2019-20 Finance Newsletter

In This Issue:

New Things Going on with the Major

Hope you enjoy your semester so far. I cannot believe that we are getting closer to the semester end! There is so much exciting news to share. Just a few highlights:

  • Our Investment Research Challenge (IRC) Behrend team and a separate World Campus team will be back to compete in spring at the 2020 CFA Institute Research Challenge. Best luck to both teams!
  • We will start to offer online sections of FIN 427, Derivative Securities, in the spring to World Campus students. The course is taught by Dr. Tim Krause, assistant professor of finance. This course will replace the original FIN 419, Energy Finance, and be part of the required courses in earning Energy Finance Certificate. This course is a 400-level finance elective.
  • Junior Achievement USA and Western PA have awarded the Black School of Business the “Innovation” award, based on our work with Junior Achievement. A big thanks to Jeff Coy, assistant professor of finance, for his leadership with our annual JA Titan event!

Please read on to hear about other great events occurring within our program!

Dr. Jessica Zhao, Finance Department Chair

Dr. Jessica Zhao, Professor of Finance and Chair of Finance and Economics

Faculty Spotlight

Jessica Zhao, Ph.D.

What do you like most about Behrend?

Snow. Kidding! There are a lot of things that I like about Behrend, including great students, small class sizes, both residential and online classes, the best finance team (both residential and World Campus teams), and great colleagues to work with!

What do you like to do in your free time?

I spend much of my free time reading novels, mostly Chinese fiction. I can read very fast and sometimes finish a 1,000-page book in two days. This helped my reading speed in Chinese but has no use in helping me read in English. In my quiet time, I also like to play games such as Sudoku and Solitaire. I also love to travel with my family. We have traveled to a lot of places such as Europe, Japan, South Korea, China, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. When we travel, we spend more time trying local and gourmet foods than sightseeing. Every time, I will insist that we take family pictures together.

What is your favorite part about being a faculty member?

It is my pleasure to expose finance students to new concepts and to help them explore the very wide and exciting world of finance. Further, we have the best finance faculty team, and I really enjoy working with them!

Do you have any advice for current students majoring in finance?

Plan early if you are interested in any of the finance areas. Talk to your professors about your interests and career paths. If possible, participate in many activities we announce in Canvas Pride, including the speaker series, club meetings, the annual spring trip, the research challenge, and the Intrieri Family Student-Managed Fund. It is never too early to take advantage of these opportunities! Lastly, I would suggest that you get into the Finance major courses as early as possible (preferably starting in your sophomore year).

Alumni Spotlight

Jason Pettner ’18

Jason Pettner

Jason is a marketing analyst at C.S. McKee, an institutional investment management firm based in Pittsburgh.

What do you like best about your job or your employer?

There are many things I really like about my job. I like being in the financial markets every day, and having the opportunity to talk with the industry experts at my firm about current events. I also really like getting to interact with clients and other people within the industry.

How has your minor or certifications helped you?

My Certificate in Financial Planning has helped me in many ways! First, the specialization of my classes for my certificate helped me to gain the knowledge needed to obtain my internships. Also, the information I learned from the classes help me to plan out my own finances daily.

What was your favorite class at Behrend?

It’s a tie between Finance 420 and Finance 461. Finance 420 with Eric Robbins, assistant teaching professor of finance, helped to lay the foundation of my investment knowledge, with quite a few fun moments along the way. There are still quite a few financial concepts that I remember because of Robbins’ clever puns! Finance 461 with Dr. Tim Krause, assistant professor of finance, helped take my excitement about investing to the next level! As a part of the class and the Intrieri Family Student-Managed Fund, I gained extremely valuable experience in portfolio management by having the ability and privilege to manage an equity portfolio with my peers.

Student Spotlights

Megan Mayhue

Megan Mayhue ’21

What is your current or past position and where?

Over this last summer, I was an intern at Select Medical, which is in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. At my internship, I was one of nineteen selected interns from across the U.S., and I split my time between the Finance and Accounting departments.

What were some of your job responsibilities?

At first my responsibilities included shadowing different employees to learn about their positions, along with simple data entry on a range of projects. But after two weeks, I was asked to take over a position. While taking over the position, I created and updated a manual, was in charge of 90 outpatient clinics to keep their deposits and records straight, audited the clinics back five years, and recovered over $10,000 of missing money. I also trained the new employee they hired to fill that specific position, and I converted that position to be paperless.

What advice about internships would you give to students?

Do not think that you are above any job or task that you are given. Always do what you are asked, and before you leave for the day make sure your boss doesn’t need help with anything else.

Brady Maximovich ’20

Brady Maximovich

Brady is a finance major.

What is your current or past position and where?

I am currently the lead analyst for the real estate sector at the Intrieri Family Student-Managed Fund. This past summer, I worked for the world’s largest commercial real estate company, Jones Lang LaSalle, as a brokerage intern in Pittsburgh. In fall 2018, I worked remotely for a small private equity company called Pivoton Capital. My job title was fall analyst. During the summer 2018 semester, I worked for a startup called Apex Sports as a business development associate.

What attracted you to this particular internship?

I was always fascinated with real estate, but my family told me that anyone can get into the residential side of the business, so I was looking for more of a challenging role. I knew that I was a right fit for the brokerage position because I’m an outgoing person who isn’t scared to interact with clients. I also wanted to learn a new skillset that would enable me to differentiate myself from others in my major.

What advice about internships would you give to students?

Apply to as many internships possible across several different lines of business. You might not know exactly what you like yet. After getting that internship, don’t act like you know everything. Go into your workplace with an open mind, and be ready to adapt in fast-paced environments. When given assignments, don’t be the first one to finish. Always take your time and go the extra mile if you want to actually get noticed by your boss. The best piece of advice, though, is to network with as many people as you can. Go to lunch with coworkers or hang around after work for a while. There’s a famous quote that goes “It’s not all about the grades you make, but it’s also about the hands you shake.” This will carry you a long way.

Club Updates and More

Financial Planning Association (FPA)

The Financial Planning Association is driven to help students understand and excel in financial advising careers. Members of the FPA will get to listen to and network with industry professionals within financial advising and wealth management. The FPA meets monthly for a guest speaker presentation. This year, members of FPA attended a Financial “Four”um Conference in Cranberry, Pennsylvania. They got to attend five different sessions. Some of these sessions included financial behaviors, future planning with special needs, and estate planning. Since we are associated with the Financial Planning Association of Pittsburgh, our members have access to a vast network of professionals. If you are interested in the financial planning career path or obtaining your CFP through Behrend’s program, the FPA is the perfect place for you!

FPA Student Group

Members of Behrend representing FPA are, from left, Samyak Jain '23, Yang Yue '23, Larissa Hedderick '22, Katherine Buczynski '20, Club Faculty Adviser Professer Rick Hedderick, Lexi Reiter '20, Mike Kinnear '21, Mario Riccadonna '20.

Financial Management Association (FMA)

Are you interested in the financial services industry, or simply just want to learn more about one of the many options a Finance degree provides? The Financial Management Association chapter on campus is the perfect place to learn what a career in financial management looks like. You’ll get valuable life and career lessons from industry professionals, as well as build a strong career network! To join FMA, go onto the FMA webpage and sign up to pay the annual rate of $50 to cover national ($35) and local dues ($15). Your membership grants you access to new research and information from top experts in the financial field, along with networking opportunities in Pittsburgh and much more!

FMA Honors Students

Club faculty advisers Dr. Jeff Coy, far left, and Phil Stuczynski, far right, are pictured with FMA honors students Ben Lowery '20, Lewis Lippl '20, Brad Strouse '20, and Trevor Dinsmore '20.

Not pictured are students Jessica Bishop '19, Julie Brubaker '19, Nicole Kittelberger '20, and Alex Rinfrette '20.

World Campus student Kyle Rubel '20 is pictured below.

Kyle Rubel