MS(F) Alumni SpotlightsPurdue's MS(F) graduates launch their outstanding careers in diverse areas within the U.S. and around the world. The analytical, technical, and global leadership skills built at Krannert open the door to endless opportunities. These proud Boilermakers share their insight about the program and rewarding Purdue experiences. We hope you enjoy learning more about Andy, Vivienne, and Sam as much as we enjoyed having them as students in the Krannert School of Management.
Andy Popenfoose, MS(F) 2010
Associate Analysis Group, Chicago, Illinois
Why should a student choose Krannert? The School deserves its reputation for being close-knit and hard-working. Individuals who are drawn to quantitative work and enjoy this type of environment should give sincere consideration to Krannert.
Did you participate in any extracurricular clubs during your time at Purdue? I participated in the Venture Capital Investment Competition. It was a great event, as it forced our team to quickly perform steps required for a one-day investment decision. By having seasoned professionals and professors evaluate our process, it exposed our strengths and weaknesses and therefore helped us grow.
Describe the Krannert faculty? The Krannert faculty are terrific. The professors are clearly experts in their respective fields, and they delivered well-planned and effective lectures on important topics.
How did your degree help you obtain your current position? The program helped me in two primary ways. I obtained a solid understanding of financial and quantitative concepts, and then had opportunities to apply them in a variety of ways through my coursework. After learning from great faculty and working with bright peers, I was very confident in my job search. Additionally, Purdue’s reputation is a great signal to recruiters. This reputation certainly helped bridge the gap during the recruitment process.
When we catch up with you in 10 years, what do you expect to be doing? Climbing the Matterhorn
Vivienne Li, MS(F) 2010
Why should a prospective student choose the Krannert School of Management? As one of the top business schools in the world, Krannert provides a very practice-oriented MS(F) program. Among schools that have a MS(F) programs, Krannert has an excellent reputation. This is due to the distinguished faculty, engaging classroom settings, and outstanding alumni network. These program strengths will not only help students aspire to and achieve their career goals, but also have a positive effect on other aspects of their lives.
Equity Pricing Verification Associate Bank of America, New York, New York
How would you describe the faculty? I, personally, have developed very close friendships with several Krannert professors. After graduation, I have stayed in touch and connected with them in New York City. To me, that is really beneficial.
What did you like most about the Krannert School and Purdue? The Boiler-Up culture and friendly people. In New York City, when I encounter a Boilermaker they shout out Boiler Up.
How did your degree help you obtain your current position? I felt the small class settings helped me build strong relationships with my classmates and professors. Also, case studies and participation in class discussion built my confidence and strategic thinking skills, which I later applied in interviews.
When we catch up with you in 10 years, what do you expect to be doing? I will be focused on building a career in the fashion industry, starting my own charity fund, and helping children in poverty.
Commercial Product Manager Bank of the West / BNP Paribas Group, San Francisco, California
What should a prospective student know about Krannert? There are a lot of reasons to select Krannert, but I’d highlight two: analytical rigor and national reputation.
What extracurricular clubs were you involved in and how have they contributed to your success? I was actively involved with the Student Managed Investment Fund, Entrepreneurship, and Venture Capital Club (now the BYTE Club). Being a member of a club gives you the opportunity to interact with peers and to develop leadership skills outside of class.
How would you describe faculty? First and foremost, the faculty did a very good job of preparing me for analytical challenges in my career. They held students to a high standard without putting undue pressure on them, and they knew how to bring some levity to balance things out. It felt great to have faculty that were so dedicated to my success and well-being.
How did Purdue help develop your leadership skills? The biggest surprise for me was that Krannert – a school known for its quantitative foundation – had many opportunities to practice soft skills, to build momentum around ideas. I equate this with good leadership. For example, when I first arrived in my current position I wanted to develop a new reporting initiative. I was convinced of the benefits, but knew I needed to influence key people to purchase software and tap key personnel – no easy task. While I was putting together my case, I ran into one of the decision-makers in the elevator and I gave him my 30-second pitch – and it worked. After a more formal presentation I received the green light and the initiative was a success. While meeting the executive in the elevator was happenstance, my pitch wasn’t – that skill was practiced during projects, student clubs, and speaking with recruiters, professors, and of course the Krannert Professional Development Center staff.
How did your degree help you obtain your current position? I credit what I learned during my MS(F) program with allowing me to advance my career quicker than I expected. The skills I learned – in-depth quantitative analysis, filtering huge quantities of data into synthesized information, and using my honed interpersonal skills to pitch ideas and build consensus – have helped me speak directly to senior managers in the financial language they understand. I am able to provide information to managers and have confidence to ask for what I need.
When we catch up with you in 10 years, what do you expect to be doing? My goal has always been to blend finance, marketing, and strategy to deliver a product or service where I am accountable for the profits and losses. My current role affords me this experience. However, in ten years I want to be responsible for progressively more products and services with a more complex interplay of finance, marketing, and strategy, regardless of whether I am doing it as part of a larger organization or on my own.