Meet Lauren McSweeney ’22, a Finance major from Wrentham, MA. At Bryant, Lauren has achieved success as a scholar, as a performer, and as a professional. But those things really aren’t that different, she notes, they’re all part of an experience that has prepared her for a bright future. “Everything I’ve been involved with has helped me to grow personally and advance as both a person and a leader,” she notes.
When Lauren was applying to colleges, she wanted to make sure she found a perfect fit—a school that would provide a great place to live and learn as well as a foundation for a fulfilling career. “I was anxious about my future and making the right decision,” she admits.
Those concerns were soothed when she visited Bryant’s campus and experienced the University’s close-knit community. “When I toured Bryant with my dad, for the first time in the college decision process the thought of going to school and leaving home didn’t seem so daunting,” she says.
The Bottom Line
A dedicated singer and performer, Lauren found a supportive community early on when she joined The Bottom Line, Bryant’s award-winning a cappella group, in her first semester of her freshmen year. “I've met some of my best friends through The Bottom Line,” she notes.
"There’s a great performing arts community at Bryant. We all have a connection with each other and we all know each other and support each other.”
Over the course of her time at Bryant, Lauren has seen The Bottom Line reach new heights and gain new levels of recognition. One of their crowning achievements, she says, was competing at the International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella, where she performed a solo at Boston Symphony Hall. “We were competing against all these schools that have huge music programs,” she remembers. “It was a pretty big undertaking for us, but we had such a strong commitment from every single person in the group.”
As President of The Bottom Line, Lauren has helped to keep the group growing and organized as they’ve posted their music to a variety of streaming sites, filmed their first music video, and even professionally recorded their own album. “The group has given me so much over the past couple years, and I'm so proud of everything that we’ve accomplished together,” she says.
That sense of shared pride and community is a big part of Bryant’s appeal, Lauren says. “There’s a great performing arts community at Bryant. We all have a connection with each other and we all know each other and support each other.”
Lauren, who has maintained a 4.0 GPA at Bryant, chose to study Finance because of the possibilities it offered. “It combines analytical skills with numbers and prepares you for real world responsibilities, while opening the door to a wide range of career paths,” she says. She’s specializing in corporate finance, which involves sources of funding, the structure of corporations, increasing value for shareholders, and providing insight into how best to allocate financial resources.
“Every single company has a corporate finance team,” she points out.
“Bryant understands the value of real-world experience and encourages you to take those opportunities.”
One of her favorite courses was Financial Statement Analysis, taught by Assistant Professor of Finance Leila Zbib, Ph.D., which helped her to develop a detailed understanding of how to evaluate financial information and use it to make judgments about a company’s value. Through the course, Lauren completed a comprehensive analysis of a company and learned how to perform a profitability analysis, value a stock, and offer a recommendation for investors.
Lauren’s involvement with Bryant’s Finance Association has helped her to learn about different finance tracks and career paths and build connections with other finance students, alumni, and working industry professionals. She was recently inducted into the Boston Chapter of Financial Executives International, a career development and networking opportunity that will aid her as a young professional and beyond.
“This honor wouldn’t have been possible without the connections and relationships I have made at Bryant and it exemplifies the opportunities that Bryant offers beyond the classroom,” Lauren says, noting that Professor of Finance Peter Nigro, Ph.D. nominated her for membership.
Real World Experience
She found other opportunities outside the classroom through Bryant’s Amica Center for Career Education, which helped her secure internships at Dell and Fidelity Investments. She discovered positions through Amica’s Bryant Career Connection website, spoke with representatives at Career Fairs and interviewed on campus.
At Fidelity, Lauren worked with the company's Operations and Services Group (OSG) Finance Team, which plays a key role in a wide variety of the organization's transactions. She strengthened her technical skills while working on important projects, made connections with her coworkers, and even presented to executives.
“Bryant is a place where you can turn your goals into success stories.”
“They brought me in and they trusted me. I didn't feel like I was just an intern, I felt like I was a valued employee and just like everybody else on my team,” she says, noting that Bryant’s focus on presentation skills and group work helped her to perform effectively from day one.
Lauren was able to earn academic credit through her internship—just one of the ways, she says, that Bryant prepares students for the professional world. “Bryant understands the value of real-world experience and encourages you to take those opportunities,” she notes. “You learn so much in the classroom but there’s other things that you can only learn by doing them.”
Impressed with her work, Fidelity asked her to stay on for the fall semester and offered her a job as an Associate Financial Analyst after she graduates. She’s excited to get started and begin to make her mark on her field.
Now, four years later after she decided to enroll at Bryant, Lauren can look back at a long list of accomplishments that confirm she made the right choice. “My time here has really set me up for success,” Lauren states. “Bryant is a place where you can turn your goals into success stories.”
“It’s a place I’m proud to have called home,” she adds.