Shreya Ramanathan, from Bangalore, India, a senior double majoring in accounting and information systems and finance in the Pamplin College of Business, knows a thing or two about being a global citizen. A world traveler, she has lived in Singapore, Indonesia, Egypt, and Cambodia. She calls herself “a nomad” and said, “It shapes you into a person you wouldn’t be if you lived in one place. It gives you the ability to adapt and to understand another person’s point of view. It’s important to open up and look beyond your own culture.”

A dean’s list student and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma international academic honor society, Ramanathan has worked for the past two summers for J.P. Morgan Chase in New York City, researching and developing tools related to risk reporting. Following her graduation this spring, the next stop on her world tour is Baltimore, Maryland, where she will take a position with the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Ramanathan chose Virginia Tech because of the small town atmosphere, the feeling of togetherness, and the Hokie spirit that permeates the Blacksburg campus. Through her work with international students, her scholarship within the Pamplin College of Business, and her dedication to reaching out to other cultures, Shreya not only found her place at Virginia Tech, but also left a lasting impact on her college, organizations, and the university community.

During her first year, as vice president of the Pamplin Multicultural Diversity Council, she won a leadership award for organizing the council’s 8th annual conference. She joined the University Honors program as a sophomore.

In her junior year, she became involved with the Council of International Student Organizations (CISO) and took on the role of treasurer. CISO is an umbrella organization representing all international student organizations at Virginia Tech, and currently includes students from more than 110 countries. “I enjoyed reaching out to the international community, making international students feel at home in Blacksburg,” Shreya said. “The people I worked with seemed like a second family.”

Other leadership positions followed. Ramanathan is vice president for internal affairs for the Finance Club at Virginia Tech, one of Pamplin's largest organizations. The Finance Club offers students an opportunity to further their education and interpersonal skills while networking with professors and alumni. She is also education chair of Finance 4 Females, a mentorship-based group that empowers and connects women studying finance by providing a comfortable environment for the exchange of ideas.

Ramanathan is intrigued by other cultures, and has diversified her academic pursuits by taking classes in such subjects as world religions and Asian cinema. Her long-term career goals include working for a non-governmental organization in a position that combines her accounting skills and dedication to service.

Speaking from experience that includes a range of academic distinctions and extracurricular activities, Ramanathan said, “It is hard to look beyond just grades. I would tell other students to get involved. Take classes outside your major. Sometimes it is difficult to find your passion. Have an open mind and ask questions.”

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Written by Sandy Broughton.