Nelson Young has tracked Wall Street since his early teens. He says he enrolled in the Robert H. Smith of Business at the University of Maryland to gain a broader, more sophisticated grasp of the financial world and society.
Now a rising junior, Young has mined Smith resources, especially the Office of Global Programs (OGP), to learn from academic and industry leaders around the world. Young will join other collegiate scholars at an Aug. 24-28, 2012, Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR) conference, “Cross Cultural Connections: Weaving New Silk Roads," in Taipei, Taiwan. The finance major was selected from a rigorous application process to engage with about 150 expert presenters and several hundred peers through plenary and panel sessions; seminars and case-studies; and field trips to cultural, government and business landmarks.
Q: What led to you to major in finance?
Young: Early in high school, I opened my first personal brokerage account. From there, trading stocks fascinated me and inspired me to seek more knowledge of the vast field of finance. I watched CNBC and read the Wall Street Journal… I wanted to broaden my perspective of today’s global society.
Q: Why Smith?
Young: Growing up in Maryland, I was well aware of the university’s strong academic profile. Plus, the Smith School tremendously prepared my sister (Jessica Young ’09, a U.S. Department of Defense contract specialist) to start her career. Ultimately, I saw diversity and internationalization distinguishing Smith from most other business schools.
Q: How did you qualify for HPAIR?
Young: Studying under Professor (Mark) Wellman in the College Park Scholars program has taken me to Omaha, New York City and the Silicon Valley, as well as to the United Arab Emirates and Australia. Dr. Wellman’s global immersion programs enhanced my global leadership skills and awareness. This was vital to HPAIR selecting me.
Q: What are you looking forward to about the conference in Taiwan?
Young: China’s expanding economy along with Asia’s rapidly growing development makes that continent’s future very intriguing. Taking into account HPAIR conducts the largest student business conference in Asia and selects participants from the top universities worldwide, this is a great opportunity to analyze key issues in Asia and do so with the top minds from the business and academic worlds.
Q: How has your Smith experience prepared you to pursue your dream career?
Young: Absorbing knowledge and crafting skills beyond the classroom is crucial to future career success. The Smith School’s Office of Global Programs has been a study abroad gateway for me to different parts of the world and has led me to international conferences in places like Cologne, Germany, and now, Taiwan. The school continues to impress me with its focus on research, innovation and entrepreneurship, making me proud to be a Smith student.
Read more about Smith’s Office of Global Programs http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/global/.