News at Smith

Apply to be a Sophomore Finance Fellow

Feb 05, 2018
Experiential / Reality-based Learning


Smith Undergrads: Applications for Fellows Programs at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business are due by midnight Feb. 12, 2018. For more information, visit the Fellows Programs web page.

Smith student Philip Peker ’18 contributed to this article. Philip is a marketing major with a minor in innovation and entrepreneurship at the at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.

“Being able to join a Fellows program as a sophomore is a marked advantage. The Sophomore Finance Fellows program truly resembled the intersection of theoretical classroom knowledge and real-world business acumen. Following markets, engaging in case-based discussion and contributing to a collective knowledge forum among your peers are just some of the great experiences I’ve had in this program,” said Adam Hostetter, a junior finance major recalling with appreciation his sophomore year in the program.

If you’re a freshman Smith student considering a career in any finance-related field, the Sophomore Finance Fellows program should be on your radar. The one-year program, led by Clinical Professor of Finance David Kass, gives underclassmen a deep-dive into topics like mergers and acquisitions, asset management, portfolio analysis, investment banking, private banking, and trading. As the only Fellows program offered for sophomores, the Sophomore Finance Fellows program gives students a rigorous, personalized, and rich introduction to finance.

The learning goes far beyond the classroom. Every year, special programming includes networking events with alumni working for Wall Street firms, investment banking speaker events, a trip to the CFI Institute in Charlottesville, Va., and coverage of the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders meeting. Finance is all about incentives, and Kass focuses on providing many varied opportunities for students to incentivize them to work harder and smarter. Graduates of this program are now working for companies such as Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, UBS, and Lockheed Martin.

Avani Katta, a junior finance major and former Sophomore Finance Fellow, recounted how, “In the fall semester, we went on the SUSA trip to New York where we were able to meet and speak with UMD alumni on Wall Street. Many of the alumni we met were in the program themselves, so it was great to see that the hard work really does pay off and where I could potentially be five or 10 years from now.”

“This Fellows program gives students more personal attention -- whether it’s the Fellows corporate finance class or individualized help in career search and networking. The Sophomore Finance Fellows program is a community of like-minded individuals,” said Kass. “This Fellows program is also a great stepping stone into the other finance fellows programs.”

Kass is a champion for student success in finance. With a doctorate in business economics from Harvard University and 26 years of professional experience working as an economist for the Federal Government, he knows what it takes to be successful in the field of finance. He is also known in both professional and friendly circles as an expert on all things Warren Buffet. “Warren Buffett has a huge passion for teaching, and when he is not investing and working, he spends his time sharing his knowledge with students.” Taking a page out of Buffet’s playbook, Kass decided to come to Smith in 2004 to teach, beginning as an MBA professor.

“We try to make the learning more fun and engaging, because if students are interested, they’ll work harder and better at it,” said Kass. This mixed approach allows students to find themselves and their specific interests within finance while picking up the necessary technical, theoretical and soft skills.

Derek Xiao, a junior finance and computer science double major, knows better than anyone the importance of surrounding oneself with the right people and right resources. As a former Sophomore Finance Fellow and a TA for the program, Derek saw both sides of the coin, as a student, and as Kass’ assistant. “You never know what knowledge is going to help you later on in life, so taking it all in and pushing yourself to succeed will help you be ready for anything, especially in a dynamic, fast-moving field like finance.”

Apply NOW to the Sophomore Finance Fellows program is you are ready to embark on a Smith finance journey.


Applications for Sophomore Finance Fellows for 2018-19 are due Feb. 12, 2018, at 11:59 p.m.

  • Online application form.
  • Cover letter – Explains why you want to be a part of this program, what you can bring to the program, and what you hope to gain from participating. (Address to faculty champion.)
  • Résumé 
  • Note: Cover letter and résumé must be submitted as a PDF.

Questions? Read our Fellows FAQs or contact

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.