GET TO KNOW UBS: Riya Godbole

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Name: Riya Godbole
Grade: Senior
Major: Business Economics Major, Entrepreneurship Minor
Career Interest: Financial Technology

Q- What got you interested in tech?
A-
When you’re born and raised in the Silicon Valley, you’re surrounded by tech all the time. My parents, friends, and relatives either work at tech companies or have started their own, and I’ve always seen it as an interesting and dynamic career path. My favorite part about working in tech is definitely the opportunity to work on products that are indispensable in my everyday life. It’s hard to imagine our world without companies like Uber or Airbnb and it’s really exciting to be able to contribute to the future of them.

Q- Any memorable internships or professional experiences?
A-
I spent my last summer at PayPal as a financial analyst. Besides making dope intern friends and drinking at least 150 cans of seltzer water a day, I worked on a challenging project to optimize the platform’s withdrawal feature and learned a lot of SQL and Excel in the process. In addition, PayPal really encourages you to pursue side projects that you’re interested in, so I collaborated with two of my co-interns to create a marketing campaign and fundraising feature for Venmo.

Q- Any advice to students pursuing the same career path or internship experience?
A-
Tech companies are so large and competitive that referrals are really key. Try to leverage your UCLA connections and reach out to former Bruins to get your name and resume out there. To make yourself a more well-rounded candidate, it helps to teach yourself skills like SQL, Python, and Excel to answer interview questions and help you on the job.

Q- What interview tips do you have?
A-
Be yourself and smile a lot! If a company is interviewing you for a position, that means they want to hire you. Although showcasing your past experience and qualifications is definitely important, make sure you talk about your interests and hobbies outside of the workplace. Some of my best interview conversations have been about Kanye West, KBBQ, and escape rooms.

Q- What has been your greatest challenge at UCLA so far?
A-
I went to a very small high school in the Bay Area where my graduating class was only 180 kids. I was used to knowing the name of every person in my grade and having a close relationship with my teachers. When I came to UCLA, it was a huge culture shock for me and I definitely struggled to find my place in such a large campus. Once I found clubs and organizations with people similar to me though, the big school started to feel really small and welcoming.

Q- Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished and why?
A-
My mom always has been and forever will be my biggest role model. After coming to the U.S. as a newly married immigrant woman, she got her MBA and went on to run a successful tech company for 25 years. She’s the smartest, coolest, kindest, and most talented person I know and she always serves as a reminder that I can accomplish whatever I want.

Q- What are some great career resources you like to use (website/people/institutions etc.)?
A-
I’m a huuuge LinkedIn girl: almost every internship I’ve ever received an offer for has been because of LinkedIn. I love how easy it is to find former UCLA students who work at the companies you’re interested in and reach out to them directly. I would definitely recommend getting LinkedIn Premium for recruiting season if you can, because it’s so useful! In addition, the Sharpe Fellows Technology cohort introduced me to an awesome peer mentor (shoutout Tyler Philips) that helped me prepare for networking and interviews.

Q- Choose one food to have for the rest of your life.
A-
The Nozawa Trust Me tasting menu at Sugarfish--it will ruin sushi for you forever I promise.

Q- If you were a company, what would your slogan be?
A-
Good things come in small packages!

Q- What’s on your bucket list this year?
A-
My roommates and I have a “Senior Send” bucket list that we are slowly but surely trying to work our way through. So far we’ve tried out new bars in LA, booked Cabo tickets, and are planning to go to a comedy show soon. On a personal level, I definitely want to visit Japan over the summer, learn how to invest money, and go skydiving.

Q- How would your friends describe you?
A-
One of the most common words people use to describe me is definitely “bubbly” because I’m super talkative and always crack jokes (some more funny than others). Other than that, I try to be genuine in whatever context I’m in and make other people feel as comfortable and welcome as I can.

Q- What else are you involved with on campus and why?
A-
I’m a UCLA tour guide, which is an awesome job because I literally get paid to talk a lot (which I do all the time anyway!). Other than that, I’m in Bruin Ad Team and I’m on the board for Jhoomti Shaam, a national Bollywood dance competition that’s hosted at UCLA every year.

Q- What do you like to do for fun?
A-
I love listening to hip-hop music, going to escape rooms (I do one every year on my birthday), trying new Asian restaurants, and reading about fashion and beauty.

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