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York College experience paying dividends for Finance major

Andrew head and shoulders

Andrew “Drew” Rhodes ’20 doesn’t understand many of the Disney references a lot of his friends and family throw around. Growing up, he preferred watching Bloomberg Television over the Disney Channel. “Even my college friends are always getting on me how I don’t get the jokes,” he says with a laugh.

What Drew does get is finance. He grew up in Dover, Pennsylvania, knowing he would be a Finance major because of his interest in money, markets, and economics. However, he never planned on staying in the area for college until his mom encouraged him to visit York College of Pennsylvania.

Drew was blown away by the Graham School of Business building, NASDAQ Trading Lab, and Student Managed Fund. He saw groundbreaking technology and opportunities he thought he could take advantage of. Now a senior, he’s still grateful his mom made him go on the tour.

Gaining hard and soft skills

Drew quickly started to learn all he could about finance in the real world. During the Spring Semester of his first year, he joined the Student Management Fund and pitched a few stocks. They ended up performing well at the same time the seniors who founded the program graduated. As only a rising sophomore, Drew became the fund’s president and a portfolio manager.

“It gets hard to sort of remove the emotion from the investment process,” he explains. “For instance, these past two weeks the stock market has dropped because of coronavirus fears. Our fund went from $350,000 to $260,000.”

When Drew was a sophomore, similar fluctuations and watching numbers turn red used to make his stomach churn. Now, he’s learned how to make objective analyses instead of acting out of emotion. He’s become numb to the constantly changing numbers.

Drew has also diversified his soft skills through the Phonathon, Student Alumni Ambassadors, and YCP SpartaNation Road Crew. When he got started at the Phonathon, for example, he quickly rose up to a supervisor where he managed his peers. He had to develop the skills to deal with rejection while making phone calls and understand how to lead people his age.

Through the Student Alumni Ambassadors program, Drew got to visit alumni, their workplaces, and attend networking events throughout the mid-Atlantic region. “I always say that’s been one of the most useful and valuable experiences of my college career,” he says. “I got that out of classroom experience in developing soft skills and networking.”

A testament to York College

Drew credits York College with his success in the classroom, extracurriculars, and internships. He says his work with the Student Management Fund has given his resume a boost over competitors, and he’s quick to thank Dr. Pawan Madhogarhia for going out of his way and spending time on weekends to help. “He’s been such an amazing help with me inside and out of extracurriculars and academics,” Drew says. “He’s helped me develop who I am today as a finance professional.”

After graduating, Drew will attend Villanova University to earn a Master’s degree in Finance. He’s also been accepted into a research fellowship program at the university. He hopes to dive deeper into using computer programming, machine learning, and artificial intelligence in finance.

But no matter where life takes him, Drew’s still glad his mom nudged him to stay closer to home, he says. “People like Dr. Madhogarhia who have gone above and beyond to help me be where I am today make me very glad that I’ve chosen York College.”

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