Equipped to Lead and Succeed

Career Tips from One of Forbes’s "30 Under 30"

by Inge Lamboo

Luis Alvarado, University of San Francisco Master of Science in Financial Analysis (MSFA) alumnus of 2012

Luis Alvarado, University of San Francisco Master of Science in Financial Analysis (MSFA) alumnus of 2012, was named one of Forbes’s “30 under 30 in Finance" in 2014.

He is the youngest member of Wells Fargo’s Private Bank investment research team, which decides the allocation for $170 billion in managed assets. Forbes described Alvarado as, “Solely responsible for building capital market assumptions, forming the foundation of recommendations for virtually every client account.”

The MSFA program at the University of San Francisco celebrated its 10th anniversary in March of 2014 with the Forbes, Finance & USF event, which featured Luis Alvarado as the keynote speaker. The event was meant as a celebration of the MSFA program and the achievements of its alumni. It featured celebrated speakers and was a great networking opportunity for current MSFA students and prominent MSFA alumni.

Alvarado spoke to the attendees about his career, working his way up the corporate ladder and how he ended up where he is now. He wanted to leave the students and his fellow alumni with two main pieces of advice. “Firstly,” he said, “it’s important to constantly keep working on our professional skills. If we don’t have the skills we need for a specific role then the key is to work on ourselves, go back to school and learn. Secondly, we must be strategic about our networking and always have a plan. We must all become proficient and efficient at both of these activities. We need to constantly learn new competencies and develop relationships with our peers in order to be successful.” 

View Alvarado's Entire Presentation

“I absolutely loved the event,” said Alvarado afterwards. “It was a great opportunity to network and meet different people who are related to the MSFA program. As a speaker, I felt honored to have the opportunity to share a little of my story with fellow colleagues. I hope it brought some insight into some of the challenges we might face in trying to develop a career in finance and how we must remain alert for opportunities that will pass us by if we don’t take advantage of them.”

Other speakers included Dr. Ludwig Chincarini and CFA Loren Walden. Dr. Chincarini, Associate Professor of Finance and Capital Market Theory, spoke about the financial markets of 2013. Walden, Adjunct Professor of Finance and Ethics and co-founder of Blue Oak Capital, LLC, spoke about the accumulation of merit and the cumulative impact of merit in financial markets.

Zesu Wei, an MSFA student who attended the event, said that university students are often thought of as being isolated in an intellectual ivory tower of sorts, and not engaging with the world they learn about, but that this event was a great opportunity for him to break that stereotype and interact with professionals in the financial world. “These networking opportunities give us something we can never learn from a class or a textbook,” he said, “and Luis Alvarado is such an amazing guy! I talked to him for a long time and his experiences really inspired me. I hope to be able to attend many more events like this.”

“These events make it possible for alumni to stay involved, and to continue learning with the School of Management,” said Michele Owen, Coordinator of Alumni and External Relations for the School of Management, who organized the event. “For students, it’s an opportunity to network with experienced professionals who work in their industry of interest.”

John Veitch, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and MSFA Program Director and Founder, said the event was an immense success. “The event was well-organized, attendance was fantastic and the speakers were all great,” he said. “It also meant a lot to me, personally, to see an MSFA alumnus being celebrated so enthusiastically by his peers.”

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