Daniel Jones, MSF '13
After earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Daniel Jones went to work as an auditor. “It was a good learning experience,” he says. “But then I started thinking about how to invest my money, and I realized I was more interested in investments and finance than in auditing.”
Jones knew he would need a graduate degree to make a successful career change. He chose the master’s program in finance at Boston College, partly because of the school’s reputation. “BC has one of the top 20 finance programs in the country,” he points out.
In his first semester at the Carroll School, Jones enrolled in the Curriculum in Investment Research & Management (CIRM) Program, a three-course sequence that combines theoretical learning with hands-on experience.
“The class is divided into four investment management teams,” Jones explains. “Each team spends the semester developing an investment strategy, then pitches their ideas to a board at the end of the course.
“Based on that presentation, two teams are chosen to go on to the next part of the CIRM sequence: actually investing part of the BC endowment.”
Jones and his team members were chosen to go on the final course in the sequence, during which they met weekly to discuss stock ideas, create a portfolio and hammer out the details of their investment strategy.
“We were basically working in investment management,” Jones says. “I enjoyed putting value on stocks, and I took it very seriously.”
Jones says the experience prepared him well for job interviews. “Every week we presented our ideas to the rest of the team, and no one was afraid to question or critique your recommendations,” he says. “So when I started interviewing, I knew how to prepare for questions and how to make a convincing presentation.”
Jones began seriously looking for a job about halfway through the graduate program. “My career advisor was great,” he says. “He had a good understanding of what I was looking for and helped me line up interviews with several different firms.”
In the end, Jones accepted a position as a business valuation associate at Ernst & Young. “EY is primarily an accounting and tax company, but I work in a division of the transaction advisory service line,” he says. “I knew it would be difficult to break into the transaction-based business world, but my public accounting background helped when it came to connecting with EY.”
Jones credits his Boston College degree with helping him move from an accounting career to the world of finance and investments. “Without the MSF, it would have been much more difficult to make that transition. I feel very confident to do the work at Ernst & Young because of the work I’ve done in the program.”