Abhy Kheepal’s time at UGA has been packed with everything from internships to the Arch Society to working with the provost and showing off the campus as a tour guide. He’s well on the way to his goal of empowering people to be the best versions of themselves.
Union County High School
The UGA Visitors Center, or better known as the “Happiest Place on Campus.” Working here has easily been a highlight of my college career. Each day we help high school students make one of the toughest choices and it’s always a blast doing it alongside the brightest leaders on campus.
I also serve as the student liaison for the Office of the Provost. This position has given me a unique view of the inner workings of the university. Originally, Provost Whitten, and now Provost Morris, have been amazing mentors to work with for the past two years.
Family ties to UGA:
I am the first person in my family to attend UGA, but I have properly converted all my family to Dawg fans!
B.B.A. in Finance
Minor in Communication Studies, Certificate in Personal and Organizational Leadership
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
It’s important to note that the following highlights are possible with the help of an incredible support system, constant mentorship, God’s blessings, and lots of luck.
For the past three summers, I have had the honor of interning with Deloitte, a professional services firm. These summers have been filled with invaluable connections, exploration of new cities/cultures, and increased business acumen. I have been able to live in New York, Charlotte, and Atlanta, completing projects ranging from implementing cybersecurity at a bank to reviewing gap assessments for an insurance company. Last year’s internship especially, was filled with personal and professional growth. I was able to consult for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention where we brainstormed the use of emerging technologies in the federal space. I left each assignment, meeting and presentation with aspirations of who I want to become.
My junior year I applied to be a tour guide for the UGA Visitors Center. Originally, I was just excited to show off my university (and getting paid while doing it)! However, I didn’t expect this position to impact my collegiate career as much as it has. The relationships I have created are remarkable—it’s amazing how six very different co-workers can sit at the front desk and be able to laugh for hours. The tours themselves go beyond simply reciting facts about the school. They are deep conversations and connections we make with visitors. This is truly the definition of a dream job and I am grateful I have the opportunity to be a part of this family.
Since my sophomore year, I have been a member of The Arch Society where I am able to serve as a goodwill ambassador for the university. Whether I am cheering on the Dawgs during a football game, mingling with guests at the President’s House, or presenting an award at a banquet, there is nothing like donning the black blazer with the best campus leaders by my side.
During my junior and senior year, I was given the opportunity to work as the student liaison for the Office of the Provost. We organize formal dinners and panels with the provost to gauge student concerns on topics such as safety and well-being, academic programs offered, and the political climate’s effects on the student body. Overall, this position offers insight into the inner workings of university structure and allows us to create a framework that increases transparency for our university.
Additional highlights include giving a TEDxUGA talk with one of my best friends, Aumber Sharma, on educational policy; serving as the entertainment director for University Union, where we brought comedians, artists and motivational speakers for the student body to enjoy; analyzing the impact of impression management on company stock price through CURO; and studying abroad in South America, learning about the economic and cultural environment of a foreign country, while living with an amazing group of students.
Reflecting on these highlights has truly shown me the impact this university has had on my life. I have created valuable relationships through the Dean William Tate Honor Society, the Blue Key Honor Society and the Institute for Leadership Advancement. Also, I am forever grateful for the financial support from the Honors International Scholars Program, Boland T. Jones Scholarship and Eugene Freeman Memorial Scholarship for allowing me opportunities that were originally unimaginable.
Each opportunity I have been given at this university has surpassed my expectations, offering me the most valuable of gifts: finding my voice and myself. Each job, leadership position and internship has served as the catalyst for me to grow my community and myself; working together, each experience crescendos to lay the groundwork for the commencement of my career.
I chose to attend UGA because …
Originally, UGA was not my top choice. I knew I wanted to go in-state but didn’t really feel like any school “spoke to me.” Fellow classmates would come back from visiting colleges and claim they fell in love with the place. To be honest, this idea seemed pretty irrational … how could one be in love with a place?
Flash-forward four years, and UGA has truly become my home. The opportunities, relationships, and growth I have experienced during this short time is unbelievable and I’m grateful for my decision.
My favorite things to do on campus are …
… to walk around North Campus. Some of my favorite memories and deepest conversations have been when a friend and I grab Ben and Jerry’s and walk around North Campus. Especially at night, there is a certain serenity that fills the air. Walking down the diagonal sidewalks and sitting in front of Herty Fountain really makes you appreciate the beauty of this school.
The Tate Center is easily my favorite building on campus. Any break I have in between my classes, no matter how big or small, will be spent somewhere in that building. It does not matter what time of day, you will always find someone you know. Especially in the Center for Leadership and Service. I love walking in and immediately hearing the laughs coming from the back, right-hand corner where The Arch Society office is located.
When I have free time, I like …
… to mix food and friendship. Contrary to popular opinion, I love the dining halls. I have been on the meal plan since freshman year and think it is a great place to hang out, study and run into people you haven’t seen since freshman year. I have sat there for hours with friends goofing off during finals week or Snellibrating after midnight with milk and cookies. Outside the dining hall, I like to hang out with friends by trying different Athens’ establishments. It is my goal to try every popular restaurant in Athens by the time I graduate.
In May 2018 I studied abroad in Argentina and Chile with the Business in South America Program. Our class decided to take an impromptu overnight trip to Valparaíso, Chile. A group of us went to dinner around 11 p.m. and halfway throughout the dinner one of my friends, Kelsey Carrier, turns to me and says, “I want to do something crazy.” Naturally, I respond, “I’m down … what should we do?” She tells me she’s been looking into paragliding companies in the city and found a guy who has a Facebook page. No website. No official company. Just a Facebook page.
It’s close to midnight at this point and we decide to WhatsApp him asking for pricing and availability. He says he can fit us in the next day and to meet him at McDonald’s at 11:30 a.m. No official booking. No safety information. Just to meet him at the McDonald’s.
Of course, we are a little sketched out and partially think this is a scam. But the next morning we decide to Uber 30 minutes to the McDonald’s anyways with a few other friends. We pull up to the McDonald’s a few minutes early and wait for the man to come. It is now 11:45 a.m. and there is no sign of him. We decide to text him again letting him know we are at the McDonald’s waiting. He finally responds after about 10 minutes saying he will be there soon in a white truck. I look at the group and say, “a white truck is better than a white van, right? Haha!” Next thing you know, he pulls up in a white van with no windows in the back seats. Out comes a buff, 6-foot man. After introducing himself, he tells us to get in the van. I ask if he can give us a rundown of the day before we start driving and he responds by saying “I’ll explain in the van, get in.” For some reason we decide to get in and travel 30 more minutes to the actual location.
We pull up to a rundown carnival where the man parks and tells us we are here. He says he needs to run some errands and for us to pay him $100 now and that someone will be waiting for us behind the carnival. I think to myself, we already made it this far, might as well just pay him. So we oblige and walk back to find another Chilean man fiddling with a parachute and large fan. After setting everything up, Kelsey decides to go first. She completes her 20 minute ride and talks about how amazing the view was. Excited to see, I strap on my helmet and tell the man I am ready to go!
We are about to take off, but as soon as we reach the launch point, the man decides to stop, saying the winds are too rough. We try one more time and face the same problem. Third times the charm so before takeoff he changes the parachute and promises me we will go up. We make it up, swaying back and forth because of the wind’s velocity. We admire the view for well over 20 minutes when the man turns to me and says, “it is too dangerous to come down, we have to stay in the air longer.” We stay up there for an additional 20 minutes when the man finally says, “whatever, let’s just try to go down…” exactly what you want to hear when you are dangling hundreds of feet in the air on a parachute. We turn sharply and start returning back to the ground. We quickly sway back and forth, and I start wondering if we are going to crash into the ground.
Somehow, we land safely and I see the relief on my friend’s faces. Looking back, there were several red flags, but this has easily been one of the craziest and most fun experiences of my life.
My favorite place to study is …
… Bolton Dining Commons. Most Sundays, I get ready and immediately go to Bolton to grab a bite to eat and start studying. Somehow the constant chatter and random choice of music creates a relaxing environment for me to study in. Not to mention the cushioned benches by the dessert section are extremely comfortable.
When I need to get a little more serious, I will be in the MLC, third floor, east wing, first row of tables after the study desks. This is my go to place before any big test.
My favorite professor is …
It’s hard to pick just one because each professor has given me a unique perspective on their discipline. Annette Poulsen introduced me to finance in her FINA 3000H class sophomore year and I have kept up with her ever since. She is truly one of those professors that cares about her students, and it is evident in her interaction in and outside of the classroom. Not to mention she is a highly acclaimed expert in her field.
Sara Holland was probably the hardest professor I have had at UGA. Her “Survey of Investments” class really challenged me to work hard and truly understand the material. I would sit in her office before each test and we would take a deep dive into the material we were covering. She truly helped me understand the complexities of finance and then apply them to real world scenarios.
Although my professors have truly impacted my college career, the administrators and faculty have had an equally important part in my growth at UGA. Eric Johnson, Terri Franks and Natalie Mann have constantly guided and supported me. Each time I walk into the Visitors Center, my first instinct is to sit in one of their offices and laugh with them. Pamela Whitten, Rahul Shrivastav and Karri Hobson-Pape have truly bridged the gap between students and upper-administration. Their dedication and willingness to interact with students, hear their concerns and actively work to improve the university truly speaks to the quality of our administration.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with …
… my family! Growing up, my cousins and I were very close. We lived a few minutes away from each other, so each afternoon was spent together. Today, however, we all live in different states across the country. Even though we have all experienced different walks of life, it is amazing that every time we come together, we pick back up like no time has passed. Being the youngest, all my family played a part in raising me and I owe a lot of my character to them.
If money was not a consideration, I would love to …
… help college students reach their full potential by offering career/interview advice. Coming from a small town, I knew a total of six people at UGA, all of which graduated with me. Throughout my four years, I have encountered several mentors who have guided and molded me into the professional I am today. I would love to share these tips, tricks and experiences with underrepresented student groups to help them build confidence to successfully navigate the working world. I wholeheartedly believe success is not determined by social status or geographical location, but rather, the passion and determination someone puts into their goals. I want to help give everyone an equal chance to pursue their collegiate dreams, regardless of where they come from.
What is your passion and how are you committed to pursuing it?
My passion is empowering. I want to push individuals, companies and myself to work hard and ensure we can be the best versions of ourselves. This mentality is what draws me to consulting: the idea of being able to empower teams to effectively run their organizations. This job goes beyond efficiency, however, you are able to immerse yourself into your internal team and help grow new professionals to take on your role. One day, I hope to split my time between project work and recruiting to better encourage and excite future generations of the workforce. The impact my friends, family and co-workers have had on my life is remarkable, and I wish to give this same empowerment to others.
After graduation, I plan to …
… start working! I have been fortunate enough to intern with and now work for Deloitte Consulting. Each summer with them has been filled with personal growth and business savvy and I am ready to start applying my skills in a full-time position.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be …
A key UGA experience I will always remember is the 2017 SEC Championship between UGA and Auburn. My friend Travis invited serval Arch members to his house for a watch party. The game itself was tons of fun: screaming, shouting and following through on superstitions each time the Dawgs scored. The best part, however, came afterwards. As soon as the game ended, and we knew we won, our group knew we had to go to Chapel bell. It wasn’t even something someone said, it was just instinctive within us. So, we immediately drove to the bell and there was already a line from the bell to the Arch and it just kept growing. There was a man who brought a boombox and was blasting music. A student was standing by Moore College juggling fire … don’t know who he was or where he came from, but it was awesome! You could feel the excitement and energy fill the air. It was truly a remarkable experience and a living testament of the passion and loyalty that fills all UGA students.