As part of Scheller’s Countdown to Commencement series, we interviewed a few soon-to-be graduates from our undergraduate, MBA, and Ph.D. programs to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Spring 2019 Commencement.
Meet Erfan Parvini:
Erfan is from Shiraz, Iran, and completing his undergraduate Business Administration degree with a concentration in Finance. He describes himself as a student who is “deeply passionate” about how the world functions, both economically and politically. Prior to coming to the United States for his undergraduate degree, Erfan says he extensively researched several business schools and decided Scheller College was the best choice for him.
Where did you intern/co-op during school?
I interned with UBS Financial Services from fall 2016 through spring 2017. There, I helped put together institutional investment lineups and reports for plans as large as $450 million. I also utilized the Bloomberg Terminal to support portfolio managers with performance attribution reports in order to screen potential funds. Finally, I developed asset allocation models and helped with constructing risk-adjusted portfolios using proprietary quantitative models.
As part of the Nexus Fellowship Program, I worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. in the summer of 2017. The Nexus Fellowship selects 24 top finance and non-finance students across the nation to visit D. E. Shaw’s New York office and receive an introduction to the firm, insights into their approach to finance, and professional networking opportunities. During the summer of 2017, I interned at LEHNS Capital Advisory - performing financial modeling and valuation, proformas and projections, and unit economics of transactions on companies with top-line growth as large as $45 million. I also prepared information memorandums, teasers, and market research updates for clients, investors, and senior bankers.
I interned at 33 Holdings in the spring of 2018. I helped investment professionals build financial models used for making investments and acquisitions, analyzed portfolio data and developed KPI dashboards that were later utilized to develop pre-acquisition analysis models.
Finally, I interned at Point72 Asset Management in the summer of 2018. There, I worked with investment professionals to perform industry and company-specific research in the financial sector. I also produced and presented detailed financial models and investment recommendations to analysts and portfolio managers.
Where will you be working after graduation?
After graduation, I will be working for Point72 Asset Management at their New York office. (The company is a Connecticut-based long/short equity hedge fund.)
Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
I did a lot of research and decided that Scheller is the best business school in Georgia. My ultimate goal was to get into a school that would give me a chance to work on Wall Street. Through my research, I saw that Scheller has many alumni at many firms. I also found Scheller’s Ferris-Goldsmith Trading Floor to be pretty cool!
Who was your favorite professor (and why)?
Gary Jones was my favorite professor. His interactive method of teaching (teaching many out-of-textbook skills like public speaking, networking, etc.) and fantastic guest speakers are just a few reasons why.
What was your favorite course (and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it)?
Security Valuation taught by Professor Jonathan Clarke was my favorite course. Clarke is an incredibly knowledgeable professor who goes in-depth on the subjects, and makes sense out of it by using real-world case studies and examples. This class gave me a foundational knowledge of concepts that are the main pillars of finance.
As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
Having the Trading Floor, some of the largest tech start-up incubators nearby at Tech Square, and contests such as Create-X are all great examples of Scheller’s unique positioning at the intersection of business and technology.
What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?
Scheller is not just about studying and getting good grades, but also about building relationships, with both classmates and faculty that last a lifetime.
What is the biggest myth about Scheller College?
I have not heard many myths about Scheller. However, one that I did hear from time to time was that Scheller is much easier compared to Tech’s Engineering or Computing colleges. Although the academic coursework may be lighter, there are many different sets of skills (such as networking, building meaningful relationships, etc.) that are taught in Scheller that I find very significant.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? (A parent? A teacher? A role model?)
My parents left the decision completely up to me and said, “We support whatever you decide to study.” My aunts and uncles pushed me to computer science and medical school. I loved trading and the markets mostly because I read so much about them and fell in love. Most importantly, perhaps, my best friend introduced me to markets for the first time. In addition, role models such as Ray Dalio, George Soros, and Steve Cohen were definitely a big part of my decision to pursue business.
What activities were you involved with on or off campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?
On campus, I was a member of Investments Committee for one and a half years. The Investments Committee was a very interesting club of like-minded individuals that I enjoyed being a part of and it helped me be connected to others and find out about career opportunities.
I was also director of the Accel Program; the class I led received 90% job placement, 70% of whom headed to Wall Street. The Accel Program helps students build networks with top investment banks and helps with job searches in the financial sector. In the second year of participation, students act as mentors to incoming classmates and work with students across campus on awareness of financial services available to them. Learn more about the program here.
How did the Career Center assist you with your job efforts? Did you end up working or interning for one of your top choice companies?
The Career Center helped me with several of my internships - UBS and LEHNS Capital. I think Stan Broome does a fantastic job and the career portal is always filled with opportunities. I am actually fortunate enough to be able to work full-time after graduation in exactly the role that I wanted to be in. I am very happy and grateful for that.
Did you participate in any hands-on/experiential learning opportunities? If yes, which projects/companies did you work with and how did you help them?
I am in the Financial Markets and Trading Structure class now, and I find the hands-on practices and experience on the Trading Floor very helpful.
What concentration did you pursue and why? How this helped prepare you for your future?
Finance. Many of the classes in the Finance course have helped shape the foundations of my financial knowledge such as Security Valuation, Entrepreneurial Finance, and International Finance. Other classes such as Management of Financial Institutions by Professor Gary Jones or the career development class helped a lot with soft skills, networking, and building relationships.
Fun fact about yourself:
I play bass and electric guitar and played in two bands.
Poker, playing music, hiking (nature in general), and travelling.
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… (Complete sentence)
“…worse off because I would not have the valuable network of people, both professionally and personally, that I do today!”
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
1) To travel to all continents and meet as many people from different parts of the world as possible.
2) To play music -- specifically guitar -- and poker professionally at some point.
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
That Erfan helped us whenever he really could.