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WHY I GIVE: VIVEK SHAH, BHP '03

Vivek Shah (BBA ’03) has a passion for contributing to the Business Honors Program (BHP) that goes beyond merely giving back. Shah pays it forward, inspiring alumni and students alike to take active roles in shaping the future of the program.  “I want to help others as they have helped me,” Shah says. “My education and everything that resulted brought me to where I am today.”

Shah, a Vice President at D.E. Shaw in San Francisco, attributes much of his personal success to his education in BHP. He feels that the small class sizes allow for personable interactions with professors, valuable relationships with classmates, and a culture of camaraderie. Shah recounts that even the competition was of a healthy nature, noting that it “pushed me enough to want to excel and perform, but still offered opportunities for collaboration and help.” It is this spirit of community and the resulting opportunities that motivate Shah to give back and support others in their endeavors.

This passion to pay it forward is the inspiration behind the Vivek and Pooja Shah Endowed Scholarship, a scholarship established by Shah and his wife to empower BHP students to excel. The scholarship will be awarded each year to an outstanding BHP student demonstrating academic merit, financial need, and a likelihood to give back to the University of Texas or others who have helped along the way.

“Money is important, but it’s not everything” Shah says as he reflects on the ways in which he chooses to remain connected to the BHP community. As an active alumnus, Shah seeks engagement that extends beyond the financial realm through interviewing new applicants, participating in alumni events in the Bay Area, and reaching out to current students to offer support and advice.

In the true spirit of paying it forward, Shah asks only one thing in return from the students that he supports: pass on the tradition of giving.