Sejal Patel: Poole College alumn and mentor
The combination of business and computer science courses that earned NC State alumnus Sejal Patel bachelors’ degrees in both disciplines have served him well in his career, and he makes time to give back to his alma mater.
Patel graduated in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in business management (now called business administration) with a concentration in finance in NC State's Poole College of Management and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from NC State's College of Engineering. As a senior pricing system analyst at Quintiles, he works in a group that builds and supports the pricing system for clinical trials – a position that enables him to apply the knowledge of IT and business acumen that he gained from his two degrees.
His range of skills has proven to be an asset in today’s workplace, he said in an email interview with Poole College communications. Those skills have enabled him to serve as a bridge between the IT world and the business world in all the job positions he has held. “For instance, I can go to the finance people and understand exactly what they want and then go back to the IT folks and explain it to them in a language they understand,” he said.
Giving back to the community
Patel moved to Raleigh in 2001 to attend NC State as a college student; after graduating, he decided to stay as he began his career. Raleigh is now his home and he has no intention of moving, he said. Beyond living and working in the area, Patel said he is very passionate about making a difference in his community, whether through his job at Quintiles or just by being involved in the community.
“I have taken positions during my career not for the money, but for the fact that I know that by joining the company I have an opportunity to come in and make a difference,” he said. “While compensation is important for me, I have joined organizations based on their community involvement, their passion to develop and engage employees, and the opportunity for me to grow and succeed.”
Patel said he strongly believes that it is important to take an interest in what is going on in the community, so he has joined a few young professional organizations which have helped him to network and interact with people in the community.
He also feels strongly about the importance of service, citing a quote from the late Mahatma Gandhi that has he has adopted as his personal mantra: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” One way he has lived that out is through his service to his alma mater.
Mentoring at Poole College
Patel is sharing this passion for involvement by helping first year students at Poole College as a Student Network Group (SNG) mentor in the college’s Professionalism, Diversity & Academic Success in Management (M100) class.
The SNGs bring together entering Poole College students, professional mentors and student mentors for discussions activities related to the individual group’s area of interest. These groups serve to foster a sense of community, belonging , and connection within the larger university, help build an awareness of diversity and inclusivity among students, provide access to professional and student role models, and give students opportunities to develop networking skills.
“When I first heard about the M100 mentor opportunity and M100 class, I immediately knew I wanted to get involved,” he said, to make a contribution and give back to the school that has given him so much.
He said he has enjoyed his experiences as a mentor and feels a sense of accomplishment if he is able to help at least one student. His goal as a mentor is to get students to start thinking about the path they want to take and the things they want to get involved with, and to realize that the effort they put into college will affect their career paths.
As a Student Network Group professional mentor, Sejal Patel participated in a career panel discussion in January.