Since virtually all business decisions have a financial dimension, an understanding of the financial implications of a decision is crucial for effective management. Our program, ranked No. 11 in the country by College Factual, helps Finance students develop a problem-solving, decision analysis framework centered around value creation and serving the consumer.
Margaret Dickinson '10: From Archway Investment Fund to Fidelity and an MBA
Despite applying to nearly a dozen colleges, Margaret Dickinson ’10 was destined to attend Bryant. Recruited to the swim team, she achieved her collegiate desires – swimming and studying business – and needs – generous scholarship support. With concentrations in finance and marketing, the West Newbury, MA, native did a “deep dive” into on-campus life: In addition to swimming competitively all four years, the Honors Program student and Beta Gamma Sigma member served on the Archway Investment Fund’s executive committee. The Archway Investment Fund is a distinctive two-course program that provides students with exceptional real-world experience, first by simulating what they’ll encounter to secure a professional position, and then by giving them real money to manage as practice for what they’ll actually do on the job. The student-managed fund now totals more than $1 million.
Prof. Roberto "is knowledgeable, accessible, and willing to help. That’s the personal connection you get with Bryant.”
She’s committed to giving back to Bryant, even as she balances a grueling schedule as a Prime Fidelity Services associate in New York City and an MBA student. Dickinson helped to establish Bryant’s Wall Street Council, an alliance of alumni, parents, and friends dedicated to enhancing the University’s profile in the world’s iconic financial center. The council helps Bryant students launch careers in finance and provides networking opportunities for established professionals. Dickinson serves on the its board and mentors several students. “I make it a priority to help some really great students,” she says. “I wouldn’t be where I am [today] if some people hadn’t done the same for me.”
Dickinson’s career trajectory
Even before Dickinson graduated, she found a home at Fidelity through her hard work in the Archway Investment Fund. After meeting a Fidelity employee at an Archway Investment Fund luncheon, she secured an internship, working during her junior and senior years at Fidelity Financial Advisor Solutions in Smithfield. After graduation, she sold financial service products to advisors.
In 2011, when her group was relocated to Texas, Dickinson thought, “My life is over; this is not part of my five-year plan.” Declining to relocate yet wanting to stay with Fidelity, she networked extensively before an interview with Fidelity Capital Markets earned her a spot on Fidelity’s electronic trading desk.
Impressed by her drive and skill, the head of Fidelity’s prime brokerage group in Boston offered her the position in New York City, which she calls an “invaluable venue” for those seeking careers in institutional finance.
One of the youngest students in the Cornell Executive MBA program, she is grateful to Trustee Professor of Management and Director of the Center for Program Innovation Michael Roberto, D.B.A., who reviewed her applications and helped her evaluate MBA programs. “I couldn’t ask for a better professor; he’s so knowledgeable, accessible, and willing to help. That’s the personal connection you get with Bryant.”
Reconnecting on campus
With lifelong swim team friendships, Dickinson talks with job-hunting swimmers and regularly contributes to the women’s varsity swim team.
Along with mentoring students, Dickinson has spoken at the Financial Services Pathway Panel at Alumni Engagement Day. She recalls that so many students wanted to be analysts when she was a student. She had wondered, “I don’t want to be an analyst; is that the only career out there?” She tells students about amazing finance opportunities and reminds them to not pigeonhole themselves.
“I go back and tell my story: ‘Things will happen that you can’t control. Take your 24 hours and freak out, as I did after the Texas news, but then turn it into an opportunity. Figure out how and what happened and put yourself in a better spot; that’s a life experience that you don’t learn in the classroom.’ I hope students find it valuable.”