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Darla Moore School of Business

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Financial advisor gains leadership and management skills with Professional MBA program

Moore School Professional MBA student Dipali Patel looks forward to strengthening the skills she has gained from the PMBA program to assist her clients in making smart and informed financial decisions after she graduates in May 2021.

Patel, a financial advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors in Greenville, South Carolina, works with a variety of different investors on a daily basis. She said that she decided to pursue her MBA with a focus in finance so that she could make more valuable connections with her clients, pursue necessary professional skills and foster personal development.

“I work with investors, and each investor is unique,” Patel said. “Some clients are just starting out with investments, so I help to create a plan tailored just for them based on their risk level and time horizon. For others, I conduct market research to stay up to date with financial trends and products and ensure my clients that their plans are in line with current market conditions and their goals. As life happens, it is my job to make sure I revisit these plans and make necessary adjustments.”

When Patel realized she wanted to obtain her MBA so that she could best perform her job, she started researching different graduate programs. She said the Moore School’s ranking stood out to her, and she decided to join the Professional MBA program because she felt that she would be challenged and held to high standards.

“To be the best, you need to get taught by the best, you have to surround yourself by those that are the best and those that will challenge you,” she said. “The Darla Moore School of Business is ranked top in the country in its International Business and other programs. This prominent recognition can only be awarded when every faculty member holds themselves to the highest standards. I knew by joining this program, I would be under their leadership, guidance, and I wanted that level of accountability.”

The flexibility of the Professional MBA program was also very appealing for Patel considering her busy work schedule. She said having the option to attend class online if she can’t make the drive has helped her tremendously.

“It allows me to be able to work full time and still complete required MBA courses as a working professional,” she said. “I wanted to be a part of a program that allowed me to have interactions with other students in a classroom setting yet flexibility of online tools if I couldn’t attend in person.”

Since starting the program in 2018, Patel said she has gained not only financial skills but also leadership and management skills. She said that one of the most valuable skills that she will take away from the program is teamwork.

“It sounds simple, but the classes I took in the MBA program required so many group activities that I was encouraged to use my strength and discover my weaknesses,” she said. “You will be placed in a group setting with some very intelligent folks, and you have to quickly rise to the higher level of expectation.”

These skills have allowed Patel to better understand investing which in turn helps her clients better understand the financial market and make more knowledgeable financial decisions.

“An MBA with a focus in finance has allowed me to gain a broad understanding of capitalism, banking, economics, accounting and risk management,” she said. “For example, economics conveyed both global and broad macro concepts as wells as micro topics such as monetary and fiscal policy. As a financial advisor, this understanding of economics equips me to help clients understand the business and financial market cycles. In risk management, we learned to conduct Monte Carlo simulation which not only assesses risk but evaluates alternative ways to manage risks. I utilize this tool in the world of investment; this simulation helps to mimic different potential outcomes over a lifetime of investing varying historical risk, return and correlation amongst the assets.”

As her time at the Moore School is quickly coming to a close, Patel said that she is grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of such an exceptional program.

“This program exudes excellence,” she said. “When you get your MBA from the Moore School, you are not just gaining a degree. You get to become a part of a world class institution, obtain the support of notable alumni and gain exposure to leading companies in various industries.”

-Claire McGrath


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