Eberly Finance Student Wins Financial Executives International Scholarship

Posted on 3/23/2015 2:21:49 PM

Christopher O'Brien, Eberly College finance senior, with his FEI Pittsburgh - Kuldeep Shastri Memorial Scholarship and Dr. Robert Boldin.Christopher O’Brien, senior finance major and economics minor, received the Financial Executives International: Pittsburgh–Kuldeep Shastri Memorial Scholarship for $1,000 on March 18, 2015.

Financial Executives International is an organization that advances and connects senior-level financial executives and their organizations. Since 1931, FEI’s purpose has been to define the financial profession, educate members and others and work with the government to improve the general economy.

“Christopher is an amiable and articulate individual who is forthright and reliable in all respects,” said Robert Boldin, financial and legal studies professor, who recommended O’Brien. “He demonstrates superior academic excellence, curiosity, interpersonal skills, and maturity, all of which qualify him for this prestigious FEI honor.”

“I am honored that the finance department feels that I am a good representative for their program and Eberly College,” said O’Brien.

One outstanding factor that contributed to the selection of O’Brien was his involvement in the Student Managed Investment Portfolio. He is an active leader of SMIP, where he is the CIO and manages the organization’s budget. Because of his successful management, IUP awarded SMIP an additional $100,000 to their existing $650,000 budget; raising their portfolio value to more than $750,000.

He is also an active member of the CFA Society of Pittsburgh, Student Finance Association, and Toastmasters International, where he practices public speaking with other professional community members. O’Brien volunteers as a counselor for his hometown youth group and attends many church-sponsored charity events in Indiana as well, such as the St. Thomas Moore Book Sale.

In the future, O’Brien hopes to open his own full service investment firm. He is currently working to obtain his chartered financial analyst designation. He also plans to work his way up as a portfolio manager and chief investment officer of local and global banks and investment firms. Presently he holds certifications from Bloomberg Essentials and Yellow Belt–Six Sigma.

To qualify for the scholarship, an accounting or finance student in their junior or senior year must be nominated by a sponsoring professor. The student then submits their resume, a personal statement outlining their academic history, community involvement and career aspirations, and a recommendation letter from a sponsoring professor.

O’Brien received his scholarship during the FEI Scholarship Awards Dinner at the Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh. 

—Casey Lemmons

Eberly College of Business and Information Technology