Attended Econ Day, inspired by alumni
How did your high school experience prepare you for college?
During my senior year of high school, I was a part of a few extra-curricular computer science boot camps, and I fell in love with coding. My original goal was to major in Computer Science at that time.
What made you choose Beloit College?
As my plan was to major in Computer Science, I was looking for a university/ college which has a strong Computer Science (CS) program while offering a tight-knit community (small class ratio). Beloit College was one of the options. Beloit also allowed me to continue pursuing my favorite sport - Football. So, I chose Beloit College as the next destination in my life journey.
How did you adapt to your new college life?
My transition was pretty smooth, I would say. From the classroom setting to freshman year’s first-week activities, Beloit encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and get along with others. I became a varsity athlete in Football and got my team as my second family. In terms of academics, even though I came to Beloit intending to go in-depth with CS, Beloit College brought me a new perspective to me. I was required to take courses across different aspects. Thanks to the liberal arts education, I was introduced to Economics through the Principles of Economics course in my freshman year.
I see you have started gaining your working experience early on (summer of your freshman year). Could you share with us the reason why you decided to start having an internship so early? How did you successfully secure these positions?
I wanted to gain as much experience as I could in various industries while I had the flexibility of doing so. The summer after my freshman year, I interned for Stadia Ventures, a sports venture capital firm, doing research. I also secured an internship with Claim Academy, where I taught middle schoolers code. Even in freshman year, I was well-prepared to work in a professional setting with a critical thinking mindset and problem-solving ability that I had attained by taking courses in different departments at Beloit College. The internship at Claim Academy also changed the direction of my career path. I realized I did not want to pursue a CS degree at all. Instead, I fell in love with the venture capital internship. I was fascinated by doing hands-on tasks, taking actions that immediately improved the firm’s performance, and so on.
You realized that you did not want to go with your original plan, which was to major in Computer Science, so what were your majors and who helped you figure out your pathway?
I would say that all of Beloit’s professors helped me acknowledge my potential, improve my strengths, and figure out my career path. Forming a close relationship with professors was my biggest milestone during my time at Beloit - they were always the best resource to go to whenever I felt lost. Professors are always willing to help because they truly care about the well-being of the students. They go out of their way to make sure each student is doing well mentally or academically. Regarding my majors, with the support and help from my amazing advisors, I declared a double major in Business Economics and Political Science.
I’m glad to hear that you were encouraged to venture into new opportunities you eventually found yourself belonging to - the Financial Services field. Could you please be detailed on the courses or activities that helped develop and define your niche career pathway?
During the spring semester of my junior year, I had the delight of taking accounting/financial planning with Professor Diep Phan. It was not until after I completed the class that I realized how beneficial it was to my development as a student and as a professional. This course prepared me heavily for my career preparation, not just building up my foundation, such as crediting and debiting within the financial statements and depreciation of capital. I indeed was able to transfer the course materials into my full-time job interviews after graduation. Along with the Accounting course, the experience as an intern at Bank of America, networking at Econ Day speaking with specific alumni in the financial services industry, my long-term goal evolved into wanting to break into corporate finance down the road.
From your story, I can imagine you were very particular about the pathway you would pursue after graduation, so could you tell us a bit about your seniors preparing for the real world?
As I mentioned earlier, I decided to pursue a career in finance and started the job hunt at the very early beginning of my senior year. Career Works was helpful as they always provided effective feedback on my resume. With this support, I could apply for jobs with my best resume version. Also, the knowledge and skills I obtained from the Accounting course with Professor Phan were exceptionally helpful in getting me through the interviews.
What is your current job? Is that your first job after graduation?
I am currently working for Northern Trust Corporation in Chicago as a Rotational Development Associate within their Corporate and Institutional Global Asset Services. This program designs to rotate chosen candidates through its core functions supporting the growing fund services business. My first rotation was working for the Control and Oversight department. The second one was in the C&IS Business Strategy department. Currently, I’m working to develop the company’s FOS product.
What advice would you want to give to first-year students?
Beloit is the perfect place to develop exceptional qualitative skills! I grew as a person; the environment forces you to socialize, and I am beyond thankful for the various personalities I have worked with or just had conversations with.