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Wide-ranging career options drew Asim Zaidi to study finance

Asim Zaidi (BSBA ’17) decided to study finance as an undergraduate at The University of Tulsa because he was interested in the stock market. But, he says, “The more finance classes I took, the more I realized there were other aspects of finance that I was interested in.” Zaidi explored his options and has chosen to pursue not only a graduate degree in finance at TU, but also a law degree so that he can work in the mergers and acquisitions field.

As Zaidi explains, finance encompasses areas from portfolio management to the stock market and corporate finance. “You don’t have to limit yourself to one area of study,” he says. “There are finance courses that cater to each specialty.”

He also had the opportunity for hands-on application of the concepts he studied in class as part of TU’s Student Investment Fund. “It’s one of the coolest experiences I’ve had,” he says. Members of the class manage a $5.7 million investment fund and are responsible for decisions to buy and trade stocks. Zaidi served as macroeconomics chairman and says it was his first experience in a finance leadership position. He says, “I not only learned about the stock market and how to value funds, but also about delegation, which is a skill that will be invaluable in my career.”

Zaidi chose to continue his finance education at TU and enrolled in the Master of Science in Finance program last fall. He says the program pulls students from a range of majors including accounting, management and even engineering. “It’s not just a degree program for finance majors, but also for students in other fields.”

He adds that, “One of the great things about the MSF program is the faculty. There are professors who are willing to help you advance your career. One of my favorite professors, Dr. [Matthew] Crook has given me a lot of advice on research I want to do.” Zaidi is working on research around mergers and acquisitions and hopes to publish his findings before he attends law school.

Zaidi notes that the MSF program offers a quantitative track for students interested in the research side of finance. He also stresses the generous scholarships offered to graduate business students. “I was able to get a very good package that allowed me to continue my education at TU, and it was a very easy decision for me in terms of which university I chose.”