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Student Voices

Peter Knudsen

Matt Clements


"The D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern has an outstanding reputation of equipping students with a thorough, working knowledge of finance."

Q: What do you do in your current job/what are your responsibilities?

A: I work for CVS Health as a Senior Manager in Real Estate & Acquisition Finance. I'm helping CVS Health patients on their path to better health by leading a team focused on growing CVS Pharmacy assets. My responsibilities include determining the value of potential acquisitions, analyzing target financial statements, creating organizational value by negotiating a purchase price to maximize return, determining financial return for CVS real estate transactions by analyzing expected performance relative to capital investment, and empowering Senior management decisions by effectively presenting and communicating growth opportunities.

Q:What skills did you build in the D'Amore-McKim MS in Finance (MSF) program that you are applying at your current job?

A:The most important skills that I learned and that I use in my current role with CVS Health are leadership, how to empower others through effective leadership and communication, and a thorough, working knowledge of finance.

Q:What would you say to a colleague considering enrolling in the MSF program?

A:Without question, the commitment required to attend graduate school as a part-time student is significant. Between current professional and personal responsibilities, carving out the time to go back to school is a challenge. Moreover, the price tag of graduate school makes the decision that much more difficult. Despite these challenges, the benefits of Northeastern¹s MSF program are more than worth the effort and investment.

I made the decision that a traditional classroom setting was a priority. Besides Finance’s challenging course material, often requiring direct dialog with the instructor, I wanted to be able to correspond and foster personal relationships with other students in order to gain insight into their perspectives. The part-time MSF program at Northeastern is geared specifically for working professionals. Classes are held in the evenings at Northeastern’s Boston campus and students are required to take two courses a semester. Classes are scheduled consecutively on the same night, a great time saver. I only needed to commute into Boston once a week and not sacrifice more time away from work and family. Taking two courses per semester, along with summer sessions, allowed me to complete the degree in less than two years. This focused approach makes the overall time commitment to complete the program manageable.

Northeastern’s MSF program has a well-regarded curriculum and includes courses in Financial Theory & Policy, Financial Strategy, Risk Management, Valuation & Value Creation, and Financial Accounting. When I reviewed these course descriptions, I was confident the investment of time and money would be worth it in the end and it truly exceeded my expectations. Northeastern¹s MSF program was a game changer for me professionally, enabling me to bring an advanced financial perspective to my current and future leadership roles.

Q:Why did you choose the D'Amore-McKim MSF?

A:Having entered into business after studying Mathematics and Biochemistry as an undergrad, I soon realized I needed a better understanding of business fundamentals in order to deliver more meaningful results. This motivated me to get my MBA, which provided the comprehensive business knowledge I was seeking and helped opened the door to new and exciting opportunities. However, as I looked to develop into a business leader, I wanted to build upon my MBA knowledge with a strong financial perspective. My business experience has shown me that in order to make sound decisions around strategy, growth, and resources, leaders must understand the financial impact of their decisions. My desire to become a strong leader within the organization led me to pursue a MS in Finance at Northeastern University. The D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern has an outstanding reputation of equipping students with a thorough, working knowledge of finance. Northeastern’s MSF program was my opportunity to grow professionally by gaining the additional expertise I needed to drive successful enterprise outcomes.

Q:What was your biggest take-away from earning your MSF at Northeastern?

A:The MSF program taught me that the value of any business or enterprise is rooted in four financial cornerstones: growth potential, sound investments, measured expectations, and effective management/ownership. In my M&A role, I think about these fundamentals constantly.

Q:Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?

A:Sitting on my dresser at home is my first trophy, “MVP Championship Game Paul Westphal Basketball Camp.” Though I received this trophy back in 4th grade, it still has tremendous value to me. I keep it on my dresser to remind me that when it matters the most ­ “in the biggest game” ­ I can be counted on. Throughout my life and especially as I pursue more management level roles, I aspire to be a leader that can be counted on. From my experience, a leader that can be counted on sets a positive example, supports and encourages others in their efforts, remains open and level headed, fosters an environment of collaboration, and works to achieve the team’s goals. I have been fortunate to be part of teams led by individuals that exemplify these qualities, and I have experienced the satisfaction of my group being counted on to deliver results ­ and delivering.  As I focus my career in health care, my goal ­ today, in 5 years, and beyond - is to take these leadership qualities, work as part of an empowering team, and develop innovative solutions that truly help individuals in their lives.

More Student Voices

"The MSF program at D’Amore-McKim prepared me well for my current position as it helped me gain the knowledge and aptitude needed to excel in the investment industry. From the courses to the professors, the experience was great." — Peter Knudsen, MSF'15

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