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Lucy Sheftel: Finance

Bethel Park, PA
Major: Finance

Growing up along the coast of the Black Sea in southern Russia, at the age of 15, Lucy Sheftel never imagined she would travel to Nancy, France for a year of study abroad in 1997-98, or win 2nd Prize in the National Alliance Francaise competition for excellence in French and essay writing, or hold a summer 1999 internship with NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc., in Washington, DC, and then take on a research internship at the European Parliament in Luxembourg the fall of that same year. Nor did Lucy ever dream that at the present time she would be living in Paris and working for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, in exactly the area of her greatest interest, international finance!

As you might guess, a lot of unexpected things happened, starting when I was studying in high school in Russia. For example, at 15, I received a United States Government scholarship to spend my junior year at a high school in Seattle. At the end of that year, I came back home to Russian and finished up my senior year at my original high school. Then my father moved to the United States. I joined him and I finished another senior year -- this time at Bethel Park High School. After graduation, I went right on to IUP and the Honors College. Now, I seem to be doing sort of the same thing at the college level -- by the end of this year I'm going to have two university degrees. I already have a diploma here in France, from Institut Commercial de Nancy, the seventh best business school in France. And, in May of 2001 I'll receive my degree from the Honors College.

Lucy credits the Honors College, its director, Dr. Janet Goebel, and her professors in Finance and French, for making all this possible.

Part of what attracted me to IUP was the wide variety of classes in my major (then Economics, later Finance) and because I really liked the Honors College. The students here really want to learn and the professors are really willing to help them learn, and to help in all kinds of ways. Professors like that make all the difference. The French Department helped me get my internship abroad with the European Parliament and Dr. Goebel found the NASDAQ internship for me and encouraged me to apply. I joke about it, but I mean it when I say the best advice I ever got in my life was from my parents – and Dr. Goebel. Along with all of that, the Honors College made the PriceWaterhouseCoopers internship possible and let me use an independent study finance project in Paris as part of my Honors College credits. I just completed a research paper, "Influence of Day-trading on Financial Market Volatility," in cooperation with Dr. Boldin, from IUP's Eberly College of Business. And, one of the advantages of independent study is that you can use your project paper to apply to graduate school, since they typically ask for a sample, research paper, or undergraduate thesis.

Along with her research paper, Lucy Sheftel also has one notable publication to her credit.

While I was interning in Luxembourg, I wrote a 15 to 20 page paper, which the European Parliament published in December, 1999. I wrote on 'Financial Services in the European Union,' which includes issues such as securities exchange, banking and insurance. I can use that as well for a graduate school application. And, again, thanks to Dr. Goebel, who told me about it, I'm applying for one of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, which as they say, 'provide[s] opportunities for continuing generations of able and accomplished New Americans to achieve leadership in their chosen fields and to partake of the American dream.' Hey! That's me – a new American!

Back here, at home, after her first study abroad and her NASDAQ internship in Washington, Lucy Sheftel became a member of the IUP Finance Association.

I learned a lot here, and – what's really important – I learned to work with other people. I also did some community service with the American Red Cross, doing some note-taking for disabled students. In, fact, I got so involved with internships and study abroad that I decided to postpone my graduation for a year, just to get everything done. And, along with all that, the Honors College pushed us to attend a lot of fine arts events -- museums, theater, ballet, art exhibits – things I might never have gone to otherwise. Dr. Goebel and the staff at the Honors College always let us know, usually by e-mail, when something good was coming. It was one more nice surprise, for me, in belonging to the Honors College.

As Lucy moved through the program, her goals -- and her accomplishments -- seemed to grow larger with each passing semester. For a while, she imagined that a reasonable career, based on her major, might be as a stockbroker.

In fact, though, I see it taking me to Financial Analysis, Auditing, maybe Business Analysis – which is much better than what I was dreaming about in the beginning. Of course, my real dream would be to end up on the Board of Directors at NASDAQ!

Right now, Lucy is actually working in Paris for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where she completed a summer internship. NASDAQ, as it happens, is opening one its many worldwide offices in Paris.

Right now, I'm working as a financial auditor, dealing with different companies, checking their various financial statements, among other things. I'm also working on a very special international financial audit, for PWC, who represents the one central bank of Moldavia -- a small country near Rumania. The Central Bank of Moldavia, is PriceWaterhouseCoopers' biggest client and this bank manages the whole economy of the country. And I get to work with it! Of course I couldn't imagine at 15, that this would all happen. Now, every year, it seems, I think back, and I have to say 'I didn't imagine I would be here in a year, doing this, doing that.' It's like a dream.

On graduation, Lucy Sheftel plans to begin her MBA in a good school, and wants, one day, to accomplish something useful in her professional life. Fluent in three languages – English, Russian and French – Lucy intends to find work in international stock exchange and global financial markets integration. Real dreams. Real plans. Real opportunities….

Lucy’s Accomplishments

Academic Distinction/Awards

  • Provost Scholar
  • Dean’s List
  • The French Alliance, 2nd place for knowledge of French Culture
  • Magna Cum Laude graduate

Community Service

  • IUP Alumni Research
  • American Red Cross
  • IUP Learning Center

Study Abroad

  • France, Institut Commercial de Nancy, received: The International Management Diploma

Internships

  • The NASDAQ Stock Market, Washington, DC
  • The European Parliament, Luxembourg
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Paris, France

Undergraduate Thesis

  • "The Effects of Day Trading on Financial Market Volatility." Director: Dr. Boldin, IUP Finance Department

Languages

  • Russian
  • English
  • French