The One with The Risk Institute: SMF Student’s Success Story on Graduation and Employment

I landed in the U.S. less than a year ago. During this brief period, I completed my master’s degree (phew!) and got a job. Before joining Fisher’s Specialized Master’s in Finance program, all I knew was that I was interested in working in risk management. Ten months hence and I now know I am “passionate” about working in risk management. The SMF was an intensive course, but the professor’s class diversity and student consulting projects made it worthwhile. I chose Risk Management and Corporate Finance as my specialization tracks. As part of the Risk Management track, I signed up for Enterprise Risk Management 1 and 2. It was during ERM 2 that we did our first student consulting project for Abbott Nutrition. The Risk Institute, in collaboration with Abbott Nutrition and Prof. Daniel Oglevee, gave my class the opportunity to work on 3 risk-based projects for Abbott.

All 3 projects were focused on quality assurance. The teams worked on creating a risk model for enabling decision-making, a survey to better understand and improve the risk culture within the company, and risk-based market research. Welcome to the real world! We had learned VAR’s, derivatives and all other academics needed to complete the risk track, but now was the time to use them. The projects we did for Abbott gave us a unique perspective on how risk management was much more than what we learned inside the classroom. During all this, The Risk Institute, especially Executive Director, Philip Renaud, was a huge resource for insights regarding these projects.

During the time we were working with Abbott, we were also working with Vantiv, a partner of the Risk Institute, as part of SMF’s capstone project. For Vantiv, my teammates and I created a risk framework for their M&A activities. This framework added a risk-based dimension to the evaluation of a target for acquisition. It is a unique framework in that it disrupts the traditional valuation methods. I am big on disruptive innovation. I believe we are at a stage where simple innovation no longer gives you the upper hand. I gained an immense amount of experience from working these two projects, and hopefully, we were able to deliver results that were productive for the companies.

During this project, with help from Philip Renaud of The Risk Institute, I was able to connect with a recruiter from Vantiv. That connection went a long way to help me get a job at Vantiv on their lean Enterprise Risk Management team. I plan on staying in touch with The Risk Institute and furthering the work we did for Vantiv. Plus, it always feels good to be back on campus (GO BUCKS!!). I would like to thank Philip Renaud and Denita Strietelmeier for helping me during my year at Fisher and in my job search.

It is a good time to be in Risk management.

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