Business school grad combines economics, math to create social value

portrait of David Choi

Inspired by a sense of duty to the world, David Choi, a senior majoring in economics and supply chain management and mathematics at Arizona State University, is on a mission to tackle hunger and food security issues.

“With the help of structured thinking and decision-making, I hope to develop a skill set that can be useful in helping solve business and social problems,” said Choi. “For example, allocation of government resources to combat hunger can utilize mathematical models to optimize locations of food hubs and banks in food-scarce regions as a short-term solution, and offer incentives to farmers to facilitate better production and distribution of food in the long term.”

A Tempe native, David Choi graduated from Corona del Sol High School before applying to colleges, including ASU and several Ivy League universities. He chose ASU for its affordable world-class education, and took the bulk of his classes at ASU's W. P. Carey School of Business and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

At ASU, Choi has maintained exemplary grades in his dual business major with a 4.14 GPA. He has also served as head of the W. P. Carey Business Ambassadors program, which uses a select group of students as community liaisons. In addition, he has visited South Korea on the U.S. Federal Government’s David L. Boren Scholarship and worked as a research assistant in the W. P. Carey School’s Department of Supply Chain Management.

He has also been named a U.S. Presidential Scholar, National Merit Scholar, McCord Scholar and JPMorgan Chase Scholar, as well as an SAT Top Scorer, among other honors and awards. As a profitability intern at Boeing Company, Choi created, developed and implemented ideas for cost-saving improvements in the company’s production and supply chain. He also co-founded Onvard, a startup that focuses on online employee training.

“Before joining ASU, I wasn’t sure of the direction I wanted to take,” he said. “Being here has shaped me into the person I want to be. I’m never going to be a finished product, but am glad to be on the right path.”>

After graduation, the economics and supply chain management student plans to delve deeper into his topic of interest and will be joining a master’s degree program in management in science and engineering at Stanford University in California.

“I have always been intrigued by the way math and science impact decision-making,” he said. “The program will introduce me to the quantitative and qualitative models that can be utilized to become a better manager and decision-maker.”

Choi hopes to pursue management consulting as a career, with a focus on startups. He would eventually like to work on a doctoral degree in economics and become a professor.

“Having volunteered at food banks and witnessed the widespread hunger in low-income families, I would like to conduct research to aid economic development, especially in terms of food security,” he said. “I also want to teach because I’d be helping the next generation. I would have been through everything that my students are going through and help them along the way. I’d consider being able to conduct research on my topics of interest a bonus.”

Choi ultimately hopes to keep adding value to everything around him and improve the lives of others.

“The world’s an amazing place, and we rely on each other for social growth,” he said. “I think there is a sense of connectedness in adding social value to the world.”

Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business, said, “We are very proud of David’s accomplishments thus far and are confident that he’ll achieve his dreams, and in doing so, give back to so many.”