That human element — feeling the effect you can have on others — is important to me. I wanted to study finance because the financial industry affects everyone.
Ryan will work at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York City as an equity capital markets analyst.
"My family is most important to me. My mom is brilliant. I talk to her about everything. My father is my best friend. I have so much respect for him because he always gives off this energy that makes people smile. And my sister is the smartest person that I know. She's committed to social issues and helps me to see that I can always do better.
"So, that human element — feeling the effect you can have on others — is important to me. I wanted to study finance because the financial industry affects everyone. Being a part of something so vast that has such a large impact on people is exciting. I think that understanding how the markets work, combined with my love of communication and my desire to work with people to share different perspectives, will give me the best opportunity to choose from many types of industry as I build my career.
"I used to be driven by grades. But, from the first class I took at Bucknell, Cinema of the Mind with Professor Jim Buck, I realized that the grade is important, but what you're learning and what you're taking from it is a lot more important. He was so open to our perspectives and got the conversation flowing. It was one of the best learning experiences I've had here because it was enjoyable and it pushed me to think differently.
"The availability and openness of my professors has been something I've appreciated the most here. They could come to class each day and put slides on the board and expect you to know it like they know it, and they don't do that. When I took Corporate Finance with Professor Curtis Nicholls, every day he would walk into class with this energy that you could just feel — he's happy to be there, he's happy to teach you about corporate finance. You see the energy that he gives and it makes you want to learn. You think, 'What is it about corporate finance that he loves so much? Maybe I can find something through his joy for it and develop a passion for it too.'
"I've been playing basketball since I was five and traveling to tournaments since I was 10. Every day after school I would work out and at night, after I finished dinner and my homework, my dad and I would go out and run resistance. Playing basketball — the love that I have for this game — is really what has driven me to do well in everything. Over time, I have been able to balance basketball and schoolwork and find value in both. Balancing Division I athletics with the academic rigor at Bucknell has been a welcome challenge. I've been forced out of my comfort zone because I've had coaches who have made me work harder than I ever thought I could. They constantly set goals for you, and once you meet those goals they set the bar even higher.
"Before, I was good at basketball and I liked to play. Now, it's become a way to develop as a person, and that's why I'm so passionate about it. It's more than just three-pointers, lay-ups and everyone screaming for you at the games. It parallels a lot with life, with what I'm trying to do with mine."
Ryan is from Silver Spring, Md.
Posted April 27, 2015