Pitt Business Alum Connects Students to Financial Services Industry
A group of students from the University of Pittsburgh’s College of Business Administration traveled to New York City in February 2016 to visit the U.S. headquarters of Fitch Ratings, a global leader in financial information services. The site visit gave students the opportunity to learn about the financial services industry firsthand while networking with established professionals.
The visit was made possible because of Brett Van Dyke’s (BSBA ‘12) commitment to staying connected with his alma mater.
“I was pleasantly surprised by how professional the students were,” Van Dyke says. “I do not think I was that mature at their age. I was also impressed by their ability to grasp the complex concepts of structured finance ratings and ask well-thought-out questions regarding the subject.”
As the associate director of strategy and corporate development at Fitch Group, Van Dyke is responsible for helping to define the overall strategy of the firm and assessing acquisition opportunities.
“My favorite part of my job is being constantly challenged through diverse projects. Because Fitch Group is a global company and my team is so small, I really get to have a hand in each of our three portfolio companies,” Van Dyke says.
Van Dyke says the experienced faculty, opportunities to apply his academic knowledge to real-life business situations, and study abroad opportunities at Pitt Business helped him to develop as a young professional. In fact, his study abroad experience changed his entire outlook on his education and career.
“I studied in Barcelona when the youth unemployment rate was 47 percent, and saw my Spanish peers failing to supplement academics with outside opportunities. During a moment of self-reflection I realized that if I did not devote more effort to my academic and professional development, then I would be squandering the opportunity that I was afforded by being in the U.S.,” he says.
Shortly after returning to the U.S., he added finance as a second major and economics as a minor and landed an internship where he gained experience in financial services.
“On some level, Pitt Business is largely responsible for where its alumni are professionally. Without attending Pitt Business, it is unlikely that I would have made the connections necessary to launch a career inNew York. I will always have a connection with Pitt, and I want to help future alumni find the same success in their careers that I have found.”
Van Dyke organized the site visit with the Pitt Business Career Services Team.
Pitt Business alumni like Van Dyke provide opportunities for students to enhance their academic careers. There are numerous ways for alumni to get involved with the school, including mentoring a student, volunteering at an event, or providing financial support.
To learn how you can get involved, contact Emily Cerrone, program manager for alumni relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.