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Darla Moore School of Business


Finance Scholars program looks to continue growth as it begins second year

September 20, 2016

The Carolina Finance Scholars program at the Darla Moore School of Business ended a successful pilot year with all 10 of its seniors securing high-paying jobs and the four juniors available for summer internships receiving top finance internships. For the 2016/17 school year, the program has added 11 seniors, 18 juniors and one sophomore.

This program is an intensive, two-year finance program funded by BB&T to better prepare finance students for internships between their junior and seniors years as well as improve their overall finance knowledge and experience to make them more attractive job candidates to recruiters. To do this, it provides students with direct exposure to well-placed industry professionals and develops their practical, analytical and technical skills through applied coursework.

“The program is designed to help our most ambitious students target high-end jobs that historically South Carolina students couldn’t reach,” said Colin Jones, director of the Carolina Finance Scholars Program.

The students that take part in this program go through an extensive application process. The incoming 30 students were chosen out of 140 applicants.

“I think it’s very telling that we have 140 students at this business school who really want to work hard and are looking for a way to do it,” Jones said.

Through the program, students take courses designed to look exactly like what finance professionals are doing in the business world. Students go on a trip to New York City over fall break to do site visits with investment banks, study the stock exchange and intercontinental exchange, and visit private equity firms

The challenge the program faces now is how to expand it without decreasing its effectiveness. The additional intensive courses, individual attention and trip to New York City are greatly beneficial, but cost a considerable amount of time and money. However, Jones is hopeful that potential donors will see the program’s value as much as students and recruiters have.

"What surprised me most in the pilot year of this program was how many students wanted to do this program and how many people wanted to hire students from this program,” he said. “We have very good supply and demand. We would like to have the resources to deliver this type of program across the entire finance major.”

For now, the 30 selected students are looking forward to an intensive year of accelerated finance learning and real-world application based on what finance professionals are actually doing in the field.

By Madeleine Vath