St. Olaf College | News

Star Tribune highlights Finance Scholars program

Kelly Montoya ’15 (right) tells the Star Tribune that the Finance Scholars program gives students “a sense of where you might thrive, and where you might fit in.”

“For 90 minutes last week, a select group of juniors and seniors from St. Olaf College in Northfield got a rare inside look of what life, and work, is like at Piper Jaffray, the investment banking firm in downtown Minneapolis. It’s part of a new St. Olaf summer program called Finance Scholars — one of a growing number of crash courses for liberal arts majors to help smooth their way into the job market,” notes a Star Tribune story highlighting the program.

Kirsten Cahoon ’98, senior associate director of the St. Olaf Piper Center for Vocation and Career, organized the program by asking St. Olaf graduates working at some of the biggest corporations in the Twin Cities — UnitedHealth, Thrivent, General Mills — to give students a sneak peek at what various business careers are really like.

Alumni like Jon Salveson ’87, Piper Jaffray’s vice chairman of investment banking, stepped forward, offering St. Olaf students both their time and insight.

The result is a program that gives students an “unvarnished” picture of these kinds of jobs, as well as a chance to do some networking with people on the front lines, Cahoon tells the Star Tribune.

For students, it’s an invaluable opportunity.

“You start to get a sense of where you might thrive, and where you might fit in,” program participant Kelly Montoya ’15 tells the paper.