Scholars of Finance, a nationally recognized non-profit organization that specializes in leadership development and mentoring in the finance field, started a chapter at the University of Richmond during the fall semester of 2022.
Scholars of Finance specifically works to implement values such as integrity, compassion, curiosity and humility in tomorrow’s finance leaders of the world. They work alongside top finance professionals and companies to mold effective leaders who can efficiently solve the world’s problems according to the Scholars of Finance official website.
Sophomore Ifti Alam founded UR’s chapter of Scholars of Finance and serves as the president. His mission behind starting the chapter was to bring an organization on campus that has national reach, but also promotes character growth and development, he said.
“You can have all the knowledge you want within finance, but without professionalism or knowing yourself you will never be able to converse with a professional or really communicate your ideas,” Alam said.
Scholars of Finance have the national reach and the resources to create the environment that he is looking for, Alam said. This specific chapter is also working to implement an inclusive and diverse environment to showcase a wide range of opinions.
“Having different kinds of people that not only look different on the outside, but also think differently, speak differently and solve problems differently is critical for any organization,” Alam said. “Scholars of Finance having that position shows how much we can achieve.”
Sophomore Jack Manigan, vice president of member services, was approached by Alam to be a part of the leadership team.
“The way that he sold me was by saying that Scholars of Finance aims to change the negative stigma about the finance industry,” Manigan said. “We’re here to encourage underrepresented people to take finance seriously as a career.”
One of the aspects that Scholars of Finance plans to emphasize is their speaker series and symposiums. At these speaker series, members utilize the skills that Scholars of Finance aims to develop, said Alam.
UR’s chapter has already started implementing its speaker series, which began with Joe Davis, a wall street worker who spoke on his experience after working on Wall Street for several years. Their speaker series continues as the semester passes with speakers such as Ross Overline, the CEO of Scholars of Finance, coming in early March.
Alongside campus-held speaking events and symposiums, Scholars of Finance is also working on collaborating with neighboring universities and colleges to hold a D.C.-Virginia area symposium. They are planning to work with the University of Virginia, Georgetown, and Howard to have over 180 students attend discussions and get to speak to executives in the finance industry, said Alam.
On Jan. 25th, Scholars of Finance held their first informational session to new and prospective members. The information session garnered large amounts of interest from students.
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“Turnouts have been good so far,” Manigan said. “It’s nice to see students from varying demographics and years be interested in what we started.”
Alam said that the leadership team had only planned for 15 to 20 people to attend the first interest meeting, but they received over 40 applications for membership after the meeting. Application due dates were extended leaving students with more time to apply to be a part of the organization.
The application process for Scholars of Finance is currently closed.
While advertising an all-inclusive environment, the leadership team thought that it was important to highlight that Scholars of Finance requires students who are passionate and dedicated to learning more about the world of finance.
“We are looking for students who are serious about our mission and truly care about what Scholars of Finance stands for,” Manigan said.
Contact features writer Melissa Chaparro at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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