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Tech Square Talks: Aboubacar Barrie

Can you give me a quick background on yourself?

Hey, sure man. My name is Aboubacar Barrie. I am from Guinea, West Africa, but I have spent most of my life in the United States; living 5 years in New York and over 10 years in Atlanta. I am a first-generation college student studying business marketing with a minor in “Engineering & Business” at Georgia Tech, and I love all things business and tech!!

What are you involved in on campus?

On campus, I am involved in several different organizations ranging from work experience and extracurriculars. For example, I am involved with the Muslim Student Association (MSA), African American Student Union (AASU), Scheller Business Ambassadors (SBA), and I work with the Tutoring and Academic Support (TAS) department on campus.

How did you choose Georgia Tech and Scheller College of Business?

In high school, I was not the greatest performing student. I didn’t have the highest test scores…I never thought I would get into Georgia Tech, so I never bothered to apply early on. My cousin, a soon-to-be graduate from Tech, made me apply, and I listened! When it comes to choosing Scheller in Particular, I was always passionate about business and entrepreneurship. In fact, I had the opportunity to start a fashion brand in high school. I wanted to go to a school that would immerse me in business knowledge as well as technology, which was another one of my interests. Scheller was a no-brainer. What enticed me more was that it was located in the heart of Atlanta, so I did not have to go far for college, and I knew job opportunities would be abundant.

What have been some of your favorite parts about both of those?

My favorite part about Georgia Tech is the many connections and opportunities I’ve been part of over the years. For instance, last Fall, Georgia Tech invited me to the President’s Advisory board dinner where I met the CEO of AT&T, who has now helped me land an internship there for this Summer 2022. More significantly, I was part of GA Tech Create-X last Summer (2021) and they helped me launch the sportswear component of my fashion brand. If this wasn’t enough, Georgia Tech made the connection with CNBC to feature me on TV this past February (2022). I am really thankful for all these opportunities. In transition, my favorite part of Scheller is definitely the community. It is one of the few times I feel right at home. Almost all my friends in the business school have that charming, outgoing personality, just like me. I also love the professors and the smaller classrooms compared to my engineering classes. Oh, and I definitely cannot forget to mention all the fun moments that occur during our weekly SBA meetings. The culture here is unmatched!

What are your current professional aspirations?

My professional aspirations lie primarily in two fields: going the entrepreneurship route, and/or working in a business field in a technology-oriented company. Ever since creating my “Forenaire” brand in high school, I have seen the amount of traction and recognition it has garnered over the years. For this reason, I would love to grow my brand and continue the entrepreneurship track to see how I can expand it to different avenues. Nevertheless, I am loving my marketing internship so far at AT&T and would love to experience what working in other tech companies across different business fields would be like.

What advice do you have for underclassmen?

Hey man, let me tell y'all something….college is not just about the grades. Do not be so fixated on earning a perfect GPA that you forget to do all the other things there is to college like studying abroad, taking part in internships, networking and making new connections, and enjoying a good several years with your peers. College is a perfect time for you to explore and do amazing things because just think about it: “for the most part, you are still young, with few responsibilities….challenge yourself…get out of your comfort zone….maybe start a business…and make mistakes because you will thank yourself in the future for doing it during a time where you didn’t have many problems to worry about.”

Any final thoughts or things to leave readers to think about?

Absolutely!! I wanted to share this final thought with the readers: there are a lot of opportunities in this country for you to be successful. Don’t be afraid…go after these opportunities because if you don’t, you may regret it in the future. “If you go after a good opportunity, there’s a 50% chance you may win it…but if you don’t go after it, you have no chance!” - Mr. Forenaire

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