Student Investment Fund: How it helped Fiana Lomu land a top job in NYC

Fiana LomuDuring her sophomore year at the University of Utah, Fiana Lomu decided to apply to work in the Student Investment Fund (SIF) at the David Eccles School of Business. The vast majority of her junior and senior friends had been involved in the program, and she knew that her previous Goldman Sachs internship displayed proudly on her résumé made her a competitive candidate.

When she received her acceptance letter to participate in the fund, she was definitely excited. Little did she know, though, the experience she gained at the fund would propel her to land a prestigious internship and subsequent full-time offer at one of the biggest banks in the world.

For Fiana, a Utah native with no family in the finance industry, working in banking in New York City seemed like a far-reaching opportunity not on her horizon. When she started with the Student Investment Fund, she was immediately introduced to a new world, surrounded by both peers anticipating the opportunity to delve into finance and mentors who had already spent considerable time on Wall Street. Suddenly, pursuing a career in finance in the Big Apple felt like a real possibility.

“The Student Investment Fund made finance feel real to me,” said Fiana. “I’d been dreaming about the potential for years, but now it was in front of me as a legitimate opportunity.”

SIF also helped Fiana learn the language of finance and gain invaluable experience that would make her one of the most impressive interviewees for her future job. Not only did she gain important writing skills, but she and her colleagues also analyzed stock trading and did such an exceptional job in their selection that SIF received the Fred Dickson Memorial Award in recognition of their outstanding performance that year — hands-on experience that touted her intuition and ability to accurately assess the financial state of specific companies and the overall economy.

“I gained priceless financial analysis skills from SIF,” said Fiana. “I especially learned how to sift through troves of information and find the data nuggets that matter. In the age of Google when all information is at our fingertips, it’s essential to identify and prioritize specific metrics that matter to your financial valuation and analysis.”

Because of this research, analysis and writing experience, among other qualities, Fiana won an internship with Citibank in its New York office. While presenting the offer, Citi’s senior management told Fiana she had one of the best stock pitches they’d ever seen during her interview. And throughout her time at Citi, she always had a leg up on her fellow interns because of these deeply entrenched skills garnered from the Student Investment Fund at the Eccles School.

Needless to say, Fiana’s Citibank managers were so impressed by her that they offered her a full-time position, and she will be returning as a full-time analyst come summer 2017. While her tenacity and enthusiasm for finance can’t be taught, Fiana credits SIF with giving her the training and acumen she needed to thrive.

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