Georgia State University Masters in Finance Alum in the Spotlight #2


Georgia State University Masters in Finance

The Georgia State University Masters in Finance program has been great with providing student reviews and perspectives of the program. These are some of the most helpful things a person who is considering the program can read about. The review I have today is from a graduate a number of years ago, giving a perspective of someone who has been in the work force for a little bit. Hope you find it useful.

Student in the Spotlight
Euljeong Yun
Intern, Buckhead Wealth Management

This past summer, Euljeong Yun had just started an internship as a financial analyst with Buckhead Wealth Management when crisis struck. Another intern specializing in computer programming and development would not start as expected, leaving a gap in the team. Planned projects could not move forward without someone with coding proficiency. Although Yun didn’t consider herself an expert, she had gained confidence through the M.S. in Finance program at the Robinson College of Business and stepped into the vacant role.

“Even my boss acknowledged we had a tough problem to solve,” Yun said. “At first I wasn’t sure I could make it, but I focused on the task, and in a few weeks, I designed the company’s new analytics dashboard.”

Impressed by her skill range, Yun’s internship supervisor promoted her to quantitative financial analyst so she could take on more technical challenges.

“You don’t typically receive promotions or salary increases in an internship, but I did by demonstrating familiarity with financial analysis,” she said.

Learning and applying a diverse skill set is exactly why Yun chose Robinson in the first place. After graduating with a bachelor’s in economics from Yonsei University in South Korea, she researched many graduate programs.

“The M.S. in Finance program offered a perfect balance between technical chops, financial knowledge, and applied industry experience,” Yun said.

Yun particularly flourished in Rasha Ashraf’s Financial Data Analytics and AI and Machine Learning Applications in Finance courses, which provided hands-on experience with Python, SQL, SAS, and cutting-edge automation programs.

In keeping with her ambition to explore various facets of finance, Yun also has conducted scholarly research. She and Ashraf co-authored a paper, “ESG: A Tutorial using Bloomberg Data,” which will be presented at a conference next month. Also, Yun and a group of peers are using AI software to analyze Google data sets and assess how specific key search terms coincide with the rise and fall of cryptocurrency prices.

Yun currently works as a business analyst intern at Buildertrend, a construction project management software firm. As a member of the data monetization team, she is analyzing data sets with Python in order to increase company revenue.

“Robinson’s M.S. in Finance is especially strong for international students who may be hesitant to learn Python, SQL, or Tableau,” Yun said. “As a non-technical person, I was a little afraid to learn coding and other tools, but now I really enjoy it and can pursue a job that maximizes my financial knowledge and technical skills.”

Alum in the Spotlight
Kayla Whetstone
Financial Analyst, Wells Fargo

As an undergraduate scholar-athlete at Florida Gulf Coast University, Kayla Whetstone became the program’s all-time wins leader despite missing most of her junior season to COVID-19. The pandemic could have cut her athletic career short, but the NCAA gave athletes an extra year of eligibility. Whetstone already had earned her bachelor’s in economics and finance from Florida Gulf Coast and jumped at the opportunity to earn her master’s while continuing to play beach volleyball as a graduate transfer.

“Playing volleyball while earning my master’s in finance was a no-brainer,” Whetstone said.

Many schools invited Whetstone to join their programs, but she was most impressed with Robinson’s rankings and graduate placement rates.

Like many scholar-athletes, Whetstone had to balance competing at the highest level while remaining committed to her studies. After wrapping up class at 9:45 p.m., she woke up at 6 a.m. the next morning for workouts.

“We’d do site warmups, which are the practices before tournaments, and I’d still be sandy while giving a presentation for class,” she said.

In spring 2022, Whetstone led her beach volleyball team through its highest single-season winning percentage in school history. The Sandy Panthers took the Conference USA Beach Championship title, punched a ticket to the NCAA tournament, and ranked seventh in the nation.

“It was like living a dual life at that point,” Whetstone said. “I was riding high from finishing the best season of my career and making history for Georgia State athletics, but I also needed to stay grounded in my classwork.”

Whetstone credits her coach, Beth Van Fleet, and teammates with helping her find success on the court, and her professors and classmates with helping her develop into a well-rounded professional ready to take on the workforce.

After graduating in May 2022, Whetstone was hired as a financial analyst in Wells Fargo’s small business banking unit. The hiring team valued her financial modeling and analysis skills, and was impressed by her outside-the-box approach to solving problems—an ability she honed while reviewing case studies in Harley E. “Chip” Ryan’s Corporate Finance class and while delivering presentations in Beatty D’Alessandro’s Leading the Finance Function class.

D’Alessandro was particularly instrumental in supporting Whetstone during her job search. He reminded her of the hard work she and her peer put into their projects. “He told me to be confident because I was good enough for any job, so apply for it,” she said. Whetstone was skeptical at first. Good thing she trusted her new skills and instincts to keep finding success.

Here is a link to the Georgia State University Masters in Finance Program


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