Think And Do: Putting It All Together

By: Daniel Baires ‘20, public relations

Starting Anew

Pranay Shah ‘20 transitioned from professional motorcycle driver with a passion for fitness into a leader living out his dreams. The Volvo delivery support intern and NC State Wellness and Recreation program assistant has experienced growth and development like no other.  

Pranay moved to the United States in 2018 to achieve dreams and further his education. The second-year graduate student is pursuing a master’s degree in industrial engineering. “NC State has a top engineering program and textiles engineering program,” said Pranay, who owns a textiles business in India. 

His journey with Wellness and Recreation began last fall. Pranay sought to strengthen his soft skills through his facilities assistant job. “You can know the software and have all of the knowledge and technical traits. But, it won’t take you anywhere if you can’t communicate or work with a team,” he said. Despite developing new social skills, Pranay longed for a new challenge. 

The impending graduation of two program assistants presented a new opportunity for Pranay. He applied for the position, earned an interview and performed. Pranay seized the moment by captivating his interviewers with his enthusiasm to lead. “I like to be a leader in any situation I am in. Even if it is only a part-time position,” said Pranay. 

Wellness and Recreation has a goal to provide a premier experience and healthy environment to users. The most enjoyable part of coming into work, according to Pranay, is the vibrant atmosphere and radiating energy of Wellness and Recreation. 

 “The most rewarding part of coming into work is knowing that any decision you make will have an impact on thousands of students at a given time,” said Pranay. 

Pranay has big plans and hoped to effective. He developed an early eagerness for the automotive industry while captaining an internationally recognized solar car manufacturing team. The experience highlighted Pranay’s leadership competence and established his desire to work for Volvo. His passion for the Swedish car manufacturer was emphasized again during his time as a professional motorcyclist. Pranay knew he wanted to work for Volvo, and not anywhere else. 

Big Steps Forward

Pranay hoped to apply to Volvo through NC State’s spring engineering career fair. However, the company canceled at the last minute. This unexpected change did not stop Pranay from pursuing his dream. He planned, applied online and was given an interview. “Volvo enjoyed my previous projects, internships and time as a program assistant. It helped me to earn the job. My leadership experience with Wellness and Recreation was a significant portion of the interview,” said Pranay.  

Pranay highlighted his involvement with Wellness and Recreation in his interview with Volvo. He spoke to his competitive nature, which was constantly challenged and reinforced by his peers and mentors. “My mentors reminded be to be competitive. It’s important to constantly improve and get better. I think that mentality aided me,” said Pranay. He believes this attitude brings results has carried this quality into his current role.

Pranay is exceeding as a delivery support intern with Volvo, where he’s tasked with providing users with a premier and productive experience — a goal that aligns with the mission of Wellness and Recreation. The objective is accomplished by producing the most efficient way of providing new parts to damaged vehicles. Pranay expects to digest more and continue his growth. “I’ve already absorbed so much,” he said. “My coursework is being used in my internship and I plan to apply what I’m learning into my next experience.”

He plans to continue working with Wellness and Recreation in the fall, before graduating the following spring. Pranay aspires to improve efficiency and boost productivity in his textiles business upon graduation. He also hopes to put his newfound leadership competence into practice. “Creating change and being a leader is important to me,” said Pranay. 


Pranay is grateful for his experience so far. “This was a new country with different ideologies, he expressed. “The program assistant position helped me discover how people communicate and it has strengthened my skill set.”