Zach Schwertz (McIntire ’22)
Concentration: Finance and Accounting
Student Organizations: Alternative Investment Fund, Analyst; Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED), Vice President of Development
Social Handles: Instagram: @zschwertz; LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zachschwertz/
What was your favorite class and/or faculty or staff member and why?
My favorite class at McIntire was COMM 3559: Markets and Investing, with Professor Ed Finley. After switching from a pre-medical curriculum to a pre-Commerce track at the start of my second year, I didn’t have much experience in the world of finance, nor did I have a solid grasp on current happenings in the business press. In January 2020, I had the fortune of participating in the Careers in Finance trek with Professor Finley. The trip opened my eyes to career paths that piqued my interest and ignited my curiosity to learn more about the world of finance. Professor Finley then allowed me to take his course the following spring semester; the course’s core goal is to develop an “understanding of finance that every good citizen should possess.”
Professor Finley did an excellent job breaking down complex concepts to help me build a robust foundation of knowledge regarding how financial players act in markets and the incentives that drive their behaviors. He activated my ability to have educated discussions with business professionals, professors, and my peers about financial news. Through various meetings during office hours and having coffee and lunch, not only did I find myself intrigued by the lessons Professor Finley taught, but was also fond of his teaching style: direct, relatable, and surprisingly humorous. I still get lunch with Professor Finley at least once a semester to catch up, and I greatly value the friendship we created.
What are your career/future education goals?
I am interested in investment banking and am currently preparing for a Summer Analyst Position at an independent advisory, Greenhill in New York. I’m unsure where I may land beyond investment banking, but I am interested in exploring buy-side opportunities in the hedge fund or private equity space.
What is a fun fact about you?
I am the first member of my entire extended family to attend the University of Virginia. My parents and the majority of my aunts, uncles, and cousins went to Virginia Tech, and my grandfather was even an associate professor there for a while. I’m confident I chose the superior institution of higher education in Virginia, but the Commonwealth Cup is always a heated family affair in the Schwertz household.
What has been your favorite McIntire moment?
My favorite McIntire moment happened this semester in my Communication class with Professor Rob Patterson. Each year, Professor Patterson hosts an in-class “pitch-off,” in which students are assigned a company on the spot and instructed to deliver a 30-second pitch of the company’s products, without any preparation. Creating the pitches was equally challenging and exciting, but the most fun part of the class was at the end, when our block turned the assignment back on Professor Patterson. He immediately resorted to his favorite company: Raising Cane’s. Professor Patterson is a regular at the Cane’s here in Charlottesville, and the workers know when he arrives at the drive-thru to set aside a handful of jugs of his favorite drink, sweetened iced tea. In 30 seconds, Professor Patterson had our class laughing at his enthusiasm for the tea and convinced us it was the best sweet tea east of the Mississippi. It was a phenomenal end to our Communications section of the Integrated Core Experience.