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Nicolas CaballeroNicolas Caballero '24

Why did you decide to study finance?  

I joined the Whitworth Student Investment Group, and there I found something that sparked my interest and that I wanted to pursue further. The group has allowed me to perform equity research of companies in the financial sector by analyzing companies' financial statements using different programs as well as practice speaking confidently in front of a big group.

What class(es) have been your favorite so far?

I am now in my third year, and I have been able to take more classes tailored to my major. My favorite class that I have taken so far has been Investment Management with Professor Cloutier. The course focused on investment portfolio management with an emphasis on asset allocation while presenting the practical applications of investment theory. Professor Cloutier has been in the finance industry for over 25 years and has a lot of remarkable stories to tell. With a class of only six students, we were able to grow closer and have more time to be able to answer all the questions.

Tell us about a unique experience or project you've worked on for your major.

As an analyst for the Student Investment Group, I pitched a company alongside two other students. We spent late hours researching, analyzing and presenting to prepare to pitch the company to the group. It was rewarding when the group voted to invest in the company we had pitched.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about majoring in finance?

The advice I would give is to get involved in clubs. Being part of a club gives the ability to grow relationships and strengthen your résumé, as well as other opportunities. The Student Investment Group has allowed me to connect with peers who are in the same classes. I have also had the privilege of having lunch with company directors. Being able to utilize the alumni connections that Whitworth provides has allowed me to seek advice about how I would like my career in finance to look.  

What's your dream job?  

Majoring in finance provides a lot of different opportunities within the field. Narrowing it down to one dream job is difficult. I enjoy keeping up with the markets as they are always changing and never boring. My dream job would include traveling, finance, working in team collaboration, and doing in-depth analysis of companies. I don't know exactly what my dream job looks like yet, but my conversations with Whitworth alumni are getting me there.

Who are three people who have made a difference for you at Whitworth?

The first person would be Professor Duff Bergquist. Duff has taught me a lot about what it takes to be a leader and has provided time to have personal conversations.

The second person would be Coach Duke DeGaetano because of how much he cares about others. I look up to him in how he puts his faith first.

And finally, Professor Richard Cloutier because of his passion for teaching. I enjoy being in his classes because of his teaching style and real-world applications of financial concepts.

Why did you choose to attend Whitworth?

I was invited by the football coach to come on a visit. I had no expectations but fell in love with the campus and the football team. It felt like Whitworth was a big family, and I was looking forward to growing in my faith. I have enjoyed creating memories and lifelong friendships here at Whitworth, and I am grateful that I chose it.

Katherine GrafKatherine Graf '22

Why did you decide to study economics and finance?  

I'm from a middle-class, single-parent household with three other brothers so I usually got the hand-me-downs and last of everything. I'm not upset about this at all, but it definitely instilled in me a want for more and a drive to get it. I loved the escape school provided growing up, learning something new every day and the pride I felt when I understood a math concept and was able to apply it directly to the real world by reading historical world economic books or just watching the news that day. My family suffered directly from the 2008 housing crisis, and I was always curious to know what happened and why. I decided to double major in economics and finance because I believe I can make a small difference in the system from the inside out. There will always be a human error of greed and pride at the heart of anything that created wealth, but reminding myself of my responsibilities, why I'm in this to begin with, and to which God I'm trying to serve (Christ or cash) will be my constant reminder to my path and purpose in this life. 

What are some of your favorite classes so far

I've enjoyed all of the classes I've taken so far; it would be impossible to choose just one. But I think I got the most out of my History 396: Financial Collapses in America class with Professor Dale Soden; it combined my love of history and my passion for economics. We dug into concepts often taken for granted or just as a rule-of-thumb and applied that knowledge to see where things went wrong in the past and why and how it could be prevented in the future. I've never felt more connected to the phrase "Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it" than in that class.

Tell us about a unique experience or project you've worked on for your major.  

The spring semester of my sophomore year I got the chance to study in Scotland. While it was short-lived (due to COVID-19), and I was only able to stamp off a few of my dream countries, I made a lot of friends both American and European and I got to see the world from a different perspective. Much of what I learned over there was less about blaming systems and governments and highlighting how corrupt everything had the potential to be, and more of how the communities of nations were willing to help each other and repair themselves to be better next time. They take life so much less seriously and don't worry about the next five years because they know they'll be OK, and I really loved that view of just enjoying life as it comes to you.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about majoring in business?  

Take as many classes as possible of every other concentration you're interested in, business-related or not, because once you find your niche you won't want to leave. I've put a lot of effort into my major from doing more work than advised on assignments, joining WSIG (the Whitworth Student Investment Group) and co-starting WIF (Women in Finance), over-stressing over everything, and re-contemplating every decision I've ever made, wondering if I'm studying the right thing. But for me that's worth it because I love what I'm doing! It all comes down to if you're doing what you love and if you're getting any enjoyment out of it. It's great to have a career that makes you wealthy, but it's pointless if it's not adding any wealth to your life.

What's your dream job?   

I love to travel and have no plans of staying in the U.S. after graduation, so I'd like to find a job that allows me to move consistently and lobby for special interest groups internationally on policies that affect the regulations of financial industries, women's rights to education in developing nations, and the deterioration of the planet due to climate change among other things. My life's goal is to represent the United States at the World Economic Forum.

What is something that has surprised you about your major?

How many people are still just figuring out this next phase of their lives and are just taking it one step at a time, but constantly have this drive and resolve to do better because they need to, and they want to. It makes us all do better and that's the goal: to constantly be growing.

Who has been an important connection for you at Whitworth, and why?

All of the business professors I've had classes with have been consistent in being supportive of my goals, have pushed me to think deeper, checked up on me personally, and guided me to paths I didn't know were possible. My academic advisor Craig Hinnenkamp has been the most supportive in my life here at Whitworth. I've gone to his office with the most absurd freak-outs and he's always willing to listen and calm me down. He's been a mentor both academically and personally, and I value my relationship with him deeply. He truly cares about his students and I love that about him.


MayaMaya Moggia '22

Why did you decide to study business and finance?

I have always been interested in so many different paths that when it came to decide on a major, I knew studying business would allow me to try out many new things and learn about a large range of careers. Freshman year I joined the Student Investment Group, which was one of the best decisions I have made at Whitworth. Through the group I have learned so many different skills like how to research, analyze and understand financial data, as well as how to confidently speak in front of a group and lead our team to success. Being a part of that group helped me to realize that I wanted to pursue a finance focus for my business major to help further develop analytical skills that I could take with me into the workplace. 

What are some of your favorite classes so far?

Now that I am a junior, I am getting to take a lot more finance and accounting classes, which I have loved. One of my favorite classes I have taken here at Whitworth is the History of Financial Collapse with Dale Soden. This class was an interesting look into how financial collapse has occurred and been dealt with in America and how our banking system and government play into it. I love reading about history, and it was so exciting to hear that Whitworth was offering a class that combined finance with history. Dale is a great professor, and I am glad to have gotten to take that class from him and learn from all of the authors and guest speakers who have lived through and researched many of the events we learned about. 

Tell us about a unique experience or project you've worked on for your major.  

My sophomore year I really wanted to learn more about what different careers in finance looked like, so I created an independent study with the help of Dawn Keig through which I wrote a research paper and interviewed about 10 women who work in different fields of finance to learn more about their career paths. It was so enriching to learn about how I could get to some of the places these women had gone, and I learned so much through doing that project that I know I can carry with me into the workplace. 

What advice would you give to someone thinking about majoring in business?  

The skills that you learn in business classes are applicable to so many different career paths and can teach you so much about the world that I think all people should take even a few during their time in college. For those who want to pursue a major in business, my best advice is to get involved early on. My favorite part of my college experience has been the clubs I've been a part of. I joined the Student Investment Group my freshman year, and it lit a fire in me to learn more about investing and analyzing companies that has really helped to fuel my passion for the career I am going into. I also helped to establish a Women in Finance group that has really grown to be a supportive and educational community that I've felt encouraged and inspired by. Beyond clubs I would suggest trying as many things as possible. I started out as an economics major, and while I did enjoy my economics classes, talking with professors and being a part of clubs helped me to figure out early on what major fit me best. 

What's your dream job?

I feel like I have so many dream jobs that I can't narrow it down to just one, but I do know that I want to be an inspiration to other women who are curious about what a career in finance could look like. I am very passionate about educating women on their financial future and could see myself working in a wealth management or financial planning role in my future. 

Who has been an important connection for you at Whitworth, and why?

Dawn Keig has been a great mentor for me at Whitworth. After taking a Jan Term class with her my freshman year, working on an independent study sophomore year, and building the Women in Finance club with her this year, I have grown so much with her guidance and support. I always can count on her to give me advice and encourage me to pursue new things and have appreciated all the coffee chats and office hours spent together.

Why did you choose to attend Whitworth? 

As someone from Southern California it was scary to step out of my comfort zone and move out of state for college, but I knew it felt like home from the first time I visited. Whitworth has given me so many memories, friendships and opportunities over the past few years that I will forever be grateful for, and I am so happy to say I go to Whitworth.

Learn more about Whitworth's Business Administration, BBA, Finance Concentration program

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