Student Spotlight: Alex Cohen, Scored 3rd Worldwide in Bloomberg Test

Alex Cohen Semi-FormalBy Alex Cohen

Hello, my name is Alex Cohen and I am a senior double-majoring in Finance and Mechanical Engineering. I originally started at the U of A intending to major solely in engineering. When I decided I wanted a business foundation as well, I was drawn to finance due to my affinity for numbers. Over the course of my college career, I ended up finding that I am more passionate about finance and investing than engineering. As a result, I am looking forward to a career in finance upon graduation in May.

In addition to my academic pursuits, I am also involved on campus through my role as a Resident Assistant. I am very fortunate to have great friends, family, and mentors who helped me get to the place I am today. I enjoy being an RA because it gives me the opportunity to give back and be a resource in the same way that others were there for me.

Recently, I took the Bloomberg Aptitude Test at a session on campus. Bloomberg offers the test to students and recent graduates to measure “a person’s aptitude to be successful” in the business, finance, and economics fields. I scored in the 99th percentile and earned one of the top 3 scores worldwide in the month of February! My time in Eller definitely prepared me well both for this exam and for a career in business as a whole. In addition to providing me with a strong foundation of knowledge, Eller has given me many opportunities to apply my classes in a real-world setting. Specifically, my experience in the Applied Portfolio Management class and my participation in the CQA Investment Challenge gave me invaluable experience in security selection and portfolio construction.

I have learned many lessons during my time at the University of Arizona, but two really stand out as I move forward. First, I have learned the importance of being passionate about everything I do. Additionally, I have seen the benefits of surrounding myself with people who encourage me to be become better every day. I believe it is vital to make the most of each day, and these lessons will serve me well as I move forward.

Alex Cohen Desert Museum

In the immediate future, I am focused on my job search as well as studying for the CFA Level I exam which I will take in June. Over the next few years, I plan to continue my pursuit of the Charter Financial Analyst (CFA) designation by passing the level I, II, and III exams and earning relevant work experience. Eventually, I aspire to manage a hedge fund, taking advantage of my interest in the capital markets and my passion for problem solving. While it is almost time for me to leave the University of Arizona, I am excited for what the future brings. I am very proud that I will always be a Wildcat, and, of course, Bear Down!

Los Angeles Study Tour

This past spring break, some of our students had the opportunity to go to Los Angeles to network with Eller alumni and to visit numerous companies in the city. Over the course of four days, the study tour exposed students to Macy’s, DreamWorks, Northrop Grumman, Deloitte, and other companies. This experience not only enabled the students to gain insight on businesses across a wide variety of industries but also what it would be like to work in the LA area. Here are several excerpts of what some of the students had to say about their experiences on the trip:

Macy’s

“The very large retail company has been very successful because of their dedication to customer service, talented staff, and use of technology… A particular area that I am very interested in is how every department store is structured differently based on the customers and location. I learned that the customers in Beverly Hills have a demand for different products than the customers in other locations, so the managers have to analyze that and structure their stores accordingly. It was very interesting to learn about why each product is placed on certain shelves, and it showed that there is much more that happens behind the scenes of a department store than I previously assumed!” – Kelly Shearon 

DreamWorks Animation Studio

“What was impressive is that DreamWorks management has taken extraordinary steps to both motivate and satisfy the most basic needs of its employees; they serve free breakfasts and lunch to all. This is not some high school cafeteria-style menu, but an extensive menu with entire stations devoted to entrees salads, sides (hot and cold), beverages, desserts, and an open barbeque pit sitting atop a waterfall…We had the chance to speak with Jason Skar, head of the finance department. I thought that was interesting being able to apply knowledge from just the last few months to the real concerns and challenges of keeping an enterprise, that exists within a very competitive environment moving ahead and being productive.” – Robert Ewald

Northrop Grumman

“Knowing my grandfather worked at this prestigious company made the trip exciting, but seeing how it all comes together really opened my eyes… The lean system in place takes you from one end with a couple parts to the half-mile long plant on the other side where a jet is finished.  It takes roughly 54 days to complete a quality F-18 Super Hornet and if there is one ‘FOD’ or faulty part the entire jet is brought back into the plant.  This really shows the focus on quality the company and how much they emphasize how things are done properly.” – Dylan Hunt

Deloitte

Deloitte

Deloitte

“The company I enjoyed the most was Deloitte because of how well they treated their new hires and how they spend time mentoring each of them. Each new hire (assistant) has a Senior Assistant mentor, and a Manager mentor… After talking to Rosie and Taylor about their experience at Deloitte University, it really excited me about starting a career with Deloitte… Each person was very positive which makes for a great company environment.” – Patrick Guthrie

Sprinkles Cupcakes

“What I truly loved about Sprinkles Cupcakes was the atmosphere. The shop was so small but the people were so friendly and the cupcakes were worth every single bite. Getting to know Charles on a personal level was incredible. He is such a humble man who believes in his business and only wants it to continue to proper. This company’s growth should inspire all entrepreneurs to take a risk in something they truly believe in because they have no idea how much they might succeed.” – Sivan Shahmoon

Sprinkles Cupcakes

Sprinkles Cupcakes

“Sprinkles Cupcakes was a visit I really enjoyed. Opening a coffee shop is my dream retirement goal, so hearing Charles talk about the challenges of starting a business was really insightful. There is so much that goes into running a business like having a finance plan, knowing all the different operations your store will need, and meeting regulations from the city that people don’t really consider when opening a store. It took them some time to get the logistics down, but mixing Charles’ financial skills with Candice’s creativity has helped their business to thrive.” – Misi Cummings

Oppenheimer Financial

“The head of asset management, John Blau, shared a personal story that hit home with me. John explained how he was doubted for a number of years until he finally got an opportunity to shine at Oppenheimer Financial. John has achieved indubitable success by building the asset management number to 25 billion dollars. He explained that having a mentor that believed in him was all he needed to create his empire. It was truly inspiring.” – Adam Ali

AOL/Huffington Post

“AOL/Huffington Post was one of the most down-to-earth and innovative companies that I have ever had the privilege to visit. As a marketing student, it was exciting to see all of the different vehicles that can be used to drive a brand in action, and the way this company is using them to help all of its clients, is incredible. With all of your favorite brands moving to online platforms and social media sites, it is becoming so important that these companies implement the right tactics to maintain a culture of people who consume those brands. AOL/Huffington Post certainly knows how to do just that, while also maintaining the best community culture that I’ve ever seen.” – Lindsey Burton

Student Spotlight: Rinku Skaria, Freeman Medal Recipient

Rinku Skaria3By Rinku Skaria

Hello, my name is Rinku Skaria, and I am a senior double majoring in Business Management and Physiology. During these past four years, Eller has provided me unparalleled opportunities that have shaped me as an individual.

Through the Eller Global Cohort program, I completed the first semester of my upper division classes in Bangalore, India with thirty other Eller students. Born and raised in India till the age of 9, I was somewhat familiar with the different cultures and languages and was therefore able to help acquaint Eller students to India’s culture. Our excursions to Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Mysore, and others provided us a chance to immerse ourselves in the traditions of Indian locals. During the ten week program as a scholarship recipient and Cohort manager, I had the opportunity to administer a team of six other students. Apart from studying India’s economic growth in the global business arena, we also had the opportunity to learn yoga and dance. As the dance coordinator, I managed dance practices and a stage performance for the Cohort students and faculty to learn the three dance forms – Bharatanatyam, Kathak, and contemporary.

Indiaphoto

I was also heavily involved in organizing the 2013 Eller Make a Difference Day. Over a span of nine weeks as a team of students and staff, we worked together to provide 3600 hours of service through 45 engagements with over 900 volunteers. This experience not only brought together past, present, and future Wildcats, but also promoted community growth.

Additionally, I have been involved in numerous organizations at the UA and the Tucson community. I serve as a volunteer at Odyssey hospice to provide assistance and care for patients and families. And last year, I initiated a mentoring and tutoring program through the Mary Belle McCorkle PreK-8 School by partnering with UA-AMSA to work with middle school students from educationally disadvantaged      populations. These opportunities have allowed me to contribute to the community and continue my passion in medicine.

I have been involved with the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) for the past four years while welcoming more responsibility each year. As the current AMSA Premedical Regional Director for Region V, I have been able to assist officers with resources within my region of 13 states and 90 chapters. During my tenure as UA AMSA President, I had the opportunity to work with a team to offer clinical, philanthropic, and social events to over 160 chapter members. I also coordinated the Admission Dean’s Panel and Education Day for the UA-Pre-Health Professions Expo Week. By working with other wonderful students across the country and within the UA, I have learned so much in terms of leadership, teamwork, and management.

My commitment to leadership, service, and academics has rewarded me designations as a University of Arizona Freeman Medal recipient, the Eller College of Management Outstanding Senior Award, and the Management Outstanding Senior.

After graduation, I will be attending medical school in the fall. My recommendation to students is to take initiative and find opportunities that they are passionate about. Eller provides countless opportunities and resources to students, and it is important that students take full advantage of them. I also advise that students get to know the faculty, staff, and their peers well at Eller and ask for guidance regarding their future and career goals. College is beyond academics, and so I recommend students to get involved in extracurricular activities. These experiences will create lifelong memories and long lasting relationships.

UA NSAC Team Places 2nd at Regional Competition

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The marketing directors (Megan Mitchell and Sarah Weisman) and Agency Director (Mimi Do), from left to right. Missing from picture is creative director, Melissa Arillaga.

By Mimi Do

The University of Arizona NSAC (National Student Advertising Competition) team has 14 members, consisting of both marketing and design majors. Our task since August was to create a comprehensive $10mil advertising campaign for the sponsor of the event, Mary Kay. 11 of us went to Colorado Springs, CO, where the American Advertising Federation’s (AAF) District 12 regionals took place, to pitch our campaign.

Our team placed 2nd overall, which according to Dr. Ackerley, has not been done in over 10 years. We were also noted by the judges to have the best presentation out of the other schools in our district.

Our campaign would have been nothing without the collaboration of the designers’ expertise in creating our “book,” an aesthetic and tangible piece of work that showcased the specifics of our campaign, and marketing’s research to show that our campaign was the best out of all options.

A "selfie," because part of our campaign revolved around selfies, with all 11 members who went to Colorado Springs.

A “selfie,” because part of our campaign revolved around selfies, with all 11 members who went to Colorado Springs.

We would like to thank Dr. Ackerley for being our supportive advisor and the marketing department for making our trip to Colorado possible. Our team would not have had this fantastic opportunity if it weren’t for the never ending support Eller has for its students.

Freshman Career Quest Engages Students in Professional Exploration

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By Mackenzie Riley, Eller Marketing ’14

Last month, over 1400 pre-business freshmen congregated for the first annual Freshman Career Quest. The goal was to provide an opportunity for the students to be proactive in preparing for their professional futures. The conference was sponsored by 15 different companies, including Yelp, Target, and General Mills.

The students were divided into groups and paired with specific companies. The companies then assigned the students team challenges including case studies, group interviews, and portfolio challenges.

Havas PR from New York City presented students with the task of promoting Katy Perry’s new fragrance line. Freshmen Cassie Moffat explained, “I learned a lot of valuable information about how a job in the PR world would be. It allowed me to picture myself in that position and I thoroughly enjoyed working on the activities.”

Beyond the ability to exercise business skills and discover more about real world expectations, Freshman Career Quest provided an opportunity to network with companies that recruit from the Eller College. “It was such a neat experience to get to meet with representatives from the company I was assigned to and get a glimpse of how that company works,” said Madison Riley. “I am now more aware and interested in the company and look forward to a potential career with them one day.”

Moffat concluded, “My experience at the career quest was great. It encouraged me to explore PR and acknowledge that I would like to focus on a career in that area of business and communications. I’m so glad I went!”

Photo of Freshman Career Quest by Colin Prenger.

This blog post was originally published in the Eller Buzz.

Alumni Spotlight: Sheetal Singh, Google

sheetalBy Sheetal Singh, ’13

I graduated from Eller in May 2013 with a dual degree in Accounting and Finance. While in college, I was involved in numerous on campus clubs, such as Sophos, Freshman Class Council, and Mortar Board. Additionally, I was on the Om Shanti Bollywood Dance Team. Beginning my senior year, I founded the organization Loans Across Borders- UA Microfinance, aimed at raising awareness about microfinance throughout the UA community.

In my sophomore year of college, I was introduced to the concept of microfinance and I was immediately intrigued by the simplicity of the idea. Thereafter, much of my interest and passion lied in the developmental non-profit sector. After graduation in the summer of 2013 and winter of 2014, I interned at PriceWaterhouse Coopers in San Francisco in their audit department. Working at a world class professional services firm, I was able to develop my knowledge of business “inner workings” in a more formal environment.  Scrutinizing businesses allowed me to gain a thorough understanding of every process of a business.

google

During my internship with PwC, I received a job offer from Google as an Associate Account Strategist. I will be working with customers customizing business solutions for their advertising campaigns using Google-caliber research and market analysis. After my two year rotation, I hope to be involved in Google.org, which invests in projects that combat human challenges.

How did your experiences as a McCord Scholar and an Eller student help you on your career path? 

My sophomore year of college, I applied for the McCord Scholarship and was lucky enough to receive it. Using the scholarship, I studied abroad in London my junior year spring semester. While studying abroad, I also had a finance internship at the National Health Services. The McCord scholarship really allowed me to explore more international opportunities which helped me gain more exposure in the international non-profit community. The international experiences provided to me as a McCord Scholar have distinguished me from many candidates as I’ve applied for jobs and internships.

As an Eller student, I was fortunate to be presented with many career choices and paths. What I liked best about Eller was that even though there were not many organizations or clubs associated with my passion (development non-profit), I was given the guidance and support to start my own organization.

Do you have any advice for students?

  • Be passionate. Whatever makes you happy, even if it’s not business related, pursue it. Start a club about it, join other organizations about it etc. It’s easier said than done to show you have an “interest” in something, but having concrete evidence on your resume and/or cover letter goes a long way. Companies (like Google) really appreciate passionate people.
  • Gain experience. It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do in life. I went into college with the intention of going to law school. I’ve worked in non-profit, accounting, government, and now in marketing. Working in numerous fields has really shaped me as a person and allowed me to really understand what I want to do long term. Stay involved in as many clubs and organizations that interest you. Take on as many internships as you can. The more experience you gain in undergrad, the more you stand out when applying for scholarships, grad school, and jobs.
  • Meet new people and keep the connections. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Network, network, network, network. As intimidating as it may be, networking can be very beneficial. It’s how I got a job at Fortune 500’s best company to work for!

Student Spotlight: Lauren Findlow, Dream Careers London

findlow9By Lauren Findlow

Hi! My name is Lauren Findlow, and I’m a junior majoring in Marketing and minoring in both Mandarin Chinese and Global Business. I have served as the Career Showcase coordinator for Delta Sigma Pi, the Vice President of Communications for the Eller College Ambassadors, a board member for the Eller Student Excellence Fund, as well as a board member for the Eller College Chinese Student Council.  I am passionate about everything that I am involved in and I remain this way because I enjoy challenging myself by taking on different roles and projects in each organization. The opportunities that Eller has provided me have all helped to shape me into the person that I am today.

In March of 2013, I was awarded the McCord Scholarship. The McCord Scholarship is awarded to about a dozen Eller Honors students each academic year. With the $10,000 scholarship, I participated in Eller’s International Internship Program in Hong Kong. This past summer, I interned for Crave Magazine, a local gastronomic magazine in Central, Hong Kong. As their marketing intern I attended food tastings, fashion events, client meetings, assisted in enhancing their social media, and sold advertisement space.

I had a great relationship with my Hong Kong program director and she encouraged me to apply for Dream Career’s summer staff positions all around the world. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Hong Kong and knew that I wanted to work abroad again very soon! Upon returning to the U of A, I began my position as the Eller International Student Coordinator for the Hong Kong program. As the coordinator I worked closely with Eller’s international internship partner, Dream Careers, and was able to learn even more about the summer staff positions that they offered.

This summer, I will be working for Dream Careers, as the Events Coordinator for their international internship program in London, England. For eight weeks this summer, I will be assisting the program members in learning more about London’s culture, history, and career opportunities. I am very much looking forward to this new adventure! I have always had a passion for coordinating events and this will give me the opportunity to further explore that industry.

After graduation, I hope to live and work abroad in Asia. Gaining international work experience is very important to me because I want to prove to future employers that I can adapt to any situation or environment. I never would have thought that I would be going abroad twice as an undergraduate student! I credit both Vannessa Kramer and Gabriela Valdez as two people who have pushed me to apply for this position in London. Without their continued support, I wouldn’t have pursued another international internship this summer.

FMA Finance Leaders’ Conference, Chicago, IL

By Amber Lucas, Pre-Business

FMA4This year I have had the opportunity to participate in many informative and enriching activities through the Financial Management Association (FMA). One of the most enlightening experiences was the FMA Finance Leaders’ Conference in Chicago this past March.

On the first day, we participated in a fun Quiz Bowl, learned about professional development, and had the unique opportunity to tour and learn about the international investment research firm Morningstar. There we learned about the company’s history and the unique products they use to help investors. I was particularly moved by the scope of their operations and their variety of clients, from the completely novice individual investor to the most well versed client. Further, Morningstar has global contacts in twenty-seven different countries, including Australia, Denmark, and Japan. I particularly enjoyed learning about the Style Box, a tool Morningstar has popularized. This box allows investors to evaluate securities.

FMA!

The following day, we toured the Chicago Board of Option Exchange (CBOE). This was the best part of the trip by far! We had the opportunity to see the markets open in the morning, watch real live traders, and participate in a “real life” trading session. We also learned about the many, many different career paths at the Exchange. We then toured the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, where we learned about the purpose of the Reserve and counterfeiting. Did you know the government prevents approximately 95% of counterfeit money from circulating in America?

FMA2_Fed

FMA3

During session breaks, we toured the Financial District and the Chicago area. It is truly a beautiful city. As a freshman who has not taken any finance courses yet, I felt the trip definitely helped me begin my journey into the financial arena.

If you are interested in Finance, the Financial Management Association here at the U of A is an excellent resource to gain insight into the field, ask questions, and meet current and past top financial leaders. I highly recommend that you check us out this semester!

Alumni Spotlight: Ryan Stam, ZocDoc

Family Pic

By Ryan Stam

Hello from NYC, Eller College!

This February, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to travel back to U of A with colleagues from ZocDoc, where I’m a Sales Director, to speak with students about opportunities we might have for them with our offices in New York and Phoenix.

Talking with students at Eller really got me thinking about why I do what I do and what brought me here.

I graduated from Eller in 2004, and was recruited directly from Eller’s Career Showcase to work in sales for Pulte Homes.  I married my wife Brittany, a fellow U of A alum, and after two years with Pulte Homes, we relocated to St. Marten, where Brittany was in medical school.  There, I had the unique opportunity to sell island real estate for two years.  Next, we moved to NYC, where—spurred on by instability in the real estate market, and stability in healthcare jobs–I pursued a medical sales career at ZocDoc.

If you aren’t already familiar with ZocDoc (www.zocdoc.com), we are a healthcare tech startup that provides a service, completely free to patients, for online medical booking.  Kind of like “Expedia,” you can search for doctors by insurance accepted, zipcode, and the specialty you’re looking for, and book appointments online as soon as the same day.

When I started at ZocDoc, I spent my first 2 years interacting with physicians on a daily basis to better their practice, but more importantly, I connected patients with doctors who met their needs.  Today, I coordinate training for all of our sales teams, working with and developing sales talent who will become future sales leaders.  All along, the great people I work with at ZocDoc have been just as valuable to me as the progress our company is making to increase medical access across the US.

Looking back on my journey to where I am now, the philosophy I’ve developed boils down to something pretty simple.  Being the second employee of a now around 500-person company and growing in a wild and exciting startup environment helped me focus on what’s important, and that’s the people with whom you surround yourself. I’ve learned that the people you work with and the culture of your company will define your level of satisfaction in your work environment and enrich your life.

Brittany is now a resident in NYC.  She and I and our two sons Finn and Harper, 2 and almost 5, now live in Brooklyn and love traveling to Disney World and on Disney cruises.  The best advice I can give to my fellow Wildcats? Wherever you start, find something that you love to do, but more importantly, find people you’d love to work with, and do it.

Student Spotlight: Kyle Vasey, Grant Thornton

 VaseyBy Kyle Vasey

Hello, my name is Kyle Vasey and I am a senior majoring in accounting here at the Eller College of Management. I will be graduating in May and it is hard to believe that just four short years ago, I walked onto the Arizona campus as a naïve and inexperienced freshman. Time has truly flown by, but along the way I have had the opportunity to be involved in a variety of organizations that have greatly enriched my college experience. These opportunities have helped shape the person I am today and have built a solid foundation as I begin my career.

For the past four years, I have had the privilege of being a student manager for the Arizona men’s basketball team. This amazing opportunity has allowed me a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make a multi-million dollar organization, such as Arizona basketball, operate on a daily basis.

Coach Miller Pic

Beyond basketball, I have always looked to be involved in a variety of different ways on the Arizona campus. For almost four years, I was employed as a facility supervisor at the University of Arizona Student Rec Center. In addition, I have held memberships in Beta Alpha Psi (accounting fraternity) and the Sports Marketing Association (SMA) as well as volunteered in Eller Make a Difference Day and Cats for the Community. For me, it is of the utmost importance to be heavily involved as I believe it is the best way to gain experience, develop personal relationships, and foster career skills that will benefit me down the road.

Currently, I am employed at the local accounting firm HBL CPA’s as an audit intern. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at HBL as I have been able to gain real-world experience in the field of accounting and actually apply what I have learned in the classroom. I am hopeful to expand upon this experience when I begin an internship at the accounting firm, Grant Thornton, for the summer of 2014 in Phoenix. In this internship, I will be working in the exciting field of forensic accounting. This position will allow me the tremendous opportunity of coupling my accounting knowledge with investigative skills in various litigation support settings. I am thrilled about this internship as I will be able to utilize my accounting skills and financial knowledge to aid the legal system.

My biggest recommendation for any student at Arizona is to get involved in something you are truly passionate about. College is so much more than simply going to class, taking exams, and receiving a degree. I firmly believe that involvement will give you the most fulfilling college experience as you will be able to develop long-lasting relationships and gain experience that will take you so much farther than what you learn in the classroom.