Senior Spotlight: Meet Seven Undergraduates from the Class of 2021 | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University

Senior Spotlight: Meet Seven Undergraduates from the Class of 2021

Posted 5.12.2021

The undergraduate Class of 2021 has seen its fair share of ups and downs. From hybrid learning to virtual job fairs, the past year wasn’t without its challenges.

In true Case Western Reserve University fashion, the Class of 2021 has been resilient, adaptable and valiant. To celebrate, we are recognizing seven Weatherhead seniors who will be graduating this year and going into the world to begin their professional careers, make a difference and carry the same resiliency they’ve portrayed during their time as students.

Eli Abboud, Economics and Computer Science Major, Banking/Finance Minor

Photo of Eli Abboud

1.) Why did you choose CWRU?

I’m from Canton, Ohio, so I basically grew up in the backyard of CWRU and had a front-row seat to all of the incredible work that the university, its professors, and its alumni do. Among other things, I remember being impressed by how many companies around my hometown were led by CWRU alumni and by how often CWRU faculty showed up in both the local and national news. Against that backdrop, I understandably entered the college admissions process with a strong bias toward CWRU. Once I dove into all of the details about academic and student life (e.g. single-door admissions, the flexible curriculum, the integrated masters programs, etc.), it all sealed the deal for me.

2.) What do you love about Cleveland?

Being from a suburban area, I was stunned by how much there is to do when you live close to a major city: the museums, sporting events, restaurants, festivals, concerts, and so forth. There is never a dull moment. To be honest, I didn’t really consider the benefits of living in an urban area when I was choosing colleges. But now that I’ve spent some time in Cleveland, I don’t think I could ever go back to the suburbs.

3.) Which class at Weatherhead stands out to you the most during your time at Weatherhead and why?

I really enjoyed behavioral economics, which was taught by Mariana Carrera. Not only is it a super interesting subject and a fresh young field, but in a weird coincidence, the Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Richard Thaler (who also happens to be a CWRU alumnus) for his pioneering work in behavioral economics while I was enrolled in the course. So, at the same time that his ideas and the entire behavioral economics field were being heavily publicized in the media, I had the opportunity to study the academic papers that birthed the whole movement.

4.) What is your favorite Weatherhead-related experience and why?

My favorite experiences have been the Weatherhead Fund and the Wall Street Trek. For those who are unfamiliar, the Weatherhead Fund is a student-run investment fund. The club manages approximately $700,000 and gives students an early peek into life on Wall Street. I’ve been a part of it for all four years and actually had the opportunity to serve as president in 2020. Second, I really enjoyed the Wall Street Trek. The Trek is an annual alumni-sponsored trip to New York for students interested in working on Wall Street. It’s an incredible opportunity to meet like-minded students and alumni as well as Wall Street recruiters.

5.) What are your plans for after graduation?

I will be working as a research associate at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York City. Essentially, my job will be to advise hedge funds, mutual funds, pension funds, and other asset managers around the world on how to invest their money.

Adiah Bailey, Economics and International Studies, Spanish and Anthropology Minors

Photo of Adiah Bailey

1.) Why did you choose CWRU?

I visited campus during diversity weekend and I really like the students here. I also thrive in an environment that is collaborative and personable which Weatherhead offered with its small class sizes.

2.) What extracurriculars were you involved in on campus and why?

I am currently the President the Black Student Union. I became the BSU president in order to play a role in impacting the Black experience here at CWRU and continuing to push for many racial initiatives like the Identity Center or the Office of Multicultural Affairs momentum fund. I am also a member of La Alianza, club soccer, and Alpha Kappa Psi.

3.) Describe any internships you had and how Weatherhead prepared you for them?

One of my internships was at Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, I worked in the community development department. I worked on the research and outreach side of community development. My courses at Weatherhead helped me with coding and data analysis on the research side. However, I was surprised that I was also using what I learned in my urban economies course to assess situations on the outreach side of community development as well.

4.) If you could describe Weatherhead in one word, what would it be?

Collaborative. Weatherhead emphasizes working in groups and really getting to know your peers in many of its classes across all disciplines. Also the Peter B Lewis building is designed for collaboration with large group work spaces and an open concept.

5.) What are your plans upon graduation?

I will be a research analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Lizzy Barna, Finance Major, Economics Minor

Photo of Lizzy Barna

1.) Why did you choose CWRU?

I chose CWRU because I was looking for a well-rounded college experience and I felt like Case could give me everything I wanted; rigorous academics, playing college soccer, working part-time, and being involved around campus.

2.) Are you from Cleveland?

I’m from the Dallas area. I love how central Cleveland is and how easy it is to travel from here and visit friends/family all over, the cost of living, and how I have older role models working here as well.

3.) What extracurricular activities were you involved in during your time at Weatherhead?

I played on the women’s varsity soccer team for three years, was involved in Alpha Phi (held a director position, Director of Campus Activities, for a year), worked part-time lifeguarding in Veale and then switched to working part-time here at Weatherhead.

4.) What is your most memorable experience as an undergrad at CWRU?

My most memorable experience as an undergrad at CWRU was when I got a blackeye from soccer and had an in-person interview with Morgan Stanley. Good to know they loved the grit and I did land that internship. The blackeye remained for over a month and was a great talking point.

5.) What are your plans for after graduation?

I will be working as a private equity analyst for PNC Erieview Capital here in downtown Cleveland.

Anthony D'Orazio, Finance and Economics Major

Photo of Anthony D'Orazio

1.) Why did you choose CWRU?

Albeit cliché, after my first visit to CWRU in high school, I immediately resonated with the campus and students that I met. They were passionate about their interests and challenged themselves academically, and I wanted to be a part of a community like that. Apart from that personal experience, I knew that CWRU gave me the possibility to explore many different classes due to its single-door admission policy and that I could begin taking business classes right at the start of my freshman year. Furthermore, after reading about the faculty and the Weatherhead School of Management, as well as the exceptional careers students began after graduating, I knew that going to CWRU would give me all the resources I needed to pursue my interests.

2.) Are you from Cleveland?

I am from Washington, Pennsylvania, just south of Pittsburgh. I visited the city every weekend in high school when I was in the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, so I had become quite accustomed to being close to a city and exploring all its nooks and crannies. I wanted a similar experience during my undergraduate years and Cleveland gave me exactly what I was looking for.

3.) What extracurriculars were you involved with during your time during Weatherhead?

Besides being incredibly involved with the Residence Hall Association during my freshman and sophomore years, I spent much of my time participating in the Weatherhead Fund. I had been with the club since my freshman year and learned so much about finance and networking while being able to apply my skills for pitches that involved real money. In addition, I participated in the Wall Street Trek (one of my favorite experiences at CWRU) where I was able to visit NYC with twenty other students to meet with alumni at some of the best companies on Wall Street. Finally, I also was in the Wolstein Society and was a teaching assistant for both Calculus and Corporate Finance.

4). What makes your time with Weatherhead so unique?

I think many things make Weatherhead unique, but there are two that immediately come to mind. First, the professors at CWRU are so passionate about helping their students, both inside and outside the classroom. Whenever I needed help with something career-related, they were more than willing to provide me advice that I feel helped me to secure my internships and first job. Even after I graduate, I know that I will still be able to call them to talk, get advice, or grab a cup of coffee together. Secondly, Weatherhead creates an environment where, rather than students competing against one another, they compete to succeed together. For example, while prepping for investment banking interviews, I practiced with students who, despite going to the same university, knew we would be competing for the same jobs. Instead of viewing it as a competition, students were more interested in helping each person succeed together, rather than for themselves at the expense of others.

5.) What are your plans after graduation?

I will be moving to Chicago to join William Blair as an analyst in their Healthcare Investment Banking group.

David (Dee) Gose, Accounting and Finance Majors, Integrated Master of Finance

Photo of David (Dee) Gose

1.) Why did you choose CWRU?

I chose CWRU and Weatherhead because it gave me the opportunity to pursue a wide range of interests. Athletically, I was able to take part in varsity athletics at a collegiate level as a part of strong program with great coaching. Academically, I knew I was going to be able to graduate with both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in four years and would be challenged intellectually. Professionally, I knew Weatherhead would prepare and help place me for internships and full-time positions through alumni, university prestige, and the career center.

2.) Are you from Cleveland?

I am originally from near Cincinnati and now live in Central Pennsylvania, but love Cleveland. My parents are from Ohio and I lived near Ohio for most of my life. Several of my grandparents worked in a steel mill, which gives me an appreciation for Cleveland’s industrial past, and as a (now former) student-athlete, I love a good comeback story and Cleveland is fitting the mold for that! Cleveland has something for everyone (including food and sports for me, among other things) and I feel a sense of belonging and community in Cleveland that I want to stay a part of!

3.) What makes your time at Weatherhead so unique?

I think it goes without saying but COVID-19 has definitely made my time at Weatherhead unique. Transitioning from in-person classes for the first 2.5 years of my education to virtual for the last 1.5 years was unprecedented and a vastly different learning experience than I was expecting. However, meeting, working with, and learning from a wide range of intelligent and diverse students and professors added to my experience immensely. I was also able to watch and contribute to the growth and improvement of Weatherhead which was awesome to see and be a part of!

4.) What extracurriculars did you participate in at Weatherhead?

On top of extracurriculars outside of Weatherhead like varsity athletics and Phi Delta Theta, I was heavily involved with the Weatherhead Fund, where I learned a ton about finance and networking and tried to eventually teach others even more than I learned. I was also a member of the Beta Alpha Psi professional accounting fraternity and served as the undergraduate representative to the Weatherhead Strategic Plan Steering Committee. In addition, I was a teaching assistant for a plethora of undergraduate and graduate courses and was a part of the Wall Street Trek. As a master’s student, I was a part of the Consulting and Finance Clubs.

5.) What are your plans for after graduation?

I will be joining Keybanc Capital Markets in Cleveland, OH in the Industrials Investment Banking group. I plan on doing some traveling and want to work on my golf game, and am considering going back to school to get my MBA in a few years!

Naomi Kane, Economics Major, Chemistry and Biology Minor

Photo of Naomi Kane

1.) Why did you choose CWRU?

I initially became interested in CWRU because I love the Midwest– I spent my childhood summers at various lakes in the Midwest so it has always felt like home to me. I ended up choosing to attend CWRU because of its world-class faculty and research, tight-knit community, and the ability to easily explore a variety of fields of study. And in the last four years, all of the opportunities CWRU has provided for me have only further confirmed that I made the right decision.I chose Weatherhead because while I was very STEM-focused in high school (primarily math and engineering) I wanted to pivot towards an area of study that would challenge me in new ways. I found those challenges at Weatherhead but also found a wonderful network of peers and professors who were always willing to guide and mentor me. Barbara Clemenson, Mark Votruba, and Danny Shoag have all been invaluable to my academic journey and I know my peers have found similar mentors that have shaped their undergraduate experience. The kind of mentorship you find at Weatherhead is truly invaluable and prepares you extraordinarily well for your next step.

2.) Are you from Cleveland?

I’m from Vienna, VA and Palo Alto, CA. I love Cleveland because it really feels like an underdog kind of city and a hidden gem of the midwest. People love to complain about the less-than-ideal weather, but you’ll never find a city with as much heart. Clevelanders are always eager to give a helping hand, the food and brewery scene is great, and the outdoor spaces are extremely impressive regardless of the season. I also kind of ironically love that the Browns never win– it just adds to that underdog mentality that I love.

3.) What is your most memorable experience from your undergraduate years?

I was a Supplemental Instructor Leader for an introductory chemistry course. This was especially meaningful to me because it was the student teachers who really helped me transition to college academics after coming from smaller, non-lecture-based high school courses. Being an SI leader has come with its own challenges, especially having to do this last year remote, but it was incredibly rewarding to know that I helped my students not only understand chemistry better but feel more sure of themselves and their academic abilities.

4.) What advice would you give to a high school student who is considering attending CWRU?

My advice would be to fully explore the kinds of opportunities both CWRU and Weatherhead make available. I’ve always had a variety of academic interests and CWRU made it really easy for me to pursue extracurriculars that may not be typical for an economics student such as publishing engineering research and being a chemistry SI leader. Additionally, the faculty at Weatherhead were incredibly supportive as I pursued more traditional opportunities such as completing an economics honors project and being an economics teaching assistant. I also think CWRU does a great job of emphasizing the importance of a work-life balance which encouraged me to pursue non-academic interests such as playing club soccer and being part of an a cappella group. In short, both CWRU and Weatherhead provide a large variety of academic and extracurricular opportunities and I’d highly recommend exploring some that you may be interested in.

5.) What are your plans for after graduation?

I will be staying in Cleveland to work for Deloitte as an Application and Program Analyst.

Queenie Tang, Double Major Marketing and Business Management, Concentration in International Business, Finance Minor

Photo of Queenie Tang

1.) Why did you choose CWRU?

I initially committed to CWRU as a pre-med student, but I quickly realized that my passions lie in business. After taking a few Weatherhead courses, I was exposed to phenomenal professors that truly emphasize the importance of developing relationships with their students. Having a small class size allowed me to engage through hands-on learning, which truly helped me internalize the material.

2.) Are you from Cleveland?

I’m from NYC and have lived in Hong Kong for a few years, so I’ve always lived in a big city. For college, I wanted to experience a smaller city with great food and Cleveland seemed like the perfect place!

3.) Which class stands out to you the most during your time at Weatherhead and why?

All three marketing classes with Professor Somali Ghosh. Her unique approaches to the industry were a big factor in deciding to major in marketing and I even became her TA my senior year.

4.) If you could describe Weatherhead in one word, what would it be?

Opportunity! At Weatherhead, I’ve had the chance to develop relationships with students and professors to learn about their experiences. With every conversation, I discover more about their achievements and unique qualities, and I’m so honored to be able to grow alongside them.

5.) What are your plans for after graduation?

I will be working as a Global Markets Analyst at Goldman Sachs in Salt Lake City, UT!


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