Nate Hodge '16
I graduated SMC in 2016 as a double major in Mathematics and Economics. Much like Erika below, I interned at PwC in the transfer pricing group in Boston, MA prior to my senior year and was lucky enough to come back after graduating as a full-time associate. In the transfer pricing group, we assist our clients in planning and documenting their intercompany transactions (one entity paying a related entity for manufacturing services, for example) to ensure that they are acting in accordance with the U.S. Treasury, OECD, and other local or global regulations. This is a multi-step process that involves understanding of financial spreadsheets, in-depth research of our clients' business segments and the industries they are a part of, as well as proper writing techniques.
While my job doesn't directly utilize math, the quantitative and detail-oriented mindset I developed from my major in math helps me properly organize the multiple phases of the transfer pricing process and enhances my ability to effectively analyze the various functions of our clients and the companies we typically end up comparing their transactions against. The liberal arts education from SMC has also given me a wide repertoire of skills that allow me to shine in a variety of areas as a new associate, such as report drafting and summarizing outcomes from various meetings. All of these skills SMC helped me hone will continue to be of great importance to me as I (hopefully) move up in the firm and take on greater amounts of work and a more communicative role with clients.
Celsey Lumbra '16
I am a Transfer Pricing ("TP") Associate. As a TP Associate, I am responsible for assisting my teams with transfer pricing engagements with clients. In general, transfer pricing deals with how related companies (such as a parent and its subsidiary) interact and perform transactions with one another. These transactions could involve tangible property (actual products a company sells), intangible property (such as the know-how and intel behind a manufacturing process or a trademark), or services (such as back-office administrative services, distribution, or manufacturing services). TP projects include contemporaneous transfer pricing documentation to be submitted to U.S. Tax Authorities, advanced pricing agreements to resolve royalty rate disputes between related parties, or the valuation of intangible property ("IP") in regards to how IP ownership contributes to projected revenues for a company. Projects include several types of deliverables such as generic transfer pricing documentation reports, memorandums, interview notes, slide decks outlining TP requirements in each country a company has operations in, spreadsheets analyzing IP valuations and projected revenues, etc.
I am beginning graduate school part-time at the University of Massachusetts Boston where I will receive a Master's in Accounting (MSA). This is will make me eligible to sit for the CPA exam in two years.
My Saint Mike's mathematics education gave me the ability to think critically. Though I am not using the exact content I learned in Real Analysis or Abstract Algebra, for example, I am confident taking these upper-level classes greatly improved my quantitative abilities. This is especially the case when performing an IP valuation, which takes into account the "time value of money" concept - a concept involving the idea that the value of an asset is a function of the costs incurred to develop that asset and the riskiness associated with that asset. Secondly, in the dispute resolution engagement I am working on, we are required to value the bare legal title of a trademark being transferred between two related entities. Though I have minimal finance background, this valuation technique involves the Black Scholes model (a method of pricing options). The Black Scholes model utilizes the normal cumulative probability function - a popular function featured in Professor Yates' probability and statistics class!
Alison Shappy '13
I graduated from SMC in May 2013 with a degree in Mathematics and a minor in Economics. I started working at the Vermont Teddy Bear Company in Shelburne, VT in June of 2013 and remained there until August of the following year, 2014. I was a Media Coordinator/Jr. Buyer for VTB at the time. The majority of my position was negotiating and buying advertising space in radio, TV, and print publications. I then moved to Boston, MA in September of 2014 where I continued my work in marketing at Decibel Media. I was a Media Planner, which focused more on building and executing media marketing campaigns for many different clients. It consisted of a lot of strategy planning, i.e. finding the right audience for the particular client, finding out where that particular demographic consumes the most media, finding the most cost efficient way to market to them, planning new and innovative ways to market, and executing these ideas while remaining within our designated budget.
After working for Decibel for about a year, and in media for about two years, I decided it was not my passion, as I wanted to work in a more numbers-based role. I could not be happier to say that in July of 2015, I was offered a job as a Regional Distribution Analyst for the Boston Beer Company. In this role I manage inventory at the wholesale level for 47 different wholesalers in Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, West Virginia, Florida, and parts of Alabama. My daily tasks include order management, forecasting based on current depletion data and past sales trends, maintaining inventory level and in stock rating at each large wholesaler, and working collaboratively with both the wholesalers and the BBC sales reps in those regions. I am able to utilize my love for numbers and data much more freely in this role than in any other role I previously had. For example, one of our large tasks includes facilitating seasonal transitions when we transition from one season to the next. We have a hard date that we want each wholesaler to transition, so the weeks leading up to this date, I need to make sure the wholesaler will not run long with what they currently have on the floor or they won’t go out of stock too soon if they have too little on the floor. We are measured on our service level (in-stock ratings) and our truck utilization levels. We are held accountable for a portion of the logistics, such as truck weights and routing multi-stops.
My mathematics education and experience at SMC has helped me tremendously in both the media and operations fields. I was able to learn and execute marketing analysis and optimizations at a fast pace. In marketing, you use math more than you might expect. Everything is in terms of CPMs, which is a cost per thousand, GRPs, which is a point measurement system for radio shows, CPCs, which is a cost per click, CPA, which is a cost per acquisition, CTR, which is a click through rate, conversion rates, etc. In the operations field at BBC, I use my math background far more frequently than I did in media, which is why I prefer this position. I had zero supply chain experience going into this position, but was able to pick it up quickly as everything is grounded in math. I am a natural problem solver, as any Math student is, which is an invaluable asset for any employee to possess. At BBC, we forecast hundreds of different products on a daily basis for hundreds of different wholesalers. We calculate in stock rating and out of stock potential leading up to seasonal transitions and adjust our orders based on our findings. Everything is spoken in numbers and metrics. I love that I can ground my decisions, my successes, and sometimes my failures, in the numbers. I attribute all of my successes to my mathematics background from SMC. No matter where my career path takes me, I know that holding that degree and that experience will be an incredibly vital asset.
Brian Goodhue '12
I graduated from SMC in May of 2012 with a degree in Mathematics and in Economics. At the time I had an internship with the actuaries at National Life in Montpelier, VT. The internship was helped in large part by my connection with the math department; an older classmate who had previously filled the internship put in a great recommendation for me and I landed the role! My internship turned into a "temp full time" position, and I was able to stay on board. Actuarial work was a great application of my math degree and I enjoyed working there, but after the summer of 2012, I decided I wanted to pursue something a bit different.
I changed jobs and worked as a Marketing Analyst for the Vermont Teddy Bear company in Shelburne. This introduced me to more data analysis and database work. After a year and half at VTB, I made a bit switch to work in Business Intelligence at Wayfair in Boston. This was a great opportunity and turned me onto a career that (a) I had never heard of and (b) I found I loved. After a year and a half at Wayfair, I have now moved back to Burlington and work in a similar role at MyWebGrocer in Vermont.
As a BI Analyst, I handle data extraction, transformation and loading to make information available to other parts of the company. The job involves all sorts of computer work, from SQL and Python to Microsoft BI programs. I find the job both challenging and rewarding.
My mathematics degree helped me post-college in a couple ways. First, my degree opened doors in Actuarial Science, Data Analysis, and Business Intelligence, three fields I hadn't really considered before getting out into the "Real World". Once in these positions, I was able to use skills I had picked up in school to solve the complex problems that came up. Identifying problems, finding "knowns" and then creating a plan to solve the problem remind me of many of my homework problems from school. My mathematics education taught me the framework for breaking down large problems and using the tools and resources available to create a solution. I believe my math background, my economics background and my complete liberal arts education have set the framework to allow me to succeed in whatever I choose to do.
Erika Kirslis '12
I am currently working at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as an Associate in the Transfer Pricing department. I started working in the transfer pricing group at PwC as an intern the summer before my senior year. After graduating from Saint Michael's in 2012, I accepted a full time position at PwC. Transfer pricing is in the tax practice at PwC and focuses on how related parties price goods, intangible assets, services, and loans as applied to both domestic and international transactions. As an associate, I conduct company, industry, and economic research and participate in functional analysis interviews with clients in order to deliver a transfer pricing report.
My Saint Michael's education, especially through the mathematics department, has provided me with the tools and confidence to succeed in the start of my career. Although my position at PwC does not focus on mathematics, the mathematics department provided me with many opportunities. In addition, the curriculum at St Michaels provided me the work ethic and determination I now use working at PwC.
Meghan Cary '10
I graduated from Saint Michael's in 2010 with a Physics Major and Math Minor. Unsure of where I wanted to go for a career I fell into banking and stayed there until I completed an MBA at Plymouth State University in 2012. I am now the Account Administrator for the Division of Medical Sciences at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Here I work setting up student funding, establishing fellowship accounts and keeping the general ledger. I also process reimbursements and payments to students, faculty and staff. In my first year at Harvard I collected over $1 million in overdue invoices, some were over 3 years past due!
Working in the Cashiers Office and being the Secretary of Finance for the Student Associate at Saint Michael's College prepared me well for this type of work. I was able to use my learned intuition and skills to adapt to my new environment as well as learn new tasks quickly. Having a solid background in math has taught me a different perspective from others who have come from either business or the humanities. I surprisingly use ideas from calculus weekly! I consistently bring new ideas to my department about how to improve our systems and some have started taking effect! In my spare time, I am the producer for a local theater company called Spotlight Playhouse. I was frequently on stage growing up, so it is a change to see how things work behind the curtain. I use many math skills while balancing our budgets and working through fundraising campaigns! I am proud to have come from a small liberal arts college where I was able to gain confidence in myself and my work.
Lauren (Remmes) Delaney '07
I am a Manager of Special Projects at Liberty Mutual Insurance in Boston, overseeing the Personal Lines Distribution Campaign Management Operations group. I lead a group of analysts that build and execute campaign requests on behalf of various business units (marketing, sales, service, claims, etc.).
I also completed my MBA in May 2013 at Suffolk University's Sawyer Business school. This degree, combined with my BS in Mathematics from Saint Michael's College, has allowed me to be successful in my career growth. The math background allows me to look at business problems and make business decisions using analytics, cost-benefit analyses and root cause problem solving. While my current job doesn't require me to work with numbers, the math degree helps me to make sound decisions and look at problems analytically. I've also been able to pick things up quickly, especially applications, understanding how systems work together, and coaching my staff. A math degree can be used in various career paths; it's all in how you apply the knowledge and skills you have developed!
Amanda Dargie '06
I am a Business Management Specialist at J.P. Morgan, working on a nationally recognized wealth management team of 6. We manage high-net-worth individual and family's wealth and provide guidance with their comprehensive financial plans.
I personally focus on managing client relationships and the financial planning aspects of our business. I serve as the primary advisor for a segment of our client base and am responsible for the management of our team's overall business model.
In 2012, I received a Certificate in Financial Planning from Suffolk Univ. which helped to deepen my knowledge base in the world of financial planning and management.
My background in mathematics truly taught me how to think outside the box and approach any problem with an open mind. The analytical skills I developed through my math classes are vastly important when reviewing investment portfolios and financial plans.
Chris Higgins '06
I am working in the financial district of Boston as an Investment Associate at UBS Financial Services. I have my Series 7 and Series 63 Licenses, and I became a CFA charterholder in October of 2010 (the CFA program is a graduate level program for investment professionals). I am also a member of the CFA Institute and the Boston Security Analysts Society. Some of my job responsibilities include: putting together asset allocation models for existing clients; entering and executing both fixed income and equity trades; putting together marketing pieces to present to existing/prospective clients; tracking all of our equity and mutual fund holdings. My responsibilities continue to increase, which I like. I now join the senior person on our team on more meetings with our larger clients and will do solo meetings in the office if he is not around. I also write market commentary every month for some of our larger, institutional clients. I'm glad I have a liberal arts degree because that forced me to do a lot of writing and in addition to all those math proofs!
I would say taking challenging math courses (almost all of them are challenging) really develops one's problem solving skills and one's ability to analyze very complicated problems. Finance is a very complex field that requires exactly the type of analytical skills I developed at Saint Michael's in the math department. Any job in finance requires excellent quantitative skills, which is exactly what the math professors gave to me. I would also add in that the degree in mathematics helped me immensely in studying for the CFA as statistics were a component of all three exams. Finance also uses the same Greek letters as math, like sigma, delta, gamma, etc. so I wasn't confused by all the new jargon but was actually very comfortable with it.
Matt Baker '97
I have been at the Chittenden Bank, a division of People's United Bank, for 11 years. I am a Business Analyst in Burlington, VT, where my daily activities include system analysis, business performance reporting, project coordination, and system application security among other various responsibilities.
I find that my math background from Saint Michael's, along with the support and expertise from all of the professors in the math department, has given me the knowledge and opportunity to succeed. At Chittenden, we are currently working on a system core conversion which will take us into spring of 2010. I find it a great challenge to coordinate and integrate our current structures and procedures into a new system architecture, but know that I have the tools to get it done. I must admit though, that the true application of 'Real Analysis' out in the real world for me has been learning what 'limits' my kids can push me to before I give in and spoil them. It ends not being a very complex problem the end. They always win!
Jamie Pitney '95
I joined TIAA (The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association) in July 2015. Prior to TIAA, I was with Santander Bank for 15 months and Citizens Bank for 4 years. In my current role with TIAA, I am a Digital Product Manager supporting the online customer experience for TIAA’s digital bank: TIAA Trust Company, FSB. As the Digital Product Manager for the bank, I am responsible for maintaining the online customer experience on a day-to-day basis as well as setting its strategy over a multi-year period. You can see some of what I do on www.tiaadirect.com and www.tiaa.org.
I was previously with Fidelity Investments for 12 years in various roles including product and marketing management as well as finance and operations. I also had a brief stint with Deutsche Bank – Scudder Investments in their mutual fund operations department.
I completed my MBA from Clark University (Worcester, MA) in 2000.
My mathematics education from Saint Michael's has been very important throughout my career. Overall, I have a much stronger and more comfortable understanding of numbers, in general, than most. This has lent itself to a strong acumen to both the overall financial health of my employers as well as understanding the financial costs and benefits of the business decisions I make each and every day. While I may not assemble the financial statements, I know and appreciate how my decisions will affect them and can make decisions using them as key input.
You can visit my LinkedIn profile page and see my full career path. I would highly recommend that recent or soon to be graduates start to build their profile page and "get connected" to the Saint Michael's Alumni LinkedIn group. It's a great way to network with alumni in their professions.
Michele Williams Hudson '95
I am currently a Principal Systems Analyst for Liberty Mutual’s Global Specialty group. Global Specialty IT supports all of our GS division users around the world as they write diverse and often very specific lines of insurance that can be extremely complex. After 15 years in training, and being Director of Training for the last two years of that, I decided to change back into a more technical role. As a Principal Systems Analyst I act as a bit of a translator. Leveraging my education and training background; my early IT experience as a Business Analyst; and incorporating many of my Executive MBA (Suffolk University) experiences, I help translate our business users’ needs into technical requirements that our development team uses to provide online solutions. It’s interesting how things can come full circle and intertwine with each other when you take a chance and make a change.
At St. Michael’s, I was a Mathematics major, took a few computer science courses, loved my Honors courses, completed a research summer at Syracuse University’s NPAC (Northeast Parallel Architecture Center), and even completed my Secondary Education qualifications. This combination was very well supported by all of my professors and has led me in some very interesting career directions. I have actually applied my statistics courses as a Statistical Process Control trainer and analyst. Various software and management training positions and my current role have capitalized on merging my technical and teaching backgrounds. In addition, my well-rounded education from St. Mike's provided a good foundation to help me grow into leadership positions, as well as create and facilitate various training programs for managers around leadership, coaching and interviewing skills. Take a look at my career details if you are interested in more information Michele (Williams) Hudson LinkedIn. As Jamie Pitney mentioned above, LinkedIn is a great resource for networking and sharing your professional experience.
We hear more and more how “traditional career paths, or career ladders” often don’t apply anymore, and this has certainly been my experience. I am certain that the wealth of opportunities and diverse education that I received at St. Michael’s has been a key factor in allowing me such career flexibility. Use your time at St. Michael’s and beyond to soak up the knowledge, then head off in a direction that feels right for you. And remember, a decision, or a path, is not absolute, and you CAN change your mind. Take a chance, learn and grow, and let life surprise you as much as it may delight you!
Eric Caputo '92
I am Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. I completed a master's degree in mathematics at the University of Vermont, an MBA at Northeastern University, and I have worked in transfer pricing for more than 12 years. My projects include: establishing global cost sharing and intangible property migration strategies (for multi-billion dollar manufacturers of semiconductors and pharmaceutical and consumer products); performing economic analysis relating to intellectual property structuring and migration (for software developers and other manufacturers); and preparing transfer pricing support (for IRS audits, advance pricing agreements, and competent authority proceedings).
One thing I've learned is that having a strong quantitative background and education is immensely valuable for any career. Although I may not daily use my college and graduate mathematics directly in my job, the solid foundation and training that I received at Saint Michael's College has benefited me throughout my career.