Student Spotlight: Brian Sotnick '20
Hometown: Palo Alto, California
Major: Marketing Management
Minors: Information Management Technology and Psychology
Brian Sotnick ’20 describes himself as someone “raised by an East Coast family on the West Coast.” While he grew up in California, he spent many years at summer camp in New York state and also watched plenty of Syracuse University basketball. When the time came to search for a college, he already knew he wanted to pursue a business degree, so the Whitman School was on his radar.
“I really wanted a school spirit atmosphere,” he said. “I fell in love with the campus and got directly admitted into Whitman, so the choice wasn’t difficult.”
Sotnick not only wants to earn a business degree; he has a distinct plan. While majoring in marketing management at the Whitman School he is also pursuing two minors: information technology through the iSchool and psychology through the College of Arts and Sciences.
“It all meshes together in a very purposeful way for me,” he said, noting his minors will help him tackle the business world with the ability to use the right jargon in the tech space and the understanding of people’s motivation and emotional intelligence. Sotnick has high praise for the Whitman School’s willingness to allow him to create a specific curriculum that he could complete in four years.
Clearly, Sotnick is on a mission to succeed. He gives credit to the small class sizes and accessibility to his professors at the Whitman School, as well at the numerous business-related organizations available to him. Last year, he was the senior vice president of Delta Sigma Pi, a coed business fraternity.
“This kind of leadership position was really great in terms of learning time management and dealing with the stress of other people depending on you,” he said. “These skills were very transferrable to my internship experience last summer.”
Sotnick had the opportunity to test out some of his new skills last summer at an internship with Palo Alto Networks, a leading cybersecurity company in California. His job as a corporate sales intern involved securing meetings with prospective clients, working toward a role as a full-time business development representative and increasing the pipeline to drive business to the company.
Now, as he completes his senior year at the Whitman School, his sights are set on a bright future. He hopes to find a good fit with a company that promotes diversity, sustainability and inclusivity where he can “surround myself with smart people,” he said. “I’m up for an adventure and ready to see where opportunity takes me.”
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