Alumni Accomplishments

Professionally Prepared

Paloma Shah helps OU students prepare for the professional world

Woman standing in front of bank of windows, smiling, arms crossed.

Through her volunteer activities, Paloma Shah guides OU business students in exploring and discovering their path. (Photo credit: Rob Hall)

ACHIEVE, Accounting

icon of a calendarMarch 15, 2021

icon of a pencilBy Patrick Dunn

Share this story

When Paloma Shah’s career Plan A didn’t meet expectations, she drew on her OU business education and experience to pivot in a new direction. Now she is five years into a Plan B that she is intensely happy about: helping college students discover their dream jobs.

Shortly after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Shah accepted a position at a major accounting firm. When she realized audit work wasn’t for her, she went into what she describes as panic mode.

"I didn't love it enough to make a career out of it," she says. "But I love the analytical piece of it, and I love the industry of public accounting. I also knew I loved working with students."

Thanks to her work as an OU Career Ambassador during her senior year and a short stint as a Career Coach, Shah had first-hand experience in how her three passions could converge to help her carve a new career path.

Leveraging the network she built as an OU undergraduate student for professional recommendations, Shah landed her dream job as a campus recruiter at The Rehmann Group.

"This position really does fit me and my skill set so perfectly," she says. It also offers a way for Shah to amplify the satisfaction she has found on her chosen path.

As an OU business student, Shah reaped personal and professional benefits from getting involved in student organizations and taking advantage of the many hands-on opportunities available. Through her volunteer activities as an alumnus on campus, she’s delighted to be able to guide students in exploring and discovering their own paths.

"Ideally, I wanted to go back to OU and help students," she says. "I want to help them see the light of why OU is just such a great institution and can result in so many opportunities if you're willing to take advantage of them and seek them out."

She found the perfect fit with the OU Business ACHIEVE program, which integrates career and professional development activities into the undergraduate business education. A frequent keynote speaker at ACHIEVE capstone networking events pre-pandemic, Shah converted her presentation into an online format focused on providing tips to help graduates navigate the challenge of networking in a pandemic.

The ACHIEVE team and students were equally impressed and appreciative of Shah’s dedication and insight.

"It was remarkable to read the reviews from students on how much comfort her advice provided and the realistic steps they planned to put into action," says Andrea Mill, ACHIEVE program manager. "Paloma has impacted countless students, and I am incredibly grateful for her student-centered and service-orientated heart."

It is that service orientation which energizes Shah’s involvement. She wants students to understand their Oakland University education and experience provide a solid foundation to launch a meaningful and successful future. It's important to her, she says, that students realize there's nothing wrong with making a career pivot, and her experience shows how well it can work out.

She views her recruiting career as another way she can help OU students determine the best next step for their own careers.

"Sometimes it's my firm and a position I'm offering them," Shah says. "Sometimes it's something completely different, and that's completely okay as long as I'm doing what I can to help them get to the place they are meant to be."

Share this story