Finding Clarity in Finance
Tevin Conner describes his career path as a circuitous one. Like many new college students, it took a couple of tries for Tevin to find the area of study that most appealed to him. He started with a focus on physics before graduating with a degree in music, but even then he wasn’t convinced that he’d found the right field. He began working in the hospitality industry, where he had the aha moment he’d been looking for.
It came, unexpectedly, in finance. Like physics, the field in which he’d begun, finance offered a window into understanding how the world works.
“With physics, the goal was to understand the physical world around us that we take for granted,” Tevin says. “With finance and economics, it becomes possible to understand human behaviors.”
With his path forward identified, Tevin began the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degree program at Portland State University. The program offered insight into the world he was looking for — and ultimately insight into who he wanted to be.
Finding the common sense in business
Tevin says his time at The School of Business removed much of the complexity from the business world. The program brought clarity to the numbers and showed him that business success is often driven by common-sense finance and innovation. Finance, in particular, goes beyond budgets and spreadsheets to enable leaders to understand how to improve people’s lives and the communities around them.
“The numbers back up big-picture ideas,” Tevin says. “Business visionaries are usually adept at both: finance and driving innovation.”
Gaining personal insight
As part of his MSF program, Tevin was able to explore various fields of business, including some coursework offered by PSU’s Center for Real Estate. He approached each class, event and milestone as an opportunity to learn. Early in the program, he entered the CFA Institute Research Challenge, and he also took on a student ambassador role, an experience he says exposed him to new disciplines, thought processes and students from different walks of life.
“There’s always so much to learn from others,” Tevin says. “This program opened my eyes to fields I had no interaction with before. It’s okay if you don’t know exactly what you’d like to do at first. What matters is that you’re willing to learn.”