Undergraduate Blog

My Path to McIntire: Samia Desai (McIntire ’23) Views Business and Investing with a Unique Lens

The Lake In The Hills, IL, native recommends that prospective students immerse themselves in their liberal arts classes, clubs, and internships and connect with the amazing professors at UVA.

By Samia Desai

I always knew I was interested in business, with my favorite classes in high school being Entrepreneurship and Economics. McIntire’s integrated curriculum across business as well as its top tier first drew me to UVA, but the diversity of student mindset and the opportunity for a liberal arts foundation were also important parts of my ultimate college decision. I did not expect to love my Art History, Introduction to Healthcare, and Social Psychology classes as much as I did, and they now greatly contribute to the unique lens through which I view business and investing. I appreciated ICE for the same reason, as it gave me an opportunity to learn all aspects of business that still contribute to my understanding of finance today. One of the biggest pieces of advice I have is to take and appreciate these liberal arts classes, as a diverse mindset contributes greatly to who you become in McIntire and your career.

Why I Chose Finance and Accounting Concentrations

The business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi allowed me to learn from upperclassmen that finance interested me most. My internships in wealth management, hedge funds, UVIMCO, a local family office, and an investment bank, as well as being in AIF, have all contributed to my experience and solidified investing as an area of future interest. Beyond the work, the people and mentors I have met are what has made each experience so rewarding. After I graduate, I’ll be returning to Evercore, where I interned last summer. For first and second years, I highly recommend choosing clubs and internships with people who truly care about mentorship.

My Finance and Accounting Experience in McIntire

The Introduction to Accounting classes were definitely challenging, but it was the kind of challenge that felt rewarding rather than defeating, which is one of the reasons I decided to double concentrate. I have loved the very quantitative, right or wrong nature of my Accounting classes, as well as the real-world application of each Finance course. The guest speakers and professor experience in my Finance and Accounting courses have been highlights of each class and created amazing conversation beyond the stated curriculum. I highly recommend taking the time to connect with the amazing professors at UVA outside of the classroom as well.

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