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? It is incredibly important to nurture a diverse identity on top of your business skillset. Businesses need interdisciplinary backgrounds to solve complex problems facing society today. Instead of putting myself in a box, I learned to embrace all my interests and experiences to become a resilient leader within my community.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? My biggest piece of advice is, don’t be afraid to incorporate your own passions into business. If you’re interested in multiple things, whether that be design or creative writing or computer science, you can continue to do that while still pursuing business. Coming from someone with a journalism and activism background who is studying finance, having an intersectional professional and personal background will help you craft a strong personal brand and path that will allow you to pursue your interests.

Business is just as much about the soft skills as it is about the hard skills. I found that the writing and research experiences from the Communication Studies part of my major was invaluable and helped me stand out in professional settings. While coursework and internships are one building block, the way you communicate and present yourself will always be the finishing touch. I am by no means a traditional Business major, and I think that has been to my advantage.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I was surprised at how studying business provides a well-rounded background, no matter what field you go into. For someone who is public interest oriented, I learned about the ins-and-outs of corporations and nonprofits, and the role they play in shaping public policy. This has better helped me frame my research and given me a diverse perspective for my technology policy work. The intersection of business and everyday life is greater than initially meets the eye, and studying business in any capacity can provide transferrable skills for any industry.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? If I were to do something differently, I would take the chance to explore more outside of my finance concentration. Northeastern offers so many concentrations that extend way beyond the introductory classes. As someone who has a lot of interests, I would have taken a moment to delve into classes within fintech, corporate innovation and entrepreneurship, or even marketing. These courses all offer a unique set of skills that are equally important to business, and I would’ve loved to have been able to experience that.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I recently was honored to be on HerCampus Media’s 22 Under 22 List of most inspiring changemakers, sponsored by e.l.f. cosmetics. I was proud to see myself on the list, alongside other amazing GenZ women, because it truly felt like a culmination of my activism, writing, and research work. For the past several years, I have written for several national news outlets, spearheaded a nationwide campaign to restore First Amendment freedoms for students, and spoken for panels on an international level. I am humbled by the work that I have done so far to bring light to issues around press freedom and technology policy, whether that be through my research at Harvard, my co-op experience at Amazon, or my work with the Student Press Law Center.

One thing I have always wanted to do is empower young voices, and show others that they can make a difference, one word at a time. Being a part of the 22 Under 22 list not only amplifies my activism and writing but serves as a reminder that our voices matter.

Which classmate do you most admire? Katrina Gonzales, my co-president for Northeastern Women in Business, is smart, organized, and driven. I admire her as a colleague, leader, and as one of my best friends. She is a Marketing Analytics student with extensive experience at some of the biggest tech companies, and her understanding of design and branding is an asset to any team. We have a unique synergy that allows us to plan empowering and inviting events that encourage WIB members to pursue all different intersections of business. Beyond that, I know she’ll always be someone I can lean on if I’m overwhelmed, or my go-to if I just want to grab a coffee on Newbury Street.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My whole family has been instrumental in my success. My mom and dad are my biggest supporters, and the most incredible, resilient people I know. They never fail to cheer me on or help guide me. However, since my childhood, my older sister, Prerana Katiyar, has been my biggest role model. She is a medical student (graduating in May!) at Columbia University, and her passion for public health is truly tremendous. The world needs more compassionate, caring, and determined doctors like her. Not only that, Prerana is also my biggest cheerleader, my best friend, and the reason I am where I am today.

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

Write and publish a book.

Be an influential part of shaping public policy and legislation around technology and free expression issues.

What made Pratika such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“It has been a pleasure having Pratika in my courses on sustainability in business and responsible investing. She has unrivaled enthusiasm for translating business into entities that can transform social and environmental justice. The understanding that she brings to today’s key societal issues is constantly reflected in her thoughtful and analytical approach and discussions. The fact that she travels intellectually well between the business aspects and the societal impact makes her a remarkable student, leader, and citizen.”

Dr. David Myers
Associate Professor of Finance and Director of Northeastern Business Sustainability Initiative


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