Harvard’s 10th Annual Intercollegiate Business Convention

Shivani Patel at the Harvard IBC

By Shivani Patel

Harvard’s 10th Annual Intercollegiate Business Convention was held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston Massachusetts on October 18th, 2014. The convention was an unforgettable and valuable experience for me as I was able to understand where my strengths and weaknesses lie through various professional development workshops as well as connect with entrepreneurs and professionals in finance. Here is a summary of my experiences:

The day began with registration and breakfast with keynote speaker Lyndsey Scott, a former Victoria’s Secret model, actress and app developer. Scott described how her interests in theater and computer science while studying at Amherst College constructed the individual she is today. At the end of her speech, Scott held a Q&A session where she didn’t shy away from any questions she was asked nor did she convey a sense of arrogance.

After the keynote breakfast, attendees left the ballroom to attend various breakout sessions. Each breakout session included a selection of panels ranging from socially responsible business to environmental sustainability.  We attended a total of three breakout sessions, and each breakout session was about fifty minutes and included workshop sessions, networking, as well as professional development workshops such as interview skills and pay negotiation tactics.

The first breakout session I attended was called “Maximizing Your Own Productivity.” This workshop was lead by Mr. Bob Pozen, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School. Mr. Pozen described various tactics to maintain productivity and essentially to become as efficient as possible. For breakout session two, I decided to attend a finance panel called, “Finance 101: An Introduction to Careers in Finance.” In this panel, I was able to connect with students from Harvard as well as other schools in the Boston area. This panel gave a great overview of the finance industry as well as the diversity of careers within the industry.  The panel included 4 extremely talented women who held a diversity of positions in companies such as Goldman Sachs, BlackRock and Macquarie.

We then had lunch and another inspiring keynote speaker: Maureen Chiquet, the Global CEO for Chanel. Her speech encompassed her struggles to find her passion and where she thrived. She even mentioned how she walked away from a bar exam after she realized that she didn’t want to become a lawyer.  Afterwards, she became involved in GAP, launched Old Navy and became president of Banana Republic in 2002. Maureen Chiquet’s speech was by far my favorite because of how genuine she came across to us all. She showed up in jeans and a Chanel jacket—what she wore when she started at Chanel—and inspired us all to pursue our passions and to not shy away from intimidating situations.

After another brief breakout session, we attended a panelist networking session, which was essentially a career fair where we networked with representatives from companies such as Bridgewater, Blackrock and TIAA. We concluded the convention with a closing ceremony and speeches. Overall, I learned life-long lessons and met amazing and inspiring people that I aspire to become.

Thanksgiving Networking Challenge – Take the challenge and enter to win an iPad mini!

Networking Challenge

Are you up to the challenge? At the Professional Development Center, we challenge you to network with 1 – 3 people over Thanksgiving break and tell us about it in the comments below. One random comment will be selected to win an iPad mini. Contest ends midnight on Friday, Dec. 5.

3 Easy Steps to Networking While Home
Thanksgiving and winter breaks are, no doubt, a great time to spend with family and friends, catch up on sleep, and take a relaxing break from the chaos of school. However, the holidays can also present valuable opportunities to get ahead in the career search process. Below are a few tips that you can do to take advantage of your time at home for Thanksgiving break:

  1. At the dinner table talk to your family about your career goals. Ask your parents and cousins or aunts and uncles about their career paths. Maybe you didn’t even realize your aunt works for a Big 4 accounting firm, or has a good friend in the entertainment industry.
  2. As you meet up with friends back home, talk about your career goals and upcoming internships. Maybe they (or their parents) have a connection.
  3. From the comfort of your computer – Thanksgiving is a great time to send greeting cards or emails to contacts in your network. The messages can mention some of the things you’ve been doing while in college and academic achievements that could lead to potential internship opportunities. While you’re at it, clean up your LinkedIn profile, and connect with your extended family.

Comment below for your chance to win an iPad mini! Tell us what you did to expand your network over Thanksgiving break. Contest ends midnight on Friday, Dec. 5.

Where Are They Now: Kristin Thayer, Andreessen Horowitz

Kristin Thayer

Kristin Thayer graduated in 2008 with majors in Accounting and Entrepreneurship. During her time as an undergraduate student, Kristin was also a member of Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity, Students Consulting for Non-Profit, and Accounting Association. Kristin also started a company called BarTab through the Entrepreneurship program. And on top of all that, Kristin received the Outstanding Senior in Accounting recognition for her graduating class. 

What are you doing these days?

I am a Partner on the Market Development team at Andreessen Horowitz, where I am tasked with helping portfolio companies accelerate growth and time-to-market. I work closely with portfolio companies like Buzzfeed, Pinterest, and Fiftythree to build partnerships, advise on strategic initiatives, and find new business opportunities. I also lead the Market Development team’s east coast efforts from New York City, where I work closely with C-level executives from global 1000 companies on their innovation agendas. Outside of work, I love to run, read the New York Times, travel, and can’t wait for the next season of House of Cards!

What has your journey been like since graduating from Eller?

After finishing at Eller in 2008, I moved to Palo Alto with the intention of only staying a summer, but loved the energy and opportunities and ended up joining Facebook that fall.  At the time, Facebook was a small company, but was a product I was excited about (e.g. I built an app using the Facebook Platform while I was at U of A) and the employees were talented and passionate about the product they were building. As the company grew quickly over the following years, I got to try different roles and functions and developed many skill sets and met a lot of great people, including some of my current best friends.  I spent my last year at Facebook managing our partnerships around the London 2012 Olympics and left Facebook to go to business school at Stanford University in late 2012.  While in school, I missed working at a technology company, so I decided to intern for a venture capital fund so that I could meet many start ups across industries and learn more about their businesses.  This brought me to Andreessen Horowitz, where I still work today (although I’m not longer an intern :) I graduated with my MBA in June and joined the firm full time as our first employee in New York City!)

Do you have any advice for students?

Optimize for working with the best people you can find early in your career- people that will teach you a lot and help you develop early habits and values as a professional, and that you want to become the foundation of your network going forward.

Eller Alumni Founds Channelinks.com


Former Eller graduates, Rohan Rao and Adam Small, have founded a new social media platform, channelinks.com.

This new social media platform combines all your favorites, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Vine. Channel inks allows you to create your own channels by sharing your favorite videos from around the web with friends and your followers!

The steps to join are simple and easy:
1. Go to channelinks.com
2. Sign up using your name and email
3. Discover and find video links from all over the web
4. Share your favorite video links with your friends and followers
5. Build your channels and your follower base

Starting Monday, November 17th-19th Channelinks will be hold a University wide club competition. Your club will create a Channelinks page where you goal will be to get the most likes on your page. The winner will be chosen by whatever club has the most likes on their page will win a $700 food and drink compensation to Gentle Bens!

On Monday, November 17th we will be kicking off this competition by hosting an event outside on the first floor of Eller. There will be free drinks, food and a projector to show how to sign up and navigate through Channelinks.

Join now (channelinks.com) and like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Channelinkspage)


Where Are They Now: Garett Brock, The Boeing Company

Garett Brock

Garett Brock graduated in May 2011 with a double major in Management Information Systems and Entrepreneurship with Honors. During his time as a Wildcat, he enjoyed playing intramurals with friends, partaking in MIS Association, and working as a Resident Assistant in Yavapai. Garett was also a recipient of the McCord Scholarship in 2009. He is currently a Programmer Analyst at The Boeing Company and pursuing a Masters in Data Science at the University of California – San Diego.

What are you doing these days?

These days you can find me in Surf City USA, Huntington Beach, where I work for The Boeing Company.  I am putting my Management Information Systems major to good use working on the IT side of Boeing with the Commercial Financial Data Warehouse team as a Programmer Analyst.  There is always a new project coming through the pipeline with the most recent being a major forklift.  We are in the process of moving the entire data warehouse from one server to an entirely new one.  During down time between projects, there is new code to develop or fix and data to validate.  At the end of the day, we are responsible for making sure our customers have timely access to Boeing’s financial data and assuring the quality of the data.

When not on the clock, I can be found enjoying beautiful Southern California with my fiancé and friends or back at the computer completing homework.  I have just begun my journey in obtaining a Master’s in Data Science and Engineering from the University of California – San Diego.

What has your journey been like since graduating Eller? 

My journey since leaving Eller has been one of ups and downs.  I was fortunate enough to have landed my Boeing position before my final semester rolled around, but I was not the only one. There were four other MIS students who landed a position in the IT Career Foundation Program at Boeing with three of them heading to Southern California with me.  The four of us decided to save money by renting a house together which turned out to be a great decision. Two years of great memories were created in that house.

Participating in Boeing’s IT Career Foundation Program has proved to be a positive experience, but it has not been without challenges.  The program requires participants to rotate to a new position every year for three years.  This allowed me to experience many aspects of the business while learning what organization and positions within Boeing IT I most enjoyed.  I started the program in a project management role, but the project to which I was assigned had just been hit with a funding cut the day before.  Needless to say, it was my most challenging rotation for all the wrong reasons, but I stuck with the program and gladly so.  This past summer I graduated from the program.   I was hired on by the team I spent my final year of the IT Career Foundation Program with, and I am still with them today.

My interest in data and analytics led me to my current team at Boeing, and to pursuing the Master’s program I am currently enrolled in.  I am striving to become a Data Scientist who works with sports data for a living.  In the mean time, I plan on getting married in 2015 to my lovely fiancé and seeing where else this journey takes me.

Do you have any advice for students?

Don’t be afraid to pivot.  I initially wanted to go into the security side of IT.  So much so, one of the last electives I took in my MIS major was a security based course, and I looked into security IT positions even after my first year with Boeing.  Two things lead to a change of heart – the big data boom and the MIT Sports Analytics Conference.  My goals changed after attending, and so I pivoted.  Now, I am enrolled in a Master’s program I never thought I would pursue.  Instagram pivoted from originally being Burbn, a location-based service similar to Foursquare, and look where they are now.  Great things can come from pivoting.

Alumni Spotlight: Natasha Harrison, Arizona Athletics

Natasha HarrisonNatasha Harrison graduated in December 2013 with majors in Marketing and Media Arts and minors in Spanish and Sports Marketing. Currently, Natasha is the Assistant Director for Community Relations, Special Events and the Jim Click Hall of Champions at Arizona Athletics. 

What has the post-graduation experience been like so far?

It has been great! It was always my dream to work in McKale Center and it actually came true. Now I have time after work for hiking and other fun things rather than cramming for an exam or working on a homework assignment (which I do not miss). It’s so fun to still be involved with the UA, especially athletics.

How did you come across the opportunity to work for Arizona Athletics?

I interned in the Jim Click Hall of Champions for Arizona Athletics for 2.5 years. I made it a point to work hard and make connections throughout the Athletic Department. I also made sure to express my career plans with people while networking. Networking is important but timing is everything! A month after graduation, a new position was created in the department I had interned with, I interviewed and thankfully got the job!

What has been the most challenging part of your job and how are you dealing with it?

I think the most challenging part is wearing so many hats! One minute I’m planning the Sports Hall of Fame Ceremony and the next I’m working on the website or re-branding our kids’ club. However, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m learning so many new things each day. It keeps me on my toes and never calls for a dull moment.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

I hope to have earned my MBA from the Eller MBA Evening Program. I also hope to do some more traveling! Hopefully I’ll still be at McKale Center. No matter where I will be in 5 years, I do know that I’ll always Bear Down.

Meet the Fall 2014 Cohort: Jack Stamets, American Realty Capital

Jack Stamets

Jack Stamets is a Finance major who interned with American Realty Capital in Phoenix, AZ prior to joining the Fall 2014 Cohort!

How did you land the opportunity to intern for American Realty Capital?

I initially reached out to an executive with the company, who is a friend of my parents.  After expressing my interest to intern with the company, I was put in contact with their H/R department about a month later.  I had a phone interview with them and set up a formal interview at their office in Phoenix.  The interview process consisted of 3 30-minute interviews where I met with 6 different people consisting of analysts, managers, and even the CFO of ARCP.

 What are your responsibilities as a Financial Analysis Intern?

As an intern in the Financial Analysis and Planning department, my main responsibility was assisting the senior analysts in the forecasting process for all of ARCP’s different REIT funds.  I uploaded newly acquired properties into Argus Enterprise Software database on a daily basis and analyzed all property data necessary to make an accurate forecast.  I also assisted in the quarterly plan reports that would be distributed to the company’s executives.

What have you learned from your internship and how do you think your internship has prepared you for Eller? 

American Realty Capital is an extremely fast-paced, professional work environment, so I think being exposed to that this summer has definitely helped prepare me for my first semester of Eller.  I also learned the importance of communication skills and efficiently managing my time when working various projects throughout the course of my internship.

Graduate Student Spotlight: Emily Huang, MIT

Photo Credit: UA University Relations

Emily Huang graduated in May 2014 with majors in Finance and Mathematics. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Here Emily shares with us her preparation and application process. 

I learned about the term “financial engineering” in my sophomore year, and immediately I knew this is what I’m going to pursue: applying Mathematics and Computer Science skills into Finance. I looked into schools that offer Master’s in Financial Engineering (MFE) degrees, and started to prepare myself for the competitive application process then.

I believe a strong candidate for Financial Engineering programs should at least possess the following three attributes: strong quantitative skills, high achieving leadership, and keen interests in Finance. Declaring a math major was the very first step I took to achieve my goal. After that, I was elected to be the Vice President of the Investments Club to learn industry insights. Then I worked hard to intern at GE Capital in the summers of my sophomore and junior years working on Collaterals and Financial Modeling. During my senior year, I participated in the Global CFA Research Challenge (regional 3rd place) and Math Contest in Modeling (24th place out of 8,000~ internationally), and also passed the CFA Level I exam. I was very luck to have Associate Dean Pam Perry, Dr. Gosnell, and a few math professors (Prof. Laetsche, Prof. Niu, and Prof Lin) to be my strong supporters in applying for graduate schools.

I was admitted to 6 out of 7 graduate schools that I applied to. After careful consideration and much research on each program, I chose to pursue a Master’s degree in Finance at MIT. There is great flexibility in elective classes that students choose from, and we can cross-register with Harvard Business School and Kennedy School to have a broader selection of courses. The innovative and entrepreneurial campus environment of MIT also provides many opportunities to apply theories into practice, which I think is important to success in Finance careers.

Applying to graduate school is a lengthy process that requires persistence and long-term planning. In the end, the reward of getting admitted to my dream grad school and being one step closer to my career aspiration is worth the trouble of the arduous application process.



Delta Sigma Pi is Hosting the Eller Open

Are you currently looking for jobs or internships but don’t have an in with a company? This event is your opportunity to network in small groups with recruiters and executives looking to hire business students.

The professional business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, is hosting the 3rd annual Eller Open golf tournament and luncheon on November 9th, and eight companies are already set to attend. With only 70 student slots available, this is a great way to spend the entire day speaking with recruiters that you would otherwise only get minutes with.

Representatives from GoDaddy, Macy’s, Mondelez International, CED, Edward Jones, Yelp, Insight Global, and the Phoenix Coyotes will be in attendance. Students are welcome to play golf with the recruiters or just come to the lunch and networking mixer portion of the event. After the event all the recruiters will be provided a copy of your resume. Over 700 students attended this past Career Showcase, we are offering the chance to stand out from the competition and be one of 70.

If you are interested in participating in this event, please go to uadeltasig.com to RSVP and select which company you’d like to spend the day with. If you have any questions feel free to email maxwellwheeler@email.arizona.edu.

Why Are You Considering a Graduate Degree?

Grad School

By Matt Lehrer, Career Coach

Why are you considering a graduate degree?

Career Goal: You need to have a clear understanding of what you want to do with your career (no doubts!) — and how earning a graduate degree will help you reach that goal. If you have any doubt at all about your professional goals, consider putting off graduate school and, instead, go to work.  This will allow you to begin to understand what you like and don’t like about about a particular “path.” If you go to graduate school without a clear goal, you may end up wasting both time and money.

While certain careers definitely require an advanced degree — doctors and lawyers, for example — many other careers offer plenty of job opportunities with an undergraduate degree. In fact, in some situations having an advanced degree can actually hurt you in a job search, if you also have little or no job experience.

Compensation: Most studies show that people with advanced degrees earn more on average than people with bachelor’s degrees. According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, in 2009 the average worker with a bachelor’s degree earned $56,665, while a worker with a master’s degree earned $73,738. Furthermore, a worker with a professional degree (JD, MD) earned $127,803, while a worker with a doctorate (PhD) earned $103,054. (Obviously those salaries are slightly higher today; the key is the difference in salary by education level.) It is important to note that you probably will not make enough more in the first three years to offset the tuition you spend on grad school.  The payback should be viewed from a long-term perspective.

Staying Marketable: While a graduate degree is not required for many “entry-level” jobs, you may need to earn an advanced degree to keep your training and skills current — and make you more marketable for career advancement.

Career Change: A graduate degree can often make sense for a job-seeker who is looking to make a career change, In this case, you would be earning the graduate degree in the field you plan to enter.