As part of his IPS, Scott Saal has led the Tribe golf team, declared a second major and participated in W&M's Wall Street Program. How have these experiences prepared him for the next level as a finance professional?
I am a scholarship athlete on the Tribe golf team. I have had a successful junior and college golf career and have been a starter on the team for the last three years (having to sit out my freshman year due to a back injury). I enjoy playing competitive golf and plan on participating in golf tournaments throughout my life.
This summer I had the opportunity to intern with Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis, MO, as well as with my father's company, Virginia Wealth Management Group. I also really enjoy reading, most especially political and economic philosophy and investment strategy.
When I first came to William & Mary, I was an Economics and Philosophy double major. After talking with Prof. Christopher Adkins and different friends who had been through the business program, I decided to enter the Mason School of Business. Meeting with advisors Mary Schilling and David Lapinski, as well as my interest in joining my father's firm, helped cement my decision to enter business school and become a Finance major.
Being part of the business program at William & Mary has been a wonderful experience for me. It has allowed me to pursue a double major in the Arts & Sciences in Philosophy and provided many other opportunities. I can't speak highly enough about the work that David Lapinski and Mason Career Services do for the students. They helped me find an internship with W&M alum, John Peluso, the President of the Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network. Their work has allowed me to gain valuable experience, which will not only be beneficial for my classes but future career as well.
As another part of my Individual Program of Study (IPS), I was able to participate in the Wall Street Program. This provides students with the opportunity to visit various investment banks and other financial services firms. It was a terrific experience, especially getting to meet executives of some of the most successful investment firms in the world.
I met and had a great conversation with Craig Broderick, a William & Mary alum and Chief Risk Officer (CRO) of Goldman Sachs. I was extremely impressed with his vast knowledge of risk management and the complicated derivatives markets. I have since seen him testify before Congressional committees as an expert on financial crisis and Goldman Sachs's actions during this period. As the CRO for the greatest investment firm in the world, he might be the smartest man on Wall Street.
My IPS has really facilitated my preparation to join the financial services industry. I am fortunate to be joining my family business, but it is impossible to overstate the role the Mason School of Business has had in my education over the last few years. My knowledge of the financial markets has exploded since I began taking classes in Miller Hall.
The best part about the Mason School is the way we, as students, can integrate so many other interests into our IPS. For instance, I am a leader on the golf team, have a double major in Philosophy, am a part of the Student Managed Investment Fund, and participated in the Wall Street Program. Without a doubt, the Mason School experience transcends mere academic work, and truly strives to prepare students for the next level in becoming successful business people.