For Nalini Gupta, a new student in the Dolan School’s Master’s of Science in Finance program, going back to school for an advanced degree was a necessary progression for her career. Gupta works at General Electric (GE) as a Senior Financial Analyst in Fairfield, Conn., and after five years with the company, two in GE Healthcare and three in GE Corporate, Gupta made the decision to go back to school to enhance her financial knowledge, open up new opportunities in other fields of finance, and expand her professional network.
Gupta describes her path to GE Corporate as “not a typical one.” She attended Boston University as a biology major and a business minor with the intention of attending medical school. However, after interning at Creighton Medical School in Omaha, Neb., one summer during college, she realized that medicine wasn’t ultimately for her, and instead landed a coveted job in the FMP program at GE Healthcare. Her dual background of business and biology served her well in her first role, and she advanced to GE Corporate and joined the Corporate Audit Staff. She now works as a Senior Financial Analyst supporting corporate operations.
Gupta explained that she began looking into higher education programs because, “I realized that I didn’t have the formal background in the finance world from an educational perspective, even though I had learned quite a bit through experience. I felt that I was lacking that degree in order to further my knowledge and open up new opportunities of finance in the future.”
The Easton, Conn., resident looked at several graduate programs before deciding on the Dolan School at Fairfield University. “Fairfield was close by, and it’s easier to network with other professionals when you’re in the area versus having to travel an hour,” she explained. The opportunity to network with other financial professionals in Connecticut was important to Gupta. “I knew there was a lot of team work involved [in the courses and national competitions] and I looked forward to meeting other people with whom I could learn from and interact with as I build my network.” In addition, Gupta reported that several of her GE colleagues who were also in the program highly recommended it because “You’re able to work and go to class at the same time and still maintain a great work-life balance.”
This semester Gupta took her first course, “Investment Analysis” with Dr. Ying Zhang, assistant professor of finance. She has been pleased with the classroom environment and impressed with its advanced computer systems. Gupta plans to complete her degree in approximately three years, and will take a short break this summer as she prepares to marry her fiancé, Neil Anand. Gupta said that her long-term plans, in addition to completing to her degree, is to make a contribution to Fairfield, although she stated that she wasn’t sure what that would be yet. “I’d love to give back to the school that helps me get the degree,” she said. “A formal degree in finance is absolutely necessary to understand other fields such as risk management, global markets, and investments. Flexibility is very important for someone in the field and in this economy you need to expand your skills as much as possible.”
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