Student Spotlight: Abigail Varney, Finance ’22

Q: Outside of classes, what clubs/activities are you involved in here at Isenberg/UMass?

A: Outside of classes, I serve as a founding member and Co-CEO of Smart Woman Securities (SWS). SWS is a national non-profit organization that has a goal of empowering women on finance and investments. I also serve as a senior analyst in the Minutemen Fixed Income Fund, a student-run investment fund that invests in high-yield corporate bonds. Outside of clubs I also enjoy working as a UMass Tour Guide!

Q: What is your favorite Isenberg memory thus far?

A: My favorite Isenberg memory thus far was hosting our inaugural Beyond Your Degree: Careers in Finance conference. This conference, hosted by SWS, was the product of months of planning and coordination with departments and professors across Isenberg. Our conference welcomed students to learn from alumni and industry professionals about what life after receiving a degree in Finance holds. It was great to see so many students, alumni, and industry professionals coming together at Isenberg for this event.

Q: What was your internship this summer?

A: This summer I am interning at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in NYC as an Equity Research Associate Intern on the Internet team.

Q: What was your path to finding your summer internship at RBC?

A: I first heard about RBC through an Isenberg alumni who I had reached out to learn more about his career and current role. After learning more about the company and business I applied for RBC’s Women’s Advisory Program, which is a 6-month early insight program for women interested in a career in finance. Through this program I was able to explore careers across the firm and at the end was given an offer for the Equity Research role I’m in now.

Q: What do you hope to pursue after graduation? How has the Chase Career Center helped you along the way?

A: After graduation I hope to pursue a career in Equity or Credit Research at an investment bank in NYC. Chase Career Center has helped this process by partnering with organizations across Isenberg to help host speaker sessions, conferences, and networking sessions that ultimately helped me discover exactly what I wanted to do post-graduation.

Q: How do you think your overall Isenberg experience will benefit you professionally?

A: Although it may sound cliché, Isenberg students are really some of the most driven people I have ever met. My experience at Isenberg has taught me how to work hard, be a leader, and always strive for excellence. This has already benefited me in my past and current internships and leadership roles, and I know will continue to benefit me throughout my professional career.

Q: What is your top networking tip for current students?

A: Take every opportunity to talk to someone new. You never know which connections or conversations will have an impact on your professional career or trajectory. It may seem scary at first, but remember we are all human and most people are happy to see someone taking the initiative to understand an industry or role!

By Melissa Salva
Melissa Salva Director of Undergraduate Career Services