"Our professors really care about our success and want to help us as much as possible, which I believe is something that sets Saunders apart from other colleges."
Why did you decide to attend Saunders College of Business at RIT?
I decided to attend Saunders because I wanted to stay in Rochester, and I wanted a campus that I could be involved in. RIT has given me just that. I have had the opportunity to join organizations such as Sigma Alpha Mu and have been given leadership opportunities. I have been able to work in multiple departments within RIT, understanding more than just my role but a business sense of what has to occur for a specific department to operate. When managers at RIT hear that you are in Saunders, they want to help you apply what you learn in the classroom to a real-world situation, and that is what I was looking for in a college. I wanted to apply what I learn rather than wait until after college. The co-op program at RIT has allowed me to do just that too, where I am able to work in the finance industry before graduating, learning not only in the classroom but on the job, better preparing me for the workplace.
What's great about your co-op?
Since I started at my co-op in January of 2018, I have been treated like a family member at Mantione Financial, a quality that you do not often see in business owners. Trust comes with being treated like a family member, where I am given assignments such as analyzing mutual funds or helping prepare parts of tax returns for my boss to review with little to no supervision unless I ask for guidance. I am allowed a lot of freedom to get the tasks completed as long as they are completed correctly, which is huge within a company. I am not just a temporary employee at this firm. I am a part of the long-term vision of making the co-op experience that much better. At Mantione Financial, I can learn about wealth management and taxes, two different but connected areas of the finance industry. Due to this co-op, I decided to pursue a career in wealth management and tax preparation and go for my enrolled agent certification. Without me attending Saunders and applying to Mantione Financial through Handshake, I would not be on the career path I am today.
In what ways has Saunders/RIT prepared you for the job market?
Saunders has prepared me by allowing me to be continuously tested, whether in an exam, group project, or an individual project. I am experiencing this right now as I go for my enrolled agent certification. Saunders has prepared me well for the professional exams by continuously pushing us to be the best students and allow us to take hard exams and learn from our mistakes so that we can grow as students and as people. Saunders has allowed me the opportunity to work in groups often, preparing me to work in a team at my co-op. It has also given me the confidence to work independently and know my work comes from a strong foundation of knowledge through rigorous financial courses.
What do you feel is the most distinctive advantage gained from your Saunders Experience?
The most distinctive advantage gained from Saunders would be how hard our professors push us to work. Our professors care about the students, and without them, Saunders would not be the college it is today. One of the best examples is when students do not perform well on the exam and go into the office hours of a professor. The professor wants to help the student as much as possible and not just tell the student the material again but also figure out why the student had difficulty and strategies to perform better not only in their classroom but also in every classroom. I have gone to my tax preparation professor for questions not related to my class with him. He set time aside to help me come to the best solution, showing that professors care about the students' success, which sets Saunders apart from other colleges.