Sophomore Summer Series helps MSF students learn about career paths

As a rising sophomore interested in pursuing finance, I am blessed to receive mentorship from the graduate-level professors and administration at the Warrington College of Business. Notably, Mrs. Kelly Herring, Mrs. Stephanie Fajre, and Dr. David Brown, who facilitate a program for first- and second-year students called Exploring Financial Economics (EFE), invest in young undergraduates by teaching us career skills and assist with the career search process. In Exploring Financial Economics, which frequently meets in the Fall and Spring semesters, the faculty above and students of the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program introduce us to different career paths in the financial services industry such as investment banking, asset management, and management consulting.  

The summer, however, offers time for further engagement with sophomores from EFE. We started a Sophomore Summer Series to engage our financial learning and talk with former MSF alumni about career paths in finance that we might not have considered yet or do not fully know the day-to-day responsibilities of. The series has been helpful because timelines for financial careers are accelerated, which means that most students are making life-changing career decisions and applying to a particular role by the spring of their sophomore year. Additionally, students interested in investment banking have many exit opportunities to consider almost as soon as they enter that field, such as positions in private equity or at hedge funds, which we had sessions on this summer. It is valuable to gain insights into these opportunities while exploring what we value for our future careers.  

I have most appreciated sessions about my desired career path – asset management – because I have received insights into the differences between retail and institutional clients. I learned that an institutional asset management fund has different specialists for various asset classes. Our first session about ESG investing also interested me because the representative from Brown Advisory shared that she integrates her passion for social and climate justice into her career by working on the investment team of a sustainable fund. They invest in companies that mitigate sustainability, social, and governance risks and request changes that improve performance at company investor meetings.

The career resources we have access to because of the summer series and EFE are unparalleled. Before each session, we receive pre-reading materials to know the background context of the career field or essential terms that may be mentioned. After the sessions, we share our thoughts with Mrs. Herring and Dr. Brown and may receive additional materials or have the chance to connect individually with the alumni who spoke with us. An essential part of discovering career interests is reflecting on what we enjoy doing or do not want to do in our day-to-day lives. I have appreciated the chance to do this with Mrs. Herring, decorated in job placement for MSF students.  

Each speaker has been gracious and highly complimentary of the MSF program, and that encourages us young students that we have bright futures ahead and are on the right path as Gators. After Sophomore Summer Series, I am returning to campus in the Fall prepared to further explore opportunities in finance alongside my peers.  

List of 2021 Sophomore Summer Series speakers:

  • May 26, 2021 – ESG 101 and Sustainable Investing with Katherine Kroll, Senior Sustainable Investing Specialist at Brown Advisory
  • June 2, 2021 – Unique Groups in Investment Banking with Meijia Li, Investment Banking Analyst at UBS
  • June 16, 2021 – Middle Market Banking with David Schultz, Vice President, Investment Banking at Baird and Olivia Walton, Vice President of Investor Relations at APi Group
  • June 23, 2021 – Institutional Asset Management with Dr. David Brown
  • July 20, 2021 – Private Equity with James Goyer, Private Equity Associate at Blackstone and Sam Kahn, Private Equity Senior Associate at Blackstone
  • July 28, 2021 – Hedge Funds with Joe Jurbala, Analyst at Citadel Global Equities and Jeff Masse, Private Investments – Strategic Initiatives at Two Sigma
  • August 11, 2021 – What Interviewers are Looking for with Brooke Ager, Recruitment Specialist at Sloane Staffing