Elana Burton: 2016 Best and Brightest

Elena Burton Georgia Tech

Elana Burton

Georgia Institute of Technology, Scheller College of Business

Hometown: Peachtree City, Georgia

High School: Starr’s Mill High School

Major: Business Administration

Minor: Engineering & Business via the Denning Technology & Management Program

Favorite Business Courses: Global Operations, Service Operations, New Product Development

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:


President, Student Development Board (Spring 2014-Spring 2015) (SDB is a prestigious student-alumni relations group within the Scheller College of Business)

Vice President of Communications, Student Development Board (Spring 2013-Spring 2014)

Vice President of Campus Collaboration, Presidents’ Council Governing Board (Spring 2014-Spring 2015) (PCGB acts as an intermediary between the university’s leadership office and the 400+ presidents of on-campus student groups)

Team Leader, GT1000 freshmen seminar class (Fall 2012, 2013, 2014)

Spanish Medical Interpreter, Good Samaritan Health Center

Social Coordinator, Denning Technology & Management Class of 2015 (Volunteered to plan social events for 50+ person cohort pursuing Engineering & Business minor)


Georgia Tech Women’s Club Volleyball Team (2 semesters)

Awards and Honors

President’s Scholarship, Georgia Institute of Technology

Dean’s Scholarship, Scheller College of Business

High Impact Award, 2013, Scheller College of Business

Faculty Honors (a 4.0 grade point average), 7 semesters

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • (2015) Bain & Company (Atlanta, Georgia) | Associate Consultant Intern
  • (2014) Boeing Company (Seattle, Washington) | Business Operations Intern
  • (2013) Target Corporation (Auburn, Georgia) | Operations Distribution Intern
  • (2012) Atlanta Regional Airport (Falcon Field) | Market Research Analyst 

Describe your dream job: Once having made partner at my consulting firm, my dream job would center upon growing a practice at the intersection of public infrastructure and “smart” technology.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? Business classrooms give you innumerable opportunities to collaborate and compete in teams. This early exposure to operating in occasionally tricky social dynamics is hugely valuable.

Where would you like to work after graduation? I’ll be returning to Bain & Company as an Associate Consultant.

What are your long-term professional goals? I feel certain that they’ll crystallize within the next several years. For now, I anticipate working in strategy consulting for three years after graduation with the aim of securing graduate school sponsorship. Then, I’ll attend a top five business school and return to my consulting firm for a two-year period, after which I’ll reassess my interests and direction.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…while in high school, I competed in a week-long competition to design the best business plan. My team’s idea for a peer-to-peer event publication platform took second place.” 

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…a linguist or foreign language interpreter.” 

 What was the happiest moment of your life? Trekking through the province of Cordoba while on a two-week trip to Argentina. We hiked multiple miles each day while carrying ~30 lb. packs on our backs, summiting the mountain on a gorgeously clear day on which we could see for miles.

Which academic or personal achievement are you most proud of? My proudest personal achievement is working as a Spanish medical interpreter at a clinic for low-income patients living in Atlanta. I’m also very proud of having designed and constructed a robot from scratch using power tools as part of a mechanical engineering course. I was one of eight business students in a class of 200+ mechanical engineers, and I was held to the same standards as engineering students with two semesters of prerequisite courses under their belts.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? An Orca. They’re incredibly clever in problem solving while hunting, not to mention efficient. Orcas also work well in teams and exhibit great social intelligence. Finally, they’re highly curious and learn quickly.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? There are three groups of people I’d like to thank for my success:

First, there is the Scheller College of Business Undergraduate staff, namely Craig Womack and Lauren McDow, for their valuable professional mentorship.

Second, I’d like to thank the Presidents’ Scholarship Program staff, including both the current director, Chaffee Viets; the director at the time I enrolled in the university, Randy McDow; and the assistant director, Billiee Pendleton Parker. They created a supportive community of scholars who motivate me to pursue greater academic and personal achievement.

Finally, I want to acknowledge the Denning Technology and Management Program staff, for structuring a framework of courses and projects that so greatly grew my analytical abilities.

Fun fact about yourself: I’m an Army brat and lived in four states before age nine.

Favorite book: The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

Favorite movie: The Four Feathers

Favorite musical performer: Odesza, an electronic duo from Seattle.

Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere on a beach, especially if I can speak Spanish.

What are your hobbies? Reading (fiction), searching out incredible new restaurants, studying foreign languages.

What made Elana such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2016?

“Elana and I met during the second semester of her freshman year when I started my new position at Georgia Tech in the Scheller College of Business. I was immediately impressed and excited to learn that she would join me as a Team Leader for my freshman business seminar course, GT 1000 in Fall 2012. Elana exemplified natural leadership in each and every class through her ability to encourage, motivate, and inspire her students. Outside of the classroom, Elana has done it all! During her four years at Georgia Tech and the Scheller College of Business, she’s maintained an outstanding academic record, participated in the highly selective Denning Technology & Management Program, secured internships at top companies, and found the time to give back to our community as a Spanish medical interpreter. I am truly honored to be part of Elana’s collegiate journey, and I know incredible things are still to come for this amazing person!”

Craig Womack
Assistant Dean & Director of Undergraduate Programs
Georgia Institute of Technology, Scheller College of Business



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