Part-Time MSF/MBA'15, Research Analyst, LPL Financial
“The experience that this program provided me was absolutely essential in moving my career forward.”
Q: What made you choose the D’Amore-McKim Part-Time MSF/MBA program?
A: It was recommended by a friend, and respected colleague who was on a similar path similar to mine. We discussed the fact that if I were going to get ahead, I would need managerial experience and managerial education. That was the major reason why I chose the D’Amore-McKim MSF/MBA program.
Q: You put your skills to the test with the 360 Huntington Fund. Can you describe what that is?
A: The 360 Huntington Fund is a student-run mutual fund at the D'Amore-McKim School of Business. We use real money, invest in real stocks in the market, and we utilize the experience of both academic peers and professionals in order to create an experience similar to that of the real world and the mutual funds that exist today. All of our research is done using the exact same tools used by industry professionals. I use a number of tools in my daily work life that I learned how to utilize while getting my MSF/MBA at D’Amore-McKim. They are standard for the industry and because I’ve used them and understand them, it increases my value to a company.
Q: The relationships and the networks that you cultivated through the 360 Huntington Fund led to a new role for you. Can you talk about that?
A: With the 360 Huntington Fund, we operate more like a family than anything else. Because of the networking capability that comes along with it, we try to make sure that students will have the opportunity to obtain a position with one of the companies in our network. I was lucky enough to be in touch with one of the previous managing directors. He provided me the opportunity to talk with him and let me know that there was an opportunity in his company. I was able to get an interview with both him and upper management, which led to my current position.
Q: When you were considering this Part-Time MBA/MSF program, did you have concerns about balancing it with your professional and personal life?
A: Originally, I was a little bit concerned. I wasn't sure how the curriculum was going to line up in terms of the time frame for classes. However, I was pleased to find that a variety of classes are offered every day of the week––making the ability to modify your schedule based on your needs really quite simple. In addition, my job provided some flexibility, because they really understood the value of this program and how it benefits not only me, but also the company.
Q: Changing careers is never easy. What was it like to make that switch with the help of D’Amore-McKim?
A: It was a great experience for me. Emotionally, and career-wise, this was a substantial move. For me to transition from construction and engineering to finance was always going to take hard work and effort, which I was willing to put in. It’s the great support from the program, the professors, and the students that enabled me to push myself even further.
Q: What will you take away from this program?
A: The experience that this program provided me was absolutely essential in moving forward in my career. I now have a great understanding of the different aspects of finance––strategy, business operations, and organizational behavior, to just name a few. I have a variety of skills that I'm now able to apply to my job. I also take with me a renewed drive and thirst for knowledge. I'm actually going to obtain further certification to advance my career even more. The drive for that really came from the passion and the experience that I got from this program.
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"The support of the faculty, along with the scheduling flexibility post corporate residency, allowed me to accelerate achieving both degrees while working in just two years” —Kevin Wilkins, MSF/MBA'14
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