BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Sarthak Nagar, B.S., ’23, fueled his passion for aviation by taking an in-depth look at the industry in his senior capstone project with the Kelley Business Honors Program. His fascination with Urban Air Mobility (UAM) — aircraft that operate at lower altitudes within urban and suburban areas — ignited his exploration into the business side of innovative air transportation.
He’ll put his insights into practice upon graduation, beginning his career as a financial analyst for United Airlines. Read how your passion can take flight in the Kelley Honors Program, as Sarthak shares his big takeaways:
Pay attention to what inspires you
“Last summer I was a financial analyst intern with United Airlines, and a hot topic of conversation was UAM. I was intrigued by the impact it could have for people and businesses in the future. Challenges excite me, and the supervised independent research project through the Kelley Honors Program gave me freedom to explore this topic in depth. There were many directions my research could take, so I worked with a faculty advisor — Angie Raymond, chairperson of the Undergraduate Honors Program — who guided me in narrowing the scope of the thesis.”
Ask questions that excite you
“What are the possibilities for UAM? It could make so many things easier—from delivering goods and medication, to saving time on trips to school, the hospital, or the airport. I decided to focus on the factors that all stakeholders must consider. How can UAM deliver quickly—and be affordable—for a consumer? Will aircraft require pilots or be self-driving? Which companies are best positioned to take advantage of the UAM market? The start-up company Wisk, which is backed by Boeing, has already developed a self-flying, all-electric, four-seat air taxi. Lilium and Airbus are also poised as leaders in this market, among many others. I set off to learn who has the greatest potential to launch UAM in ways that are as efficient — and quiet — as possible.”
Energize your efforts by sharing your work
“The Kelley Honors Thesis Showcase brings together student researchers and their faculty advisors for an opportunity to talk about their work. Focused research requires commitment—and having fun along the way with support from peers is awesome. After I presented, faculty and students immediately came up to me asking when we can expect flying taxis to be implemented. The showcase helped me realize how much my peers and the faculty care about the projects.”
Aim for your highest goal
“I’m heading to United Airlines Chicago headquarters in July to begin a career in financial planning and analysis. I look forward to developing my financial modeling skills, strengthening my communication through presentations to leaders, and traveling the world. Eventually I’d like to work in a business development role with the company, helping United Airlines explore synergies with UAM. To anyone considering Kelley, find what you’re passionate about. There’s something for everyone here, and the support to make the most of it.”
Interested in the Kelley Business Honors Program? Explore the possibilities.
Editor’s note: This article was written by Mary Thomason-Smith.