Meet a few of our MFA alumni!
Sydney Foresythe - MS Finance '15 - Valuation and Fairness Opinion Analyst, Stout Risius Ross
After graduation with a bachelor’s degree in commerce from McMaster University, Canada, Sydney Foresythe was working as an intern at RBC Dominion Securities and MacNicol Associates in Toronto, and with CITCO, a business that provides services to hedge-fund companies. However, he wasn’t satisfied with the progress of his career and wanted to pursue his career for a Masters degree in Finance. That search led him to the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University, where he enrolled in the M.S. Finance program in 2014 and received his degree in June 2015. He is now working as a Valuation and Fairness Opinion Analyst for the financial firm Stout Risius Ross in Los Angeles. Additionally, SCU's location, repuatation, program duration, strong network with alumni and businesses, small class sizes, approachable professors, real-world experience, and a great learning experience from peers provided him a better position to succeed in future. During the course, he got valuable advice from George Chacko and adjunct instructor Nitin Barve that were supplemented by practical advice on job searching from the school’s career advisers and assistance from the International Student Services office on how to navigate his visa situation when looking for work. While going through this amusement ride, Foresythe found Stout Risius Ross and learned about the company, which seemed like a good fit. Given contact information for one of the firm’s managing directors, and advice from business school staff on how to make the approach, he e-mailed her, was called in for an interview, and was offered a job in his field when he graduated. “The idea was to come to Santa Clara, get a master’s degree, and get into a field more involved with financial analytics,” Foresythe says. “That is exactly what happened, and I absolutely feel I made the right decision.”
Sarah Ip - MS Finance '15 - Senior Financial Analyst
As an undergraduate at UC-Berkeley, Sarah Ip majored in political economy, with a concentration in globalization. With the intent of going to law school, she interned with the U.S. Department of Commerce and with the San Francisco County Public Defender’s Office. However, in the mean time, she became more interested in business and decided to pursue an advanced degree in an area that will build stronger technical skills. Hence, she joined the one-year Master’s program in Finance at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business. Her experience at SCU was really amazing due to the small class sizes, highly supportive professors and collaborative environment among peers. Ip started at Santa Clara in June 2014 and at a career fair at Santa Clara, she was approached by a recruiter for Maxim Integrated, a publicly traded San Jose firm, founded in 1983, that develops analog technology solutions for a wide range of industrial applications. “Initially, Maxim Integrated wasn’t even on my radar,” she says, “but my goal was to work for a company that offered a financial rotation program to allow me to gain more exposure to different roles in the financial field. It turned out to be a great fit and an amazing opportunity.” The rotation program is focused on leadership development. Newly hired Finance graduates work under the umbrella of the firm’s CFO, specializing in an area of work one year, then rotating to another and another the first three years before it’s determined where they’ll end up. In her first year as senior financial analyst, Ip was assigned to the Securities Exchange Commission reporting unit, and had been involved in preparing Maxim Integrated’s 10K form at the time she was interviewed. “I would say if you’re interested in Finance and have the desire to build a strong technical background, Santa Clara University is a good option. Make sure you take the time to make good connections, because the year flies by,” she says.
Toshi Masubuchi - MS Finance '15 - Business Valuation Associate
To pursue his interest in business and Finance, Toshihiro (Toshi) Masubuchi decided to do one-year Master’s program in Finance in the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University. Masubuchi says that his grades at UCLA were decent but not stellar, and that Santa Clara took time to interview him in depth and look at his career trajectory to see that he would be a good fit for the MS Finance program. “I felt like I had a purpose going in,” he says of his acceptance. “I tried to have no expectations. My mindset was to have a sense of desperation about it, and that I was going to work as hard as I can. I wanted to capitalize on the opportunity the university gave me.” Collaborative environment among peers, helpful professors, and small class sizes were the most highlight points for him in the program. He started classes in the summer of 2014 and by summer’s end was applying for jobs. In July a former roommate connected him to the lead recruiter for a Business Valuation Associate position in the West Region offices at Deloitte Financial Advisory Services. After attending networking events, he was invited to an in-house interview in October and later that month, he was hired at the Los Angeles office beginning in October 2015.That left him with several months between graduation and the start of the job, so he looked for an internship to pick up additional experience. In the summer of 2015, he worked 10 weeks for Softbank in its San Carlos office. During the internship, he worked on valuing those separate assets, helping to come up with a sum-of-the-parts valuation of the company. “The experience at Santa Clara was very beneficial,” Masubuchi says. “I was constantly on the grind — studying, taking exams, doing projects. But the condensed nature of the one-year program is great for people who come in with a purpose and want to execute their game plan. It’s probably the best investment I’ll ever make in my life.”
Xiaoyun Yang - MS Finance '15 - Supple Demand Planner
Xiaoyun Yang had majored in statistics as an undergraduate in China, and had worked in and for analytical centers of an international and Chinese bank, helping develop credit-card models. After getting accepted into the one-year M.S. Finance program at Santa Clara’s Leavey School of Business, she had more fun in studying than working due to the intensive and project-based courses. As an international student, she also appreciated the significant help of career counseling and support from the university’s career office that was supplemented by the help from many of the 30,000 or so Santa Clara alumni in the Bay Area, who helped her develop a network. As she moved through the program, Yang decided she didn’t want to work for a bank, but rather wanted to take advantage of being in Silicon Valley by doing analytical work for a tech company. In August 2015 she started in the operations department at Apple, working with the finance and marketing departments. “A lot of the key skills in the job are the same as what I learned at Santa Clara,” she says. The MS Finance program, Yang says, “really prepared me in terms of speaking, presentation, communication, and understanding what’s happening in the business world. But what I really treasure most about it was the people I met — the professors and outstanding students. They were great people who helped me become better.” She graduated in June 2015.
Ruta Zurauskyte - MSF '14 - Financial Planning and Analysis Intern, Tibco Software
Ruta Zurauskyte ’13, is a June 2014 graduate in the Master’s in Finance. She received her bachelor’s in finance from the Leavey School of Business in 2013 and is now advising recently accepted MSF students. She had joined the MSF program for being able to pursue positions in the banking industry, investment and insurance companies, as well as corporate finance roles. Hence, MSF program in a relatively short amount of time really fit her needs. Additionally, SCU'S location in Silicon Valley, vast alumni network and her prior association with SCU made her job search process a lot easier. She says,"I was a bit surprised at how much I was able to learn in the short 12 months of my studies. I was really able to tailor the program to my career needs and get the most out of my time as well as get a full-time job following my graduation." She is currently a financial planning and analysis intern at Tibco Software in Palo Alto. She is working with their tibbr and Loyalty Lab business units by helping with the procurement process, forecasting and sales operations finance.