Executive Interview: Yamini Patel

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From a young age, I have been interested in the business field. When I was 6 years old, my parents bought me Monopoly and I became obsessed. I loved the idea of trading money and increasing wealth. Now I am in college majoring in business administration, excited to make 6-year-old me proud. However, I have been debating on whether or not I should emphasize specifically in finance or marketing. I am honored to have been able to interview Yamini Patel, a retired accountant from The Edison School in New York.

Yamini Patel surprisingly did not always think about majoring in business. She had a love for numbers and math in high school, so she decided to major in mathematics. However, after one semester, she realized that math wasn’t for her. Since she was still passionate about math, so she switched her major to accounting and it was “the best decision she made.”

As someone who is debating between finance and marketing, I asked her what she believes to be the better option. Although she said it all depends on the person and which interests them more, she concluded that from her personal experience, finance is the better option. She claimed that finance is beneficial in our daily lives. Although she majored in accounting, she also studied finance on the side.

“My proudest achievement is that not only did I major in accounting, but I also took the time to learn finance on my own. I grew up in a household where I didn’t learn the importance of budgeting and finance, so I am proud of myself for learning that on my own. That is why I always recommend that people major in finance since it can better your life. Once you learn how to budget your money, you can build your wealth and be more successful.”

Specifically, being a woman in the business field can sometimes be difficult. The business field is currently dominated by men, although women are starting to get more and more higher positions. Patel agrees that there are challenges and difficulties from being a woman. However, she says that these only made her stronger. After asking her what advice she would recommend for a woman interested in business, she said to “Have courage, be confident, and be yourself.”

Patel did explain to me that to have an advantage in the business field, it is important to get higher education, whether that means taking an exam to get a CPA or CFA certification or getting an MBA. I was planning on getting my MBA in Analytics and she said that analytics is a growing field as technology is becoming more and more prominent in our lives. Having a background in analytics gives one an edge and shows the wide variety of skills that one knows.

After interviewing Yamini Patel, I feel a lot more confident in being a woman in business. She said to always “trust your gut and everything will work out in the end.” I am excited to see where my journey in business will take me and I will always look back at this interview as inspiration and guidance for the future.