Taking Financial Knowledge and Kelley Connections
Fort Wayne, IN
For Wells Scholar Neil Shah, the Kelley School was an easy choice. He had already decided to study finance, and what he heard about the supportive faculty and impressive job placements put Kelley at the top of his list.
“I've always been fascinated by the financial markets and wanted to understand them on a deeper level, so studying finance was an easy choice for me,” Shah says. “Studying business has also allowed me to explore applications of many concepts and ideas I learn in math and economics courses.”
And thanks to Kelley's vast Investment Banking Network, Shah was able to land two internships that gave him firsthand experience working in different areas of financial markets. “Kelley's network helped me explore opportunities at many different firms to see which ones would be right for me,” he says.
Shah spent the summer after his sophomore year working for Group One Trading, a trading firm in Chicago. He worked as part of a small team that was developing and implementing an algorithmic trading model to help increase profitability for the firm.
“Originally I was just supposed to work through the summer, but because the team was small and my work was significant, they asked me to continue working on it from Bloomington through the fall semester,” he says. “I enjoyed the work—it was quantitative and challenging, and it was exciting to work on the model until it was launched.”
For his second internship, Shah was ready for a new experience, so he pursued an internship in New York as a sales and trading summer analyst with Citigroup's Global Markets division. “Although I was still in trading, I gained broad exposure to many different areas of the financial markets, as the summer program at Citi consisted of rotations among many different trading desks, including exotic equity options trading, interest rate volatility trading, foreign exchange rate trading, and duration trading,” he says. “I had fun learning about many different areas of finance through my internships, and I also enjoyed living in both Chicago and New York and becoming familiar with both cities.”
Shah continues to take his financial skills and networking connections to the next level. Junior year, he started the Kelley Microfinance Initiative to create opportunities for students to learn about microfinance—providing financial services to poor or low-income clients—and actively collaborate with microfinance institutions (MFIs) by providing free consulting services. Currently, the group is working with two MFIs, the Ghana-based Women in Progress and Uganda Microfinance Limited, as well as collaborating with the Business Economics and Public Policy department to develop and offer a microfinance class.
“What fascinates me most about the financial markets is the critical role they play in maintaining a country's economic health,” Shah says. “Through the markets, individuals and institutions can raise the capital necessary to make great ideas a reality. By bringing together those who have capital to those who need it, financial markets serve as the beating heart of a free market economy.”
- What I love about Bloomington:
“There are so many things to do that are all easily accessible by students. Among my favorite things to do in town are to go to free IU Jacobs School of Music performances and try new restaurants.”
- What's on my iPod:
“A wide selection—from classical to 90's hip hop to electronic music.”
- Favorite Bloomington restaurants:
Falafels and Dats.