It didn’t take long for Minal Shah to land feet first in the real world after graduating from Montclair State in January 2014. She graduated with a degree in business administration with a double concentration in marketing and sports, events and tourism marketing. During her undergraduate career, she held internships in the marketing, fashion and accounting industries. Eager to include government experience to this list, during her final semester at Montclair State she applied for an internship at the White House. A few weeks before graduation, she learned that she would be one of 12 interns serving the Office of the First Lady and went on to hold this position from January – May of 2014.
“Montclair State always stressed the importance of presentation and being able to adjust to any given situation,” she says. “Working in such a fast paced environment, I found that these traits were essential and I’m glad that I was prepared with a range of skills that allowed me to perform my best in the Office of the First Lady.”
As an intern, Shah processed responses to scheduling requests and correspondence for the First Lady. She managed a team of 30 volunteers who sort through correspondence received on a weekly basis. Shah says that one of her biggest takeaways from the experience is understanding how important it is to stay informed with what’s happening in the world at large. As a result, she now reads two news articles a day; one that interests her and one that she wouldn’t ordinarily read. By doing so, this broadens her knowledge and keeps her informed.
“This habit has stuck with me and certainly gives me an advantage compared to other candidates in the working world,” she says.
This much is true as Shah has since joined Kallman Worldwide, a company that handles the marketing and management of trade exhibitions and conferences in aerospace and defense, energy, health, maritime, mining, security and water utilities markets around the world. As a project coordinator, she handles marketing and sales campaigns, creates sales material for distribution and assists in event coordination for trade shows. Similar to her experiences in the White House, she now continues to work in a fast paced environment that relies on teamwork.
Although Shah has only been away from the University for a year, she is a member of the Recent Alumni Network Committee and is getting ready to celebrate the Class of 2014 one year reunion on Friday, October 2. She and fellow reunion committee members are excited to return to campus as part of this year’s Homecoming weekend and hope classmates will join this celebration.
“I will always be a Red Hawk at heart. I came to Montclair State as a quiet freshman, but in time, learned to take college as a chance to figure out who I am and who I want to become. Through various leadership positions in the Student Government Association, I was part of many great teams that set several lasting traditions on campus which include, mglow – the University’s first ever paint party, winter week and more.”
As she hopes to stay involved in government affairs and someday return to Washington D.C., Minal says she’s learned that it’s important to stay connected to one’s roots, which is why Montclair State will always hold a special place in her heart.