Taylor Winings is leaving the University of Oregon with a solid foundation in finance. After graduating from the Master of Science in Finance program, she’s heading straight to Intel’s Hillsboro, Oregon, campus to begin her career as a senior financial analyst.
Prior to pursuing her master’s degree, Winings attended Texas Tech University, where she earned a BA in mathematics. However, it was her minor in actuarial science—the application of mathematics to finance—that led Winings to realize where her interest lied.
“I actually got a couple of job offers out of undergrad in finance, but I didn’t have a good grasp on the concepts behind everything, so I wanted to get an actual degree in finance,” Winings said.
The 12-month MSF program at UO was right up her alley, and the university’s proximity to the west coast’s finance hubs made the choice an easy one.
Students enrolled in the MSF program study real-world cases in security analysis, portfolio allocation, valuation, and more. Along with financial management experience, the transition from undergraduate to graduate offered professional skill-building opportunities as well.
“I didn't understand challenges quite like I do now,” Winings recalls, “but my time with the program taught me that curiosity and a desire to ask questions is a skill better learned earlier than later.”
Winings and her peers also joined finance professors Steve McKeon and John Chalmers for a study tour of New York City, visiting the offices of financial leaders and learning from program alumni who hold positions within these companies.
Winings kept herself busy as an MSF student. She took part in a summer internship in intensive wealth management at Merrill Lynch, worked as a mathematics and finance tutor for student athletes at the UO, volunteered as a member education advisor for the Delta Gamma sorority, and served as a senior analyst in the UO Investment Group, a student-run organization that manages more than $1 million in portfolios.
Winings also held a position as a capital analyst for the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship, where she used the Pitchbook database software to gather data on private capital activity in Oregon and create a report on the state’s startup ecosystem and its trends.
Now, with both her background in mathematics, her expanded knowledge of the world of finance, and the connections and networking skills she picked up at the UO, Winings is ready to embark on a career in corporate finance.
“We are graduating into a world that no one has seen before, but it’s the perfect opportunity to learn as much as we can and make significant impacts for the better,” Winings said.
Her suggestion for the Class of 2020: “Everyone has different skills that are necessary for change. Use your skills that you have developed wisely, and never stop developing new ones.”
—Amanda Miner, Lundquist College Communications