As part of Scheller’s Graduation 2020 Profiles series, we interviewed a few soon-to-be graduates from our Undergraduate program to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Spring 2020 graduation.
Your Name: John Stauffer
Where did you intern/co-op during school?
Wells Fargo Securities, Fixed Income Trading (Charlotte, NC) - Summer 2019Rowe Price Group, Equity Research (Baltimore, MD) - Spring 2019
Invesco, Structured Investments Intern (Atlanta, GA) - Summer 2018 – Fall 2018
UBS, Investments Intern (Atlanta, GA) - Fall 2017 – Spring 2018
TNB Financial Services, PWM Intern (Thomasville, GA) - Summer 2016
Where will you be working after graduation?
I’ll be working at Wells Fargo Securities, Fixed Income Sales and Trading on the mortgage-backed securities trading desk (Charlotte, NC)
Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
Scheller College of Business is the perfect match of technology, business, and location. Georgia Tech’s stellar reputation for creating leaders at the forefront of cutting-edge innovation meets core business principles in one of the fastest-growing urban centers for nearly every industry imaginable. Scheller is Georgia’s premier undergraduate business program, and I have noticed when prospective employers see Scheller College of Business on my resume, they immediately know that I mean business.
Who was your favorite professor (and why)?
Dr. Alex Hsu is my favorite professor at Scheller. I was in his Fixed Income class my third year before I began an internship in Fixed Income, and without his help, I would have been clueless at the internship. Fast-forwarding to today, Dr. Hsu has gone to bat for me multiple times. He has written letters of recommendation for me and is partnering with me to do undergraduate research that ties in with his research. Dr. Hsu sets a great example of the exemplary faculty that Scheller has to offer – a strong mix of highly specialized knowledge and a welcoming personality that makes Scheller truly feel like home.
What was your favorite course (and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it)?
My favorite course was Management of Financial Institutions with Professor Gary Jones. Professor Jones was an incredible communicator and his class challenged me to sharpen not only my knowledge of what was going on in the world of equity and fixed income markets but also forced me to improve my public speaking skills as he often called out students to speak in class. This is often an overlooked part of a business curriculum and I truly walked away from his class ready to address anyone and everyone at an important business meeting.
As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
Scheller’s location between Georgia Tech and Midtown Atlanta is a geographical representation of how important and well-rounded my undergraduate business degree is. There is a reason all business students are required to take calculus and computer science. We learn hard skills as well as soft skills that elevate our resumes to the top of the pile to prospective employers. In today’s business world, recent graduates must be able to perform at a high level not only from a business sense but also a technological sense. If this is what you are looking for in a business school, Scheller College of Business is a no brainer.
What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?
Do not forget the end goal. If you do not get into the Scheller College of Business the first time, maintain contact with current staff and students and attempt to transfer in. Do not lose sight of your end goal of receiving an undergraduate business degree from the premier curriculum in the state of Georgia!
What is the biggest myth about Scheller College?
The biggest myth about Scheller College of Business is that Georgia Tech is solely an engineering school. Scheller has one of the premier undergraduate business curriculum in Georgia because it consistently challenges its students to achieve greatness at the intersection of business and technology. There is a reason why companies will pay a premium to hire the well-rounded skillset of a Scheller graduate. Scheller understands that in today’s age, being a business leader means having a high sense of achievement and a definite understanding of innovation that will drive the ultimate good in society.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? (A parent? A teacher? A role model?)
Harry Jones is one of my greatest role models from my hometown of Thomasville, Georgia. Harry was a mentor to me through my local church, and I decided to pursue a business degree to touch the most people I could in a generous way per his advice. While growing up, he always told me that I could be a true light in the business world, and he mentioned constantly that he saw potential for me to be a future business leader. The values Harry taught me of honesty, integrity, and generosity are the main reasons I decided to study business. My goal is to be a future leader who is always regarded as honest, straightforward, and caring, which can be sometimes overlooked at the expense of excessive personal interests in today’s business environment.
What activities were you involved with on or off-campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?
Georgia Tech Student Foundation Investments Committee
Senior Financial Director and Board of Trustees Member (Fall 2019-present)
Sector Head of Fixed Income (Fall 2018-Spring 2019)
Senior Analyst, Fixed Income (Spring 2018)
Senior Analyst, Energy (Fall 2017)
Analyst, REITs (Spring 2017)
Mentorship (Fall 2016)
Residence Hall Association
Executive Auditor and Board of Trustees Member (Fall 2017 – Spring 2018)
Hall Council President, GFSH area (Fall 2016 – Spring 2017)
Sigma Chi Fraternity
House Chairman (Spring 2018 – Summer 2018)
My business education impacted my involvement in each of these clubs. Without the knowledge learned both in the classroom and in each of these experiences, I would not have been able to serve effectively as a leader.
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 land an internship with UBS, which in turn was the stepping stone to my internships with Invesco, T. Rowe Price, and Wells Fargo Securities. Without the help of the Career Center, I would have never been able to intern with any of the companies I served.
What concentration did you pursue and why? How this helped prepare you for your future?
I pursued a career in financial services due to my father being furloughed after the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th. He was promised a pension for life but the airline went bankrupt just a few years later and my father lost this pension along with all the other airline pilots who were depending on this income for their retirement. Depending on my Dad’s pension, my parents did not seek a financial advisor to protect and grow their assets. This experience influenced my decision to chose finance to serve those who need help in planning for future financial security. I want to aid those who want financial freedom and independence, no matter what any external force they might face.
Fun fact about yourself:
I can fix iPhone screens, buttons, and batteries! I used to own and operate my own iPhone repair business and I have fixed over 150 phones.
Sailing, fishing, traveling, following the stock/bond markets, reading
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be….
A sailing instructor.
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
Travel to Singapore
Go on a month-long sailing trip to the Lesser Antilles
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
Honesty and integrity are crucial to who I am as a family member, friend, and leader.