Degree/Year: B.S., Finance, 1999
Current Employer: Merrill Lynch
Title: Financial Advisor
It’s now been over ten years since I left the Hilltop, but the relationships I built at Bradley endure. I still keep in touch with one of my professors, and fondly recall the days when Baker Hall was my second home.
At Bradley, I learned to never take anything at face value; to question and challenge what I read and what I’m told. This has opened many doors for me in developing new ways to accomplish business, as complacency is rarely tolerated in the corporate world.
I encourage students to take on an internship related to their field of study. The Smith Career Center and Bradley faculty are invaluable resources; I’m proof of that. The company I work for now hired me as a junior at Bradley. This career opportunity has awarded me a life in Chicago, New York City, and travels abroad. Had I not started early, I may not have found such a rewarding career.
Degree/Year: B.S., Finance, 2001
Current Employer: Morningstar
Title: Equity Analyst
I have always been interested in finance and investing. I invested my first stock in Blockbuster when I was ten years old. My time at Bradley helped this interest grow and allowed me to channel it into my education.
As an equity analyst, there are many facets to my job. I currently cover around 25 companies in the consumer products sector. I create long-term discounted cash-flow valuation models for each of the firms I cover. I also write my overall thesis or opinion on each company, as well as publish general industry updates on our website. Beyond that, I also talk to reporters and clients and visit with the management of the companies I cover, which I never imagined I would have to do, but I really do enjoy it now.
The professors at Bradley encouraged my development and learning and I never felt limited. They challenged me to truly test myself. When I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of a particular subject area, they were willing to mentor me so that I was as best prepared as possible when I left academia and entered the working world.
My advice to current and future students would be to not limit yourself. There are so many avenues to explore within the finance field that even if investing is not your cup of tea, there are opportunities in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and banking among others.
Don’t feel trapped if you aren’t a fan of your first job. You will always be able to learn from each job and each experience you have.