Academic Awards, International Study, and An Internship Lead the Way to a New Career
Connections in the Girard School led Jessica Scaramuzzo ’12 to her SunGard internship. Marianne Hood, the school’s student services coordinator, knew SunGard was looking for interns. Hood and Quinn, chair of the finance department, recommended Scaramuzzo for the position.
“I applied what I had learned in school every day during my internship,” Scaramuzzo said. Her best academic preparation was a financial analysis course, which taught how to apply financial concepts to real-world situations and emphasized working in Excel.
“I found the analytical side of the course to be very helpful since my role at SunGard was a business analyst intern and there was a lot of problem solving involved,” she said. “I used Excel a lot, and learning different functions and ways to compute things in class was very beneficial.”
Her most satisfying internship project was testing changes made to a client’s trading screens:
“I worked with a business analyst coming up with a test plan, and I got to do the actual testing. The testing involved using a test firm and setting up accounts, placing trades for both stock and bonds, and executing stock splits, reverse stock splits, puts, calls, options and many other transactions.”
What she learned about corporate actions and financial markets. Scaramuzzo applied to her senior-year classes in investments, corporate finance and advanced investments. A stock simulation in her advanced investments course allowed students to invest $1 million.
“I found that the work I did with trading screens at SunGard and the exposure I got to how trading works really helped me out,” she said.
Following her internship, Jessica got a full time job at SunGard after graduation. She has been working at SunGard for almost six months now.
“Every day I use and apply the concepts I have learned from studying finance at Merrimack. I love my job because each day is something different. I am learning so much about the financial industry and I feel that everything I learned in my four years at Merrimack is assisting me to succeed in my work.”
She credits her success to her internship opportunity, and the knowledge she gained at the Business School: “I worked extremely hard during my summer internship with SunGard and built good relationships with my co-workers. I then reached out to them at the beginning of my second semester senior year, and they informed me they were looking for a full-time business analyst. I applied for the job, went through an interview process, and was hired to start working right after graduation. I feel really lucky that I got such a good job that I enjoy right out of college. I am very thankful for all that Girard School has done to help me get where I am today.”
Jessica capped her four years at the Girard School with a Financial Executives International (FEI) Outstanding Senior Award from FEI’s Boston chapter.
Two of her finance professors, Ana Silva and Frances Quinn, selected Scaramuzzo, based on her having the highest grade point average among finance seniors and her contributions to the school as a finance tutor.
Founded in 1931, FEI (http://www.financialexecutives.org) says it “strives to be recognized globally as the leading organization for senior-level financial executives.” Its Boston chapter presents a student of the year award at seven business schools: Babson, Bentley, Boston College, Boston University, Merrimack, Stonehill and Suffolk.
In her senior year, Scaramuzzo also won the Philip Lee Memorial Business Award as the highest-ranking finance senior. She graduated as a member of Sigma Iota Epsilon Business Honor Society and the Omicron Delta Epsilon International Economics Honor Society. A week after graduation, she started her job as a business analyst for SunGard Financial Systems.
“Throughout my four years of college I have worked so incredibly hard to get the most out of my education,” said Scaramuzzo. “These awards have shown me where hard work can really get you.”
That hard work began when she became a clerk at Shaw’s Supermarkets the summer after her freshman year in high school. Just before her senior year started, she was promoted to bookkeeper.
At Shaw’s, Scaramuzzo said, “I loved working with numbers and it all made sense to me. I had that job in high school, and I knew as soon as I got to college that I wanted to study finance.”
In her first finance course in the Girard School, Scaramuzzo studied the markets and was captivated. She decided to become a double major in finance and economics. Her first job in college was at Thomas E. Sears, insurance and reinsurance, as an administrative intern and administrative assistant.
She spent fall semester of her junior year studying international finance and international economics at John Cabot University in Rome, and as a finance tutor this year she assisted students in lower-level finance courses.
“Her characteristics are what a business analyst needs: methodical, detailed, patient and always willing to go the extra mile to learn about an issue she is not sure about,” said Silva. “And she hasn’t stopped working since June 2005.”
Congratulations to Brandy Liljeblad for winning an honorable mention in the Academic Programs International photo contest.
Sabina Shakya, a senior studying Health Science and Environmental Studies and Sustainability can be seen all over Merrimack’s campus as both a Senior Resident Advisor and a peer tutor for the Writing Center. Her most recent accomplishment is being featured in Merrimack’s Student Success Story campaign.