Finance Major

Brandon Aguirre '19"My decision to attend IUP and the Eberly College of Business and IT has been one of the best decisions of my life. Eberly's superior business programs are apparent through the satisfaction and success of their alumni, as well as the college's recognition around the world. The programs here have allowed students such as myself to obtain a truly globalized education by gaining industry knowledge from multi-national corporations and their executives. At IUP, I never felt like just a number.' Rather, Eberly's unique culture allows students to build lasting relationships with professors and faculty who support their professional development.

"I grew up in the small town of Bentleyville, Pa., a rural area with a population of roughly 2,500 people and a high school graduating class of around 75 students. I will always remember the first time I came to visit IUP and quickly fell in love with the campus and the people. It was not long after learning about the amazing academic programs, scholarships, and extracurricular opportunities offered from the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology that I decided to complete my undergraduate education at IUP.

"My experiences as a student in Eberly have been life-changing, to say the least. Being a member of both the Cook Honors College and the Eberly College of Business Honors Program has allowed me to excel in my academic endeavors through various research-based projects and professional development opportunities. I was quickly able to become engaged with the college by joining organizations such as Phi Gamma Nu, the IUP Management Association, and the Society for Human Resource Management. After ultimately deciding to major in finance with an economics minor, I found myself also joining the IUP Economics Club, Student Managed Investment Portfolio, S&T Student Advisory Board, and the College of Business Student Advisory Council. These organizations have given me hands-on experience in leadership, networking, team-building, and many other useful skills that I will carry with me in my future endeavors.

"Being a member of Phi Gamma Nu has had one of the greatest impacts on my experience as an undergraduate student. PGN is a national co-ed business fraternity that focuses on developing well- rounded students who are prepared to become the world's future leaders and entrepreneurs. This organization not only introduced me to some of my best friends, but also gave me access to a national network of current and future business professionals. In Eberly, joining PGN gave me a greater network of students who I could count on for support. This network has encouraged me to become a better student, person, friend, and professional.

"During 2018, I served as the external vice president of PGN, a position which gave me greater insight into the operations and functions of our chapter. I was able to engage directly with our professional development, philanthropic engagement, and marketing activities by overseeing their planning and execution. This was also a great opportunity for me to further develop my leadership skills through assisting the president and other executive board members with chapter activities. I was later elected to be the 2019 president of PGN. My primary focus as president has been to work with the executive board and national council to ensure the long-term success of our chapter and the organization as a whole. As an executive member of the organization, I have had the opportunity to travel to Chicago, Illinois, and Austin, Texas, for our 2018 and 2019 national conventions. These trips have allowed me to network with PGN members and alumni from across the United States, while gaining insight on best chapter practices and opportunities for organization growth. I have learned to lead with confidence, and always consider the greater good of the organization while making important decisions.

"While in Eberly, I also have had the opportunity to serve in organizations like the College of Business Student Advisory Council. As president of COBSAC, I have had the opportunity to assist in the execution of college-wide events and fundraisers such as Business Bash, Business Day, Explore Eberly, and organization audits which are extremely valuable to our students. I have also had the opportunity to work directly with faculty, administration, and other university leadership by supporting campus initiatives and recruitment events in order to benefit our 2,000 undergraduate business students.

"Some of my favorite experiences as an Eberly student have been traveling and learning about the world. I have had the opportunity to travel to Pittsburgh, Washington, DC, New York City, Chicago, Austin, Charlotte, India, and Norway. Being able to visit so many places which are vastly different from my hometown has taught me more than I could have ever imagined. These trips have given me the chance to network, learn new practices in management and economics, and gain experience with topics learned in the classroom by visiting various companies around the world.

"In the future, I hope to be an active and involved alumnus of the university. One of the major reasons for student success in Eberly is the generosity of our alumni, who are willing to give back through time, resources, opportunities, and scholarships. I would like to remain connected with Eberly in order to create lasting corporate partnerships for the school. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Eberly, and I hope to continue the tradition of excellence at IUP through future support of our great business programs."