Students attend a panel on careers in banking

Exploring Careers in Banking and Financial Services

Nearly 100 students joined company representatives for career exploration in finance, wealth management, and banking on October 25 in the Lillis Business Complex. All UO students interested in career planning in any financial industry were invited to attend for tips on what skills and experiences are needed to be a competitive applicant in the field.

“This year, the career services team combined the various represented industries into one panel session so that students wouldn’t have to choose between panel topics and could also take in a wider range of information regarding the various careers in the banking, finance, and wealth management industries,” said Therese Kersjes, event and recruiting coordinator for Mohr Career Services at the Lundquist College of Business.

“We also offered a casual networking mixer so that students and company representatives could chat and connect with each other after the panel discussion,” she added.

Gene Rhee, executive director of Mohr Career Services, served as panel moderator for Explore Your Career Path: Banking, Finance, and Wealth Management.

The panel included:

  • John Stacy, Vice President and Commercial Banking Center Manager, Banner Bank
  • Gil Luria, Director of Research, D.A. Davidson
  • Aimee Butler, Wealth Advisor, Merriman Wealth Management
  • Danielle Gielish, Branch Manager, KeyBank
  • Tatiana Campos, Express Lane Finance Director, Nike
  • Curtis Lloyd, Associate Vice President and Commercial Loan Portfolio Manager, Umpqua Bank

Master of Science in Finance candidate Bryan Robinson attended the panel and said he learned to embrace networking.

“Most of those people got where they are because they were offered a job while they were still in school,” he said. “They didn’t necessary go through the standard ‘apply online and just wait.’ They really built relationships and found they were more successful doing that.”

Madeline Mehrali, a third-year economics major and business and sociology minor liked how moderator Gene Rhee asked each panelist targeted questions based on their specific experience.

“It wasn’t just one question going down the line,” she said. “That can get repetitive. He did a good job identifying specific people for responses. It wasn’t a mass interview, more like a relaxed conversation.”

Mehrali also connected with the Nike representative she was hoping to see during the networking portion of the evening.

Finally, one student took from the event an assurance that many great careers chart a progression that is far from a straight line.

“It was really great learning about how many people didn’t really have a straightforward path in finding the job that they are doing today,” said Palzom Pradhan, a second-year MBA student.

“I’ve had a similar experience,” she said, adding that she studied science for her undergraduate degree and is now considering a career in finance.

Prahan said, “It was helpful to know with a flexible mindset, a mindset of resiliency, you can still form a new career path.”

The list of companies participating in the event included

  • Foresters Financial Services, Inc.
  • Farmers Insurance District 15
  • D.A. Davidson Companies
  • Columbia Bank
  • Northwestern Mutual- Oregon and SW Washington
  • Merriman Wealth Management
  • Banner Bank
  • Cain Brothers & Co., LLC
  • AXA Advisors LLC
  • Levi Strauss & Company
  • The Standard
  • Intel Corporation
  • KPD Insurance, Inc.
  • Umpqua Bank
  • KeyBank
  • Nike, Inc.
  • CFA Society of Portland
  • New York Life Insurance

Students and employers interested in future career events may contact Mohr Career Services in 140 and 155 Lillis, call 541-346-3301, or email Sally Bell at

—AnneMarie Knepper-Sjoblom '05, Lundquist College Communications and Lundquist College Staff

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