Malik Elarbi: 2016 Best and Brightest

Malik Elarbi Penn State

Malik Elarbi

Smeal College of Business, Penn State University

Hometown: King of Prussia, PA

High School: Upper Merion Area High School

Major: Finance

Minor: Supply Chain and Information Systems & Technology

Favorite Business Courses: Strategic Procurement, Fundamentals of Financial Markets and Institutions, Multinational Financial Management

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College: Smeal College of Business Classroom Consultants (Vice President); Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society (Networking Chair)

Where have you interned during your college career?

1.) Unilever (Demand Planner – Trumbull, CT).

2.) Johnson & Johnson (Financial Analyst – Bridgewater, NJ).

3.) Amazon (Financial Analyst – Seattle, WA).

Describe your dream job: A company where I can make an immediate impact, wear whatever I want to work, and work with people smarter than me who force me to keep up.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? I would have to say the exposure to all the different areas of business based on the Smeal curriculum. Before deciding on Finance & Supply Chain, I had to take intro courses in Marketing, Management, and Accounting too. Being able to get my feet wet in all of these areas offered me some familiarity in them and the ultimately the ability to choose which I would like to continue with most in the future.

Where would you like to work after graduation? (List Company and Role): I am fortunate to have received and accepted an offer from Amazon as a Financial Analyst in Seattle, WA.

What are your long-term professional goals? Create multiple streams of income through my own unique entrepreneurial ventures and take over Mr. Wonderful’s spot on Shark Tank.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…I sold the most candy bars in my 5th grade fundraiser.” 

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…a photographer or clothing designer.” 

What was the happiest moment of your life? Getting rejected by the company of my dreams after feeling like I nailed the interview. It made me realize that despite all of my accomplishments, there is still always more to aspire towards. It also keeps me more level-headed than ever to realize there is always a better candidate out there than me.

Which academic or personal achievement are you most proud of? As an active member of THON (Penn State’s Dance Marathon for Pediatric Cancer Research), I was able to help fundraise more than $30,000 in two years with my honor society, Phi Eta Sigma.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? I couldn’t really come up with a great answer to this so I went and took a “Which Animal Are You” Quiz. I’m proud to say that my brand would be represented by a Silver and Red Wolf. In case it isn’t obvious enough to you as to why they would represent my professional brand, the results were as follows: “You’re a very strong person. You tend to be naive most of the time, but when in love, boy are you something else! You prefer to be quiet around adults. Your soul mate is the gold falcon. You’re in conflict with the maroon panda.” Pretty spot on stuff — just got to find my gold falcon.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Without a doubt – my brother, Ahmad. As a perfect role model when it comes to success in the business world, he helped me wrap my mind around the idea that it is possible to be successful both in corporate America and my entrepreneurial ventures. After laughing at my résumé only a couple times when my most notable experiences were being a valet driver and greeter at Aeropostale, he worked with me day and night to land co-op #1, then #2, then #3, which ultimately led to a full-time offer that I could have only dreamed of a couple years back.

He not only encourages me to work toward success, but also always keeps me humble every time my ego gets a bit out of sync. He’s the perfect combination of supporter meets critic. Even when his words sometimes dig into my emotions, I know they come from a good place; and as much as it pains me to say it — somehow he’s always right.

Fun fact about yourself: When not in the classroom or the workspace, I enjoy writing, recording, and performing as a hip-hop artist. Feel free to check out some of my work on YouTube.

Favorite book: Rich Dad, Poor Dad (by Robert T. Kiyosaki)

Favorite movie: Superbad

Favorite musical performer: J. Cole

Favorite vacation spot: Honolulu, Hawaii

What are your hobbies? Photography, Cooking, Sports, Travel

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

“Malik’s time here at The Smeal College of Business epitomizes everything the undergraduate experience can be. He excels in the classroom, as evidenced by his GPA, but more importantly challenges himself outside the classroom as well. Malik’s resume contains internships and co-ops at some of the most sought after places of employment not only for Penn State students, but also students at the other top business schools in the country.  Only a small percentage of students can boast about working for companies like Amazon, Johnson & Johnson, or Unilever while pursuing an undergraduate degree. Malik has worked for all three during his college career.

Along with all of these academic and professional endeavors, Malik has also somehow found the time to pursue his passion from a business perspective as well while enrolled here at Penn State University. He founded his own record label, and continues to write and produce his own music to this day.  Malik’s academic record, professional experience, and extracurricular pursuits are truly one of a kind, which has allowed him to differentiate himself from his classmates.  Based on his performance as an undergraduate student, I believe it is safe to say that Malik will go on to do great things out there in the real world.  Students like Malik help build a good name for Penn State University and The Smeal College of Business, which is why he is an invaluable member of the Class of 2016.”

Dave Winterich
Instructor of Marketing
Smeal College of Business, Penn State University

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