Joining GTSF’s Investments Committee Inspired Abhishek Mattipalli to Pursue a Future in Finance
Fourth-year Abhishek Mattipalli was a first-year student in the H. Milton School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) when he attended an information session with the Investments Committee (IC). At the time, he had no idea this chance decision would lead him to a career in financial services.
Part of the Georgia Tech Student Foundation (GTSF), the IC manages the Institute's $2 million endowment that provides funding for projects for campus organizations – the largest student-run philanthropic endowment in the nation. As a newcomer, Mattipalli went through a mentorship program that taught him the basics of investing, accounting, and finance.
After completing this 10-week program, which included assessments and a final presentation, he was officially accepted as a member, called an “analyst.” The organization of the club is modelled after the S&P 500 sectors, and he chose to join the energy sector. Immediately, he began working on a presentation for an energy company that his sector was looking to purchase.
During weekly IC meetings for the entire organization, sectors give stock presentations, which are divided into three categories. Pitches are initial presentations of companies the IC does not currently own, and these are used to gauge whether to present with the intent to buy. Presentations are more detailed than pitches and include further information on why the IC should invest in a new company.
Lastly, for companies already owned by the IC, sectors present revaluations – known as “revals” – to announce any updates and make a final recommendation to hold the company or sell either all or part of the IC’s stake in it.
In his second year, Mattipalli landed an internship at Phillips 66, an oil and gas refining company based in Houston. He worked in the clean products trading group, building a tool to streamline payment calculations of products shipped across the Colonial Pipeline – the largest pipeline system for refined oil products in the nation, which stretches from Texas to New York. He credits this opportunity to his involvement with the IC, which enabled him to effectively speak to his interest in the energy market.
“When it comes to recruiting for jobs in financial services, employers look very favorably on the Investments Committee because there aren’t that many colleges with a completely student-run fund that can give you that kind of experience,” he said.
The IC is open to all majors. Mattipalli arrived at Georgia Tech as a computer science major; realizing that he was more interested in industrial engineering or business, he ultimately switched to ISyE because of his passion for math. He knew he was gaining valuable knowledge about finance while working with the IC, but he wanted to also have the technical background ISyE provides.
As Mattipalli continued with the IC, he was promoted to the energy sector head and then a director. Now, he’s the chief financial officer, acting as a liaison between the IC and GTSF, where he serves on both the board of trustees and the executive board.
He’s also involved with GTSF’s Accel Program, which helps students pursuing a career in financial services by providing resources such as networking, technical training, and resume reviews. Preparation is crucial, as recruitment in industries like banking and private equity is highly competitive, with job offers usually made a year in advance for both internships and full-time positions. To date, everyone who went through the program has placed at a financial institution.
“Not only is it indicative of Accel as a program, but it’s also indicative of the quality of students that Georgia Tech has to offer,” said Mattipalli.
At Accel, he’s the director of development, focusing on holistic growth to give students the confidence to succeed. He prepares resume workshops and step-by-step technical guides using his own experience from going through the intensive internship recruiting process, which typically consists of many networking calls and interviews, both technical and behavioral, in order to land an offer.
In his third year, Mattipalli interned at Evercore as an investment banking analyst. The internship began with two weeks of training, after which he was placed on six projects of varying length ranging from one week to the whole summer. He gained exposure to the many different types of products and services the bank offers, as well as to their high-profile clients.
“To be in the same room as C-suite executives and hear their thoughts while having a responsibility on a project they are going to go to market with – it was a really cool experience,” he said.
Now in the last year of his studies, Mattipalli has already accepted a full-time offer as an analyst at Roark Capital, a private equity firm that specializes in consumer, retail, business service, and franchise companies. His new role will allow him to stay in Atlanta, and he is excited to be able to stay close to friends and family.
Discovering his passion for investing and starting a career in the financial services industry would not be possible without the Investments Committee, and he is thankful for all his friends and mentors who helped and inspired him.
“The relationships and skills I have been able to build through the Investments Committee have opened many doors for me, and I am extremely grateful to have gotten this opportunity at Georgia Tech,” said Mattipalli.
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