Graduation Year: December 2021
Hometown: San Francisco Bay Area
Activities: Delta Sigma Pi, Eberhardt Student Investment Fund
Q: Why did you choose Pacific to study business finance?
Bernice: I grew up in Taiwan and then we moved to the states to the San Francisco Bay Area. The main reason I committed to Pacific was really the good financial aid. Before I committed, I came here for a Tiger Day and the campus was nice and solid. I’ve been living on campus during my freshman and sophomore years, and right now.
Q: Before coming to Pacific, were you already interested in business and finance?
Bernice: It’s kind of funny because I wanted to major in history and anthropology, but my parents were not really thrilled about that decision. It just made more sense for me to study business because it's a good combination of studying people, how we behave, consumer behavior, how we spend money, how we decide how much money we're saving. So that's what I was gravitating towards, the people aspect of it. And that’s how I got into finance. I liked the stock market, how people react to it and then also why people allocate their portfolio in a certain way.
Q: You had an internship with Goldman Sachs Group. How were you able to secure that?
Bernice: I did that mostly on my own, but I did receive a lot of help from Margaret Roberts who's a director for career management at Pacific’s Eberhardt School of Business. She really helped me a lot when I was applying, for instance with going through my resume, talking about how to go about interview questions, and also really giving me advice out there. She's really helped me get my thoughts together and then make sure that I say everything professionally.
Q: What has been your hands-on learning experience at Pacific?
Bernice: I'm currently in the Student Investment Fund class. Ever since freshman year when I first came here for a Tiger Day and I heard about SIF, I thought that's super cool, and I have to do it — even though back then I didn't know I was going to end up being a finance major. I really like it and it’s a good addition to the courses I’m taking.
Q: Explain how SIF works.
Bernice: The Student Investment Fund is all student-run, we make the decisions about which stock to purchase how much to purchase. But before making that recommendation, obviously a lot of research goes into it.
Our adviser, Dr. Carlston, will teach us how to utilize the Bloomberg terminal, the main tool with which we conduct our research; how to look at an equity; how to look at a specific sector in the stock market and then how to make that recommendation. So, yes, there's an adviser teaching you how to utilize these tools, but the analysis and then the research comes from the students so that's why we call it the Student Investment Fund.
Q: How has this experience helped you learn about your specific study area?
Bernice: It's a great opportunity for students to utilize what we’ve learned in other finance courses, and then we actually put it into action. And then afterwards, we continue to monitor it. Like all the analysts, we share a specific bond with the stock that we’d recommended.
We can see our hard work put into action and see how it's going.
Q: How can students get involved in SIF?
Bernice: There are certain prerequisites that you do need to finish, and then there's an application and interview process typically happening in the middle of the semester. It's open to all students at Pacific but only business majors have to meet the academic prerequisite.
We're looking for people who are self-motivated to do their research. It's OK to come in without any financial background, but are you willing to take that extra step and fill in the gap, you know, not knowing how the stock market works? So, you could be a math major who studies the stock market, that's a perfect candidate for SIF because you have the background. You know how to analyze numbers, but you also have the passion for doing research of the stock market on your own, that's really what we're looking for.
Q: What is your plan after you graduate?
Bernice: I actually have a job lined up in the financial industry. I am going to be a first-year analyst for Goldman Sachs Group within the asset management division.
I feel like my internship definitely helped me secure this job. I think that's pretty common in the banking industry, that employers are starting to recruit earlier now so they actually see the pipeline through interns rather than external recruiting.