Rishab Jain is in the Spotlight!
By Nicola Karasik
This week we’ll learn about our Executive Director, Rishab Jain:
Q: How did you get into sports?
A: Unlike many on our board, I never was in to sports until high school. My freshman year of high school, I was a sousaphone player in the marching band and performed with our band at every football game. At each of these games, I watched the game while observing how it brought my local community together. During that year, the Giants went on a Super Bowl run and my uncle introduced me to Madden. I quickly found myself interested in the team and started to follow the NFL very closely. Although the last few years haven't been great for the Giants, my freshman year of high school and my uncle were instrumental in helping me get in to sports.
Q: Who do you look up to in the sports industry?
A: I would say I have a few people who I look up to in the sports industry. I would say I look up both to Dave Gettleman and Tom Coughlin for their abilities to continue to learn and adjust their leadership styles and tendencies as they've progressed throughout their career. In both of their cases, their abilities to build relationships and build great teams have helped their organizations succeed. I've never met either one in person but they've both had a lot of influence in my life as they've continuously risen above adversity to achieve extraordinary things. I would say from an analytics perspective, I look up to my mentor and former boss, Doug Nickerson. Doug's ability to manage and develop much of the analytics portfolio at the Redskins has been truly inspiring and his mentorship has meant the world to me.
Beyond those I look up to in the sports industry, I have several other mentors outside of sports that have guided and inspired me throughout my undergraduate career. Jim Ciriello, Hal Stern, and Charles Choi at Merck helped me find a level of confidence in myself and my abilities I didn't think was possible. They were all tremendous in helping me develop a technical skill-set and a leadership mindset. During my experience with Deloitte, Craig Logan, Brittanie Pierce, Laura Chitty, Andrew Mannarino, and Zac Hardwick have been vital in helping me better understand business problems and how to think creatively to solve them. I've worked with so many great people at my other internships with the Polling Company, CG/LA Infrastructure, and The US Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency. Additionally, my grandparents, my uncles and aunt, and my parents have also been there for me every step of the way and I look up to all of them.
Q: Why did you join SBA?
A: I think sports have a unique ability to connect people of all kinds of backgrounds in a setting where we are united by what connects us instead of being divided by what makes us different. Whether it's in a stadium, a conversation in a barbershop, or an autograph session with a star player, sports can bring together people in a way that few other things in life can. I viewed SBA as a way to find and build a community of people who shared an interest in sports at GW. Getting involved as a sophomore, I had an opportunity to attend multiple networking events and meet many professionals in the industry. By the time I was a junior, I had the opportunity to lead the organization and spent my time as its president working to build a more efficient and cohesive organization. One of my best experiences in college was recruiting nine new members to our board and working with each member of our board to build and execute a vision for what our organization could be and the impact it could have at GW.
Q: What are your plans for the coming year with the SBA?
A: Over the course of the year so far, I've worked to advise Ryan and Jonathan along with launching a new initiative via LinkedIn with Kohei Ito and Will Davis. I am working with each committee to set goals and to help them execute them.
Q: What have been your professional experiences in college so far?
A: To this point, I've worked six internships before starting my first full-time job. I've been blessed to have the opportunity to have these opportunities in very different industries during my seven semesters of college. I worked in politics during my internship with The Polling Company/Women Trend INC, sales with CG/LA Infrastructure, the intersection of technology and healthcare as an applied technology intern at Merck, government with the US Minority Business Development Agency, sports with the Washington Redskins, and consulting with Deloitte.
The Polling Company/Women Trend INC -- During my experience with the political consulting firm, The Polling Company/WomenTrend INC, I assisted with the firm's efforts during its preparation for the 2016 presidential election. I built several evaluative and predictive electoral models while creating daily analyses of all polls that were released.
CG/LA Infrastructure -- During my internship with CG/LA Infrastructure, I assisted in the firm's efforts to prepare for two of their conferences. I made many phone calls and analyzed client datasets to understand sales trends.
Merck -- During my internship with Merck, I worked with the Applied Technologies group, a team that focused on helping Merck implement new technologies and position the company to transform its existing processes. During my work with this group, I helped to build the first analytics dashboard on a company-wide application while learning how to code in Python.
US Minority Business Development Agency -- After my internship with Merck, I worked in government for a semester with the Minority Business Development Agency, part of the US Department of Commerce. During this internship, I began the development of an application that could streamline existing data-analysis processes within the US Department of Commerce.
Washington Redskins -- In the semester after, I worked with the Washington Redskins to analyze its CRM databases and generate sales leads for the Redskins sales initiatives. During this internship, I was able to refine my excel skill-set and work a bit with SQL.
Deloitte -- My most recent internship, with Deloitte Consulting from June through July of this summer, I worked on a team consulting with a government agency. I learned how to use Tableau while helping to build several dashboards for our client. If I can take a few key lessons away, I was able to build a strong data-analysis skill-set while learning how organizations function and succeed.
Q: What has been your favorite internship experience in college so far and why?
A: I'm not sure I have one favorite internship experience as all have them have been really helpful in different ways. I would say that the relationships I was able to build during my time at Merck and Deloitte have been some of the best friendships I could only have dreamed of having. When I worked at both places, I found friends and mentors for hopefully a lifetime. A lot of people don't think work is fun but I actually had the most fun when I was at those two places. To work with people who challenged me professionally to develop new skills and genuinely cared about their work and their team made work inherently fun. From playing Settlers of Catan with my team at Deloitte to going to a Giants-Steelers preseason game with Charles Choi at Merck, I've been so lucky to have worked with and to have been friends with so many amazing people.
Q: What is your ultimate goal in terms of your profession? How do you think the professional experiences you’ve had will help you achieve that goal?
A: I'm not sure I know what my ultimate dream job is, but I would say that leading teams is what I'd ideally spend a majority of my career doing. I've worked to develop an analytics skill-set throughout my undergraduate experiences, so I'd like to combine my passion for analyzing data with my desire to lead teams. Maybe that role is an executive or general manager of the New York Giants, or maybe it's starting my own analytics firm to help companies solve their complex business and organizational problems using data. I'm not sure where exactly the future will take me, but I'm certain that it will involve working with teams and using data to help people solve their problems.
Q: What is something you wish you had known about going into the industry before college and applying to internships?
A: I wish I had placed more importance on doing informational interviews with individuals I had and will have interest in working with. I would also say that another lesson I've learned more recently is that it's so important to have confidence in yourself. Without it, we limit ourselves and our decisions to what is possible to achieve.
Q: What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
A: My motivation comes from continuing the American Dream my grandfather and the rest of my family have been able to live since he came to the US in the mid-70s. My grandpa left India in search of a better life for my grandma and my dad and uncles and eventually brought them to the US with him. Every one of them has had tremendous success in all of their own careers and I want to find my own success in this vein as well. Each of them through the course of their careers has made an impact in the community and I'd like to continue that tradition as I begin my professional career.