About Me

Hometown: Cotuit, Massachusetts
Previous University: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, concentration in Finance
Q: Tell us about your background. What inspired you to pursue an MS in Finance/MBA?

A: I work in investment research with a focus on emerging markets for an asset manager in downtown Boston called Loomis, Sayles & Company.

I decided to pursue a Part-Time MS in Finance/MBA because I want to become a portfolio manager. While the MBA seemed like the best way to become a better manager and team member, the MS in Finance offered an excellent opportunity to fine-tune my quantitative skills and take more advanced finance courses. Overall, the combination of the two degrees made the most sense to help me achieve my goals.

Q: What made you confident that D'Amore-McKim would help you achieve your goals?

A: I value learning from professors with industry experience who understand how data and technology are shaping the field of finance and the global economy. I found that at D'Amore-McKim, the faculty are recognized thought leaders—including CFOs, founders of startups, change agents for various industries, and consultants for Fortune 500 companies. It was important to me that I learn from professors who could integrate real-world applications into our lessons. Also, I wanted a program where my class schedule was flexible enough to accommodate my interests, full-time job, and personal life. D'Amore-McKim checked all three boxes. Apart from the program's flexibility, a colleague of mine shared that he thought Northeastern has the most challenging MBA program in Boston and genuinely provides the skills to have a career impact. I'm not one to shy away from a good challenge; D'Amore-McKim seemed like the right fit for me.

Q: How have you been able to connect what you learn in the program with your work?

A: I'm fortunate to study and work in the same field. While in the program, I've managed two research associates and multiple interns. It's been helpful to learn how to teach, work with others empathetically, and manage people effectively.

In class, I worked on two projects related to ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance), which were interesting because I currently evaluate the ESG performance of investments at my job. One project was from a supply chain perspective and the other was from a data perspective. It's been valuable to better understand the approach from different lenses. I'm often asking companies to cut their emissions, be less wasteful, and invest in their employees and communities from the bondholder side.

Q: A D'Amore-McKim education prepares students to excel in the data-driven, tech-forward financial services world. How has the program helped you do your job differently?

A: In the investment world, the industry is constantly evolving. There's a growing expectation for analysts to have quantitative and coding experience to make informed investment decisions. Thanks to the flexibility of D'Amore-McKim's program, I've been able to choose electives that help me build these skills and gain exposure to analytics tools. The industry is also moving toward environmentally conscious investing. We've discussed these shifts in class, and I'm gaining current and practical knowledge. Learning about these changes has been highly beneficial, as I'm experiencing them in real-time at work. My colleagues in class have great perspectives to share, and it's valuable to learn from them as potential future clients.

Q: How have you leveraged what you've learned for career impact?

A: One of the first classes I took was a management class, which was eye-opening. It taught me how to work with people equitably, thoughtfully, and purposefully. Applying these management techniques in the workplace and utilizing them with both those I report to, and those that report to me has allowed me to grow within my position.

Thanks to my program's flexibility, I found the time to work with the Undergraduate Women's Investment Network (UWIN) Committee, which provides internship, mentorship, and career opportunities for young women interested in investments. I also started a group called the Early Career Professionals this year to support and advise women who have already begun their financial careers. Not only has the work been personally fulfilling, but it's led to promotional and work-culture success. I have always been passionate about increasing inclusivity in the industry, and the program has given me even more tools to do so.

Q: What advice would you share with future students?

A: What you get out of your graduate experience depends on what you put into it. The effort I've put into my work and my network with classmates, faculty, and industry professionals has started to pay off – yet I know that this is only the beginning. If you're interested in a graduate degree, the best time to start is now. You will be glad you did.

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“I don't think I could have logically gone from construction to the Navy and then straight into corporate finance without the MS in Finance/MBA program—this degree made that transition possible,” says Ross Whelton, MS in Finance/MBA'22