By Karen Sorensen
Three years ago, Elizabeth Foster was a Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda building a cooperative-owned business that helped farmers address malnutrition and unemployment.
Today, Foster, MBA 18, is among 12 first-year Berkeley-Haas full-time MBA students, six of them women, who recently received Finance Fellowships.
William Rindfuss, executive director of strategic programs for the Berkeley-Haas Finance Group, noted the increased number of women in this traditionally male-dominated area, as well as a growing number of students interested in entrepreneurial finance in this year’s recipient pool.
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Other recipients of 2016 Berkeley-Haas Finance Fellowships include :
—Caitlyn Driehorst, Amanda Eller, Molly Brister, and Alvaro De Rivera, who, like Foster, received Entrepreneurial Finance Fellowships.
—Clarissa Berman, Diego Dias, and Maeyce Rebelato, who received Investment Banking Fellowships.
—Nathaniel Boersma and Jeff Oldenburg, who received Investment Management Fellowships.
—Francois-Jerome Selosse and Ashley Lannquist, who received CJ White Fellowships.
Finance Fellowships are awarded to students with strong career goals who serve as Haas ambassadors to alumni and the broader finance community. Recipients receive a cash award and priority enrollment for finance electives. Most importantly, they are paired with a mentor, often a Haas alumnus/alumna, who works in finance.
Foster is already receiving important advice from her mentor, Andrew Krowne, MBA 14, a principal at Dolby Family Ventures, who was also awarded a Finance Fellowship while a student at Berkeley-Haas.
“Given my social sector background, there’s a lot I’m trying to learn quickly, and he has been very helpful—whether he’s explaining the different kinds of funds to me or keeping his ear to the ground and telling me about opportunities I might not hear about,” says Foster.
Next year, Foster will serve as a principal of the Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund. She is currently active with the Berkeley-Haas Net Impact Club and the Berkeley-Haas Finance Club. Foster and Boersma were also elected co-presidents of the Investment Club, and will take on those roles in January.
Selosse looks forward to working with his mentor, Haas alumnus Mike Pearce, MBA 08 and managing director of global investment at consulting firm Cambridge Associates. “He’s a very experienced and knowledgeable professional in the investment world who has already given me valuable feedback and advice.”
Caitlyn Driehorst is another MBA student benefiting from an Entrepreneurial Finance Fellowship to expand her career in fintech, an industry composed of companies that use technology to provide financial services.
“The mentorship is one of the most exciting aspects of this fellowship,” says Driehorst, MBA 18 and co-president of the Berkeley-Haas FinTech Club. “Since the fintech space is innovating and changing quickly, access to mentors who are currently in the trenches is so helpful for understanding how to think about my career after Haas.”