Smith Soc Featured Member
Questions and Answers with Adam Smith Society Members.
Nicholas Koroly | Pitt Katz Chapter
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Since enrolling in the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate Business School, I have been active in entrepreneurial activities, participating and placing in pitch competitions, Start Up Blitz, and the Randall Family Big Idea Start-up Competition, as well as the venture capital space, competing in the Money Table and the Venture Capital Investment Competition,
for which I created the Katz VC team and prepared them on the VC industry, term sheets, and due diligence. Early on in my MBA program, I took a leadership position on the Professional Student Executive Board in order to effect change and create value at the Katz School by creating large-scale strategic visions for the future of the program. Through Katz, I have also had the opportunity to study business abroad, having been to London in 2018 and traveling to Singapore in 2019.
Before Katz, I worked in corporate investment as an analyst at Federated Investors, Inc., in Pittsburgh. I earned a B.A. in 2012 from Penn State University, where I majored in anthropology. Growing up in Homestead—ground zero for the steel-industry collapse—I watched Pittsburgh's transformation from a Steel Valley, once known as “hell with the lid off,” to a new Silicon Valley with robotics, nuclear engineering, biomedical tech, and software, alongside companies such as Google, Duolingo, and Uber, with its self-driving cars roaming the streets. Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh boast an excellent entrepreneurial community, with Alphalab, the Big Idea Center, and the innovation institute all providing resources to our growing entrepreneurial community at the Katz School of Business.
My business interests are in product management, the startup ecosystem (including VC), and working with passionate people. My personal interests are in acrobatics and rock climbing—also with passionate people.
What do you aspire to do after graduating? Do you hope to go into the VC world?
After graduating from Katz, I am looking to turn my passion and experience in entrepreneurship and strategy into a product-management role. I love the processes of bringing to market a new product and working with technical teams. I would like to eventually land a role in VC, as it is a great place to find passionate people with cutting-edge ideas, be the support to help launch the ideas, and give back to the next set of idea creators.
Similarly, where do you want to do it? Does your background make you want to work somewhere other than the usual “superstar” hub cities?
I do not feel bound to Pittsburgh or even to the United States. Because of my cross-cultural experience, combined with opportunities at Katz to study business abroad, I feel comfortable working around the globe in order to work with a team on the next big idea. My background in Pittsburgh is most likely what makes me want to work somewhere else, perhaps with more sunshine, but I would feel just as comfortable working in London as I would in a small shack on the beach of Costa Rica.
What has been your favorite part of involvement with the Adam Smith Society?
My favorite part of the Adam Smith Society has been its open debate and discussion surrounding capitalism and other economic topics. While I do not agree with every single thing that speakers or members say, the ability to discuss and debate is of great importance. The ability to articulate both sides of the argument reflects a much more well-rounded person who is open to ideas—a person I would be more willing to work with and to hire. These skills are necessary for positions where an absolute certainty is hard to come by and ambiguity surrounds every decision.