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Communications and Marketing

Finance is a top major

Finance is one of the most-popular programs at Lake Forest College, with 146 students officially listed as majors. Psychology is a close second with 141 declared majors.

One of only a few liberal arts colleges to offer a bachelor’s degree in finance, Lake Forest has seen the number of students majoring in the field nearly triple since fall 2013. A finance major prepares students for a career in investment analysis and trading, and investment banking.

“I’m thrilled with the faculty we have teaching the classes and with the coverage and rigor we offer our students,” Betty Jane Schultz Hollender Professor of Economics and Chair of the Department of Economics, Business, and Finance Carolyn Tuttle said.

Stewart Foley, lecturer in finance and special advisor on the practice of finance, attributes the rise in popularity to the internships and jobs the College’s finance majors have landed.

“We have students who, when they came off their summer internship, had a job,” Foley said. “We have students who have gone to work in all the major areas of finance—insurance, asset management, banking, brokers, investments banks. They’re at big firms, small firms, all of the above.”

Foley points to the application of skills that Lake Forest College finance majors learn and put to work on their first job.

“We use a case-based approach, we teach Excel, we try to put tools in peoples’ hands that will allow them to hit the ground running upon graduation,” he said. “Our students have been successful in some pretty competitive searches.”

As an added bonus, recent Lake Forest finance grads who have already started their careers stay involved helping students.

“This organic mentoring is really important,” Foley said. “Our students learn exactly what they need to know before going into an internship or job interview.”

Student-led mentoring—where older students help younger students—is another initiative in the works that is helping to firmly establish a strong finance community on campus.

“We’ve got this collaborative, cohesive group where we work effectively with the Career Advancement Center. We’re increasing the number of internship opportunities, which is really key,” he said. “Real-deal go-to-market finance skills—coupled with a broad liberal arts base—creates a competitive advantage in the marketplace. We’ve proven that.”

Students interested in finance can explore the business and finance career pathway, one of five specialized communities that Lake Forest students can join for help in matching their interests with career preparation. Students who join the business and finance pathway receive information tailored to their interests – about events to attend, student organizations to join, special networking opportunities, alumni inspiration stories, and more.