HOMETOWN: Sudbury, Mass.
MAJOR: Managerial Economics
PROFESSOR: Tomas Dvorak, Economics
When Connor Light ’18 swapped his varsity hockey skates for a sales and trading job at Morgan Stanley in New York, he felt totally prepared, thanks to the perfect academic hat trick: relevant courses, real-world research and strong faculty support.
“My sophomore year consumer finance course with Professor Tomas Dvorak was one of the most important courses I’ve taken,” Connor says. “We learned how to manage finances and how money actually works. That was a perfect introduction to finance. I’ll be able to apply these concepts on a bigger scale.”
Connor also took business analytics and managerial economics courses with Dvorak, which also will help in his profession.
“I think analytically, and Professor Dvorak teaches business analytics. Plus, my senior thesis was entirely data-driven,” Connor says.
His thesis evaluated the effectiveness of high school visits on college recruiting methods and enrollment.
“For two entire terms, Professor Dvorak and I would have free-flowing conversations every week,” Connor says. “I would email him on Sunday evenings, and we’d meet Monday mornings. I worked independently with the data and together we discussed the results, what they mean and how to move forward."
“Senior thesis is a great opportunity for students to apply their skills to areas that match their career plans,” says Dvorak, who admires Connor’s “talent, superb work ethic and excellent time management.”
For Connor, trust and the impeccable connection of analytical minds formed the foundation of their faculty-student bond.
“I loved that he gave me the freedom to do what I want while still guiding me throughout the process,” Connor notes. “I knew that if I ran into a roadblock, we could hurdle it together. It’s exactly what I needed and loved about our relationship. Finance is highly competitive. Having that kind of independence to figure out obstacles is invaluable for my career.”