Where are they now?
Meet Travis, a graduate of the class of 2009.
Where are you now?
I am employed as a Pricing Specialist at ICE Trust, a credit default swap clearing house in Chicago.
What path did you follow after graduation from Calvin to get where you are now?
I spent the summer after graduation looking for jobs while working part time at a 401k management firm in Grand Rapids called Actium. In August 2009 I found a full time opportunity at The Ayco Company, a private wealth management subsidiary of Goldman Sachs in Albany, New York. After spending 6 months at Ayco I decided to make the transition to ICE to take on a more challenging role.
What to do you value most about your studies in the business or accounting program at Calvin? Why?
What I value most is the relationships that I cultivated with my professors. Apart from the valuable connections they provide due to their extensive experience in the work force, they have proven to be a consistent source of sound advice and friendship even after graduating.
Did you have an internship while you were a student? If yes, how do you feel you grew from your internship experience?
I cannot stress enough how valuable internships were both for my personal growth and for improving my future job prospects. During my time at Calvin I did three internships. The first was in operations at a German auto parts manufacturing plant based in Japan the summer after my freshman year. The experience taught me the subtleties of working in a multicultural workplace. The next was in treasury at Goldman Sachs in Jersey City, New Jersey which was the first installment in what I believe will be a never ending lesson in professionalism. The culture at Goldman profoundly shaped how I approach my professional life. The last was at the previously mentioned 401k management firm, Actium during my senior year. This was a five man operation and taught me about how to start a business from scratch.
How does your faith influence you both professionally, and in your personal life as you have navigated the past few years since leaving Calvin?
I believe faith is very complex and will rarely provide a cut and dry
approach to your professional life. That being said my faith has led me to always seek jobs that I believe will benefit the world in a real way. It also influences my conduct in the workplace, leading me to give 110% and always consider the ethics of whatever I engage in. You may find that in stressful office situations, conduct can descend into finger pointing and complaining. I believe that God calls us to rise above these situations in order to be a model for professionalism.
What advice do you have for students considering business or accounting?
For those considering Finance, take as much math and computer science as you can on top of your finance classes. The financial world is no longer run by traders operating on gut reactions to market movements, it is run by mathematicians armed with extremely powerful computers. Learn to code (VBA, C#/C++, MATLAB) and learn the math behind complex financial concepts (Linear Algebra, Stochastic Calculus, Statistics). Also, don't shy away from taking on jobs that you are not completely qualified for. If you are willing to put in the extra time to learn, those opportunities can launch you to the next
level in your career.
What words of encouragement do you have for students in accounting or business as they think about their careers?
Don't get discouraged if you are not in the position you want to be in right after college. I found myself in that situation for almost 9 months after graduation and through hard work and continuously searching for opportunities I was able to find a more challenging job.