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How I Got the Job: Financial Strategy Analyst, American Airlines

Mar 24, 2021
Aaj Solanki (MBA’21) pivoted from audit services to the aviation industry at American Airlines

By Heream Yang

Aaj Solanki

Aaj Solanki (MBA’21) graduated from the University of South Florida with a Master of Accountancy, entering the business world armed with one of the most fundamental business skills. Launching his career in Audit & Assurance services at Deloitte, a Big 4 accounting firm, Solanki soaked up learning opportunities, providing assurance services to both public and private clients. “I wanted to learn about accounting to understand how businesses work,” he explained. “I thought learning that language was a good place to start.”

After 2 years at Deloitte, Solanki was ready for a new challenge, so he joined Oscher Consulting as a Forensic Accounting Consultant. Modeling financial damages for legal disputes provided for a slew of interesting work days. “One day you’re working on a tomato farm, the next day you’re working with an international bank, and another day you’re working on a Ponzi scheme,” he recalled. “You never knew what was going to come through the door. It was really interesting, and that’s where I really started practicing my financial modeling skills and learning how different industries operate.”

While Solanki learned a lot from his accounting experience, he always had an interest in working on the industry side. After more than 4 years in the accounting world, he decided it was time to make the transition from professional service to industry by getting his MBA. Vanderbilt Business immediately stood out due to its strong track record in the aviation industry, a longtime interest of Solanki’s. True to Vanderbilt’s number one ranking in “aims achieved,” Solanki successfully secured a full-time offer as a Financial Strategy Analyst at American Airlines, where he looks forward to launching his aviation industry career. “It’s always been an industry I wanted to learn more about, so I’m really looking forward to understanding the economics of the industry and solving complex problems,” he said. 

Click through the timeline below to find out how Solanki landed his offer.

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