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Voices

Photograph by Kim Lee Schmidt

What are some of your responsibilities?
I’m in charge of overseeing the two funds SMIF manages: the growth and value funds. I spend anywhere from two to three hours a week meeting with the members of these funds to make sure everything is running well.

When it comes time for the end-of-the-year report or other presentations to the board of trustees, I’ll oversee that project and delegate responsibilities to make sure we’ve put together a good final product.

What does it take to be the general manager?

You need to be recommended by both your peers and the faculty, so building good rapport is important. You’ll definitely need good communication skills since the position requires you to delegate tasks among other members of the fund, as well as communicate with members of the board of trustees.

Most of all, you’ll need to be passionate about the work.

Can you explain the ESG fund SMIF is considering creating?
“ESG” stands for “environmental, social, and governance.” Before you invest, you gather facts in these three broad categories — facts relative to their impact on these sectors or their specific role within each category — and determine whether to invest in these companies based on what you find.

What is your plan for after graduation?
I’m starting at Barclays on the flow volatility sales-trading desk, where I’ll be trading derivatives and options, so I’d like to stay there for a few years. I could see myself staying there for a long time, too.

Maybe after that I’ll move into the nonprofit sector. I want to make sure that companies that do genuine, good work have the resources to do so; I want them to run effectively.

Thinking way down the road — after I’ve worked for a while and retired — it would be nice to come back and teach at UR.

You approach finance with empathy and concern for people’s well-being. Where do you think that comes from?
I grew up in nine different countries, some of which were developing countries. I saw the effects that limited access to capital can have on a whole nation.

I know that I’ll be working at a big company, and they donate to good causes, for sure. But I want to do more than just donate. I want to do what is best for the most people, and I want to take a more hands-on approach. There’s no better way to do that than working for a cause you care about.

As you approach graduation, how do you feel about your time at SMIF?
This is something I never thought I would be able to do. The opportunity is incredible.

It’s one of the only places where you have a safe environment to learn about investing. If you mess up, you don’t get fired. Professors will ask you, “OK, what did you learn?” and you’re able to use that when you invest in the next company.

How does it feel to be part of an upcoming smart but underrepresented group in the finance industry?
From my first externship as a sophomore, I found out how women can be intimidated in a male-dominated field. Men are not subject to the imposter syndrome other underrepresented groups feel.

With my position now, both as a senior and just a generally well-networked person, I try to help other young women overcome these struggles as best I can. I do my best to mentor younger women. I’ll read résumés. I’ll use connections I have.

I’ll encourage the upcoming classes to do what they’re passionate about, just as seniors did for me when I was getting my start at Richmond.