Racing into the World of Finance
Matt Clark competes on the Track and Field team, is Vice President of Finance Academy, and landed an internship at Deutsche Bank. How has he combined these experiences into a unique IPS?
The Start of an IPS
I am from Richmond, VA, and I am pursuing a Finance major, an accounting concentration and an economics minor. I really like being outdoors; my favorite Williamsburg activities are fishing in Lake Matoaka and walking around Colonial Williamsburg. In addition to Finance, I’m also very interested in art and literature so I am excited for the opportunity to visit museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and to watch Shakespeare in the Park performances in Central Park while in New York this summer.
My IPS has been shaped in large part by my interactions with and the direction I have received from William & Mary students, faculty, and alumni. I can attribute my interest in finance to Gunnar Gregory, ’11, who introduced me to investment banking through his personal experiences and books like Liar’s Poker. My accounting concentration is the result of William & Mary alumni working in corporate finance who emphasized the importance of a solid accounting background in working on Wall Street. As far as Economics, I just enjoy the subject because I feel the macro perspective you learn is invaluable in understanding the way countries, political regimes, and businesses operate.
Getting Involved Outside and Inside the Classroom
William & Mary has enabled me to pursue many of my academic and athletic interests. As the Vice President of the Finance Academy, I have learned about my major outside the confines of a textbook and have been introduced to several William & Mary alumni on Wall Street who have been a great source of guidance and advice. The varsity track and field team has provided me with an outlet to exercise my competitive nature on a daily basis and has introduced me to some of my best friends at the College. Thanks to William & Mary’s abundant resources, I was also able to create Tribe Against Drunk Driving, a student organization that is dedicated to promoting awareness, creating positive peer pressure, and helping students say "No" and find alternatives to impaired driving.
As far as the future, I can confidently say that my Mason education is giving me a solid foundation for a career in Finance. In my favorite course, Applied Financial Concepts, Professor Glenn Crafford challenged the class with case-based discussions led by industry professionals. I enjoyed the practical approach to understanding finance and became familiar with many financial modeling, analytical, and valuation techniques. The post-training examination I took for my summer internship is exemplarily of the positive effect Mason has on its students and is a highlight of my business school experience. On the last day of training, interns were tested on various accounting practices, financial statements, and valuation methods. It was honestly one of the easiest business-related examinations I have ever taken, which is a reflection of William & Mary’s outstanding faculty and curriculum. In addition to my Finance classes, I also enjoyed taking Principles of Marketing with Professor Bob Williams during the Foundation Semester. Professor Williams sparked my interest in marketing and served as a mentor for me.
A Future in Finance
This summer, I am interning in New York with Deutsche Bank’s Corporate Investment Bank in the Natural Resource Group. I can’t say for certain where my IPS will take me but I know I would like to work in New York for few years. I think it would be interesting to work on the product side of an investment bank- maybe in Leveraged Finance or Mergers & Acquisitions- and to eventually explore international opportunities. I have met many bankers who worked in London so that could be a possibility. At some point, I would like to get my MBA- it’d be a great opportunity to fine-tune my knowledge of finance and meet people from diverse backgrounds.