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Zack Ball '14

Basking Ridge, NJ
Major: Finance and Economics
Minor: Real Estate
"I am proud to say I am from Lehigh since I have formed many long lasting relationships with friends, faculty, and alumni.  I look forward to coming back to Lehigh to recruit students just as other alumni have done."

What are your career aspirations?
One day I am hoping to run my own hedge fund or manage money at an asset manager.
How well do you think the Lehigh business curriculum prepared you for success in getting a job or internship?
I thought the Lehigh Finance and Economic programs prepared me very well for finding my job.  In the Economics major, the courses were very quantitative and they had many applications in Finance.  In one of my Finance classes, advanced topics in investments, the course went over areas in fixed income such as mortgages and interest rate derivatives, which proved to be instrumental to my job since I will be in mortgage trading.  Additionally, the statistical tools I learned in the Economics major helped me understand how to run tests of large data sets and also gave me the skills to look at the economy and make projections about the future.  During the internship before given the full time offer at J.P. Morgan, I felt my skills helped me gain a competitive advantage over the other interns and ultimately helped me land the full time offer.

Have you found the curriculum to be flexible in allowing you to pursue diverse interests in addition to your business interests?

I thought the curriculum was very flexible in allowing students to take classes outside the business school.  As a business student, I was able to double major in Finance and Economics, minor in Real Estate, and also take numerous classes in the Arts & Science school.  Throughout my years at Lehigh, I took classes in History, Computer Science, Anthropology, and Religion.  

What experiences outside of your business study, do you credit for some of your success?
In business, relationships are instrumental and finding that first internship is often the hardest.  As a Freshman, I developed a good relationship with one of my professors in the Real Estate minor program and at the end of the semester, he offered me a job at his company for the summer.  After gaining tremendous experience during the summer, I was able to leverage my skillset and landed an internship with BNP Paribas in their Global Equities and Commodity Derivatives division.  The following summer, I was able to take my experience one step further at J.P. Morgan where I eventually received the full time offer in Mortgage Trading.  When choosing where to intern my Junior year summer, I ultimately chose J.P. Morgan because of relationships I had formed there with Lehigh alumni there and saw their success and willingness to help me out and truly go out of their way.  For myself, the competitive advantage here was the alumni network and that willingness to go out of their way for me.

Have you found someone within the CBE to be particularly helpful as you make important decisions?

I have found that talking amongst my friends, family, and alumni network has been the most instrumental in helping me make important decisions.  In addition, the faculty at Lehigh has been nothing but supportive and being well informed of what skills it takes to succeed in the business world.

Do you see yourself as part of a community that’s is instrumental to success now and beyond Lehigh?
I have formed many relationships with friends, alumni mentors, and faculty that I see to stand the test-of-time.  If it were not for my alumni mentors, I am not sure I would be in the place I am.  They really have gone out of their way for me and helped me develop.  The faculty at Lehigh has also been extremely helpful in making sure the students are learning what they need to prepare for a career in business.  In the Finance and Economics department, they have given me the background to go to Wall Street and be prepared for the challenges to come.
Developing Leaders for Global Impact

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