With the shared goal of breaking into investment banking among other similar interests, Sam and I became fast friends. Several of the alumni we’d spoken to had talked about taking advantage of our student status to attend some fantastic finance conferences around the country. Blake specifically had augmented his Krannert education by attending conferences in private equity, venture capital and investment strategy while at Purdue.

As Sam and I began marking these conferences on our calendars, we asked ourselves in one of those classic 2 a.m. pizza-fueled undergrad conversations, “Why not utilize Purdue’s alumni network to set up our own conference?”

Purdue Finance Academy

Launched by students with alumni support in 2013, the Purdue Finance Academy includes a fall training workshop and a spring conference. (Photo provided)

The Purdue Private Equity Conference was born. While I had spearheaded the fall 2013 workshop with Blake’s guidance, Sam took over for the spring 2014 conference.

With hard work and planning, three keynote alumni speakers taught a group of 40 Krannert students about the industry, influence and impact of private equity on today’s economy. A guest panel of three additional alumni led students through an interactive case study.

What started as one student’s quest for an internship is now evolving into an amazing opportunity for Krannert’s best and brightest students.

Krannert has fully embraced the Purdue Finance Academy with a pledge to match donations up to $250,000. Bookended by the fall training workshop and the spring conference, the program provides a connected network of more than 30 Purdue alumni who are employed on Wall Street in finance and are dedicated to training and mentoring our top students.

I am confident in saying that there has never been a better time to be a Krannert student interested in a career in finance. Through the programs outlined here and the commitment of our Wall Street alumni to the Purdue Finance Academy, the future is as bright as ever for Krannert students.

For more information on the Purdue Finance Academy, please contact Charlene Sullivan at sulliva@purdue.edu.

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