Student Spotlights

John Osberg

John Osberg (Class of 2013)

Major:
Finance
Minor:
Economics
Fun Fact:
John is a practice player for the Women’s Division 1 Volleyball Team. He also plays competitive beach volleyball.

Why did you choose Niagara University?

My father, Dr. Timothy Osberg, is a Professor of Psychology at Niagara University so I have grown up coming to campus, watching the inception of the Division 1 Men’s hockey team and that is how I fell in love with it. I also like that Niagara is close to home and has that small campus feel.

You are currently Executive Director of the Finance Association, can you please tell us a little about the group and your role?

The club has 20 members and the purpose is to connect students interested in finance with professionals in and out of the area and to also facilitate events and networking opportunities related to the financial arena. I am currently in charge of running the communications for the club and organizing the community service. Recently, we traveled to Toronto to meet with executives with several banks including Bank of Montreal, CIBC and Citibank. Our club also organized a networking dinner with NU alumni who are currently working in the Toronto area. It was a refreshing experience to meet with NU alumni who are working in the industry and learn how they transformed their education into successful careers. In the future, we are looking to attend a three-day conference in New York City focusing on all facets of investment management and finance called the, “Global Asset Management Education Forum”.

You were also able to attend a conference in Toronto recently?

Yes, I was. I traveled to Toronto with Steven Boyle and Keenan Gentry one day prior to the Finance Association networking event that our club set up, to attend an Undergraduate Finance Conference sponsored by York University.  The event was located at One King West Hotel in Toronto, ON. It was a great networking opportunity, but we also were able to attend several workshops focused on educational and career aspects in the world of finance. We even were able to tour the bank trading floors for a few banks including RBC, JP Morgan and the National Bank of Canada. The students from Niagara University were the only students to attend the conference from an American University and because of this we got several more offers to attend other future events and we brought recognition to our University as well.

With all of these networking opportunities, have you ever done an internship?

During the spring semester of my sophomore year, I did a six month internship with M&T Bank in their downtown Buffalo office. NU’s Career Services office helped a lot in preparing my application for the internship. They also gave me some good interview tips as well as helping me with the structure of my resume. My position at M&T was working with profitability analytics. I worked with a team of executive managers in the commercial bank to manage large commercial loans and aspects of the bank’s capital reserves and determined how profitable such loans were using several different financial models. The internship provided me with great references and recommendations. I also interned this past summer at Citibank in their Equities division in Getzville, NY. Both opportunities have given me tremendous insight into the business world and I am so grateful to have had those experiences.

What other activities are you involved with on campus?

I am involved with several different honors societies on campus including Beta Alpha Psi and Sigma Alpha Sigma. Beta Alpha Psi is the international honorary organization for Finance/Accounting/Information Technology students and professionals. Sigma Alpha Sigma is the premier undergraduate honor society of Niagara University and its purpose is to recognize and reward scholastic and extracurricular attainments. I am also a student in the honors program and I am currently working on my honors thesis with Professor Edward Hutton, CFA. The title of my paper is, “Do Investors Rationally Evaluate Investment Fees? A Behavioral Finance Investigation.” My plan is to have the honors thesis completed and hopefully co-published with my fellow finance student, Kevin Ryan, by next semester. Professor Hutton commented about John and his work ethic saying, “John is an outstanding example of a Niagara business student. He excels academically in his Finance coursework, but also makes the time to be a leader in student organizations such as the finance club. His honors thesis work, on the impact of fees in making investment decision, is on the leading edge in behavioral finance”. The honors program as a whole has really helped my analytical skills and has caused me to think on a deeper level. The small classes also allow me to get to know professors and other students on a more personal level.

Do you think the finance lab is a valuable asset for business students?

The finance lab is a great help to me. The software available and the stock ticker are useful aspects of the lab. The lab also serves as “Professor Hutton’s hub” where he provides open access to offer assistance with homework and projects along with modern technology and resources. Also the finance lab serves as a gathering place for business students that encourages collaboration and teamwork.

What are your future plans?

I would like to work in a banking or wealth management career. I would definitely like to stay local and assume a managerial position. I have interviewed with several firms thus far and I am weighing my options. After working for a few years, I would like to go back to school and get my MBA.