LSB Reflections:  Alex Dempsey '12

Alex Dempsey graduated from Elon University in 2012 with degrees in finance and accounting. He currently works at World Bank Group as a financial products analyst.

Majors: Finance and Accounting
Minor: Economics
Current job: Financial Products Analyst for World Bank Group in Washington, D.C.
Main job responsibilities: Designing and deploying financial products to expand climate friendly investment in developing countries.

What do you like best about your job?

I have only been with the World Bank for a few months now, but I can already tell that the best part of my job is going to be the global impact. I work for the Climate Business Group, and our goal is to limit further global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. This is estimated to require about $1 trillion of investment per year for the next 20 years. My job is to design or create financial products that will bring the level of investment from $360 billion in 2015 to that $1 trillion goal. Much of this investment will need to be in developing countries, where the development impacts are huge. One project that I am heavily involved with will hopefully result in solar power being provided to thousands of homes and businesses in India. It is incredible to see the tangible impact in which your work results.

What have you been up to since graduating?

I have done quite a bit of moving and studying since graduating. The summer after graduation, I sat for and passed the CPA exams. Since then, I have passed Levels 1 and 2 of the CFA, and will sit for Level 3 in June. I have also taken the GMAT since I’m planning on going to grad school after my term at the World Bank. On a more fun note, I have had the opportunity to work for some of the top organizations in the world. My first job was with PwC in their M&A Transaction Services practice in Philadelphia. While there, I got to work on some of the biggest transactions of the decade, including the Heinz acquisition by 3G and Warren Buffet, as well as the Shire Pharmaceutical tax inversion. After a year and a half, I then moved to New York to work for York Capital Management, one of the largest hedge funds in the world, where I focused on private assets and specialized in renewable energy investments. I was then planning on applying to MBA programs when the World Bank opportunity arose. As a result, I moved to Washington D.C. in January 2016, and am now designing financial products for the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation.

How did the Love School of Business prepare you for your career?

There are a number of ways in which LSB helped prepare me. First was the in-classroom experience. I had to make presentations in almost every class I had. And for each presentation, everyone wore a suit. Making presentations in a similar fashion to how I have had to in the corporate world prepared me to be in meetings with investors and Fortune 500 CEOs and speak with confidence. Secondly, the resources and organizations in the business school helped immensely in transitioning into the financial sector. Having access to the Bloomberg terminal in the Reed Finance Center allowed me to become literate in the technology before I even needed to. This helped me level the playing field with other new hires coming from big name schools, and it truly shortened the learning curve in picking up something that I used almost every day. Also, being part of organizations/programs within the business school such as Beta Alpha Psi and Business Fellows gave me access to the leading firms in the industry, and it ultimately helped me land my first job with PwC. Finally, the faculty in the LSB are so overwhelmingly helpful and passionate. I can’t even count the amount of times I hung back after class to talk to Raj about markets or had Das talk (yell) at me to get people to come to events. The faculty made the business school feel like home. This broke down a lot of barriers for me in post-graduate life, giving me the confidence to approach the big names at conferences and meetings, which helped me expand my network.

What are a couple of ways in which Elon’s liberal arts curriculum has helped strengthen your understanding of your business major and your overall educational experience?

It wasn’t necessarily the classes that helped strengthen my understanding of my majors, but it was the conversations with my peers in majors outside the business school. Someone from a business background often has a different perspective than someone who is a political science or psychology major. Interacting with many other people with different personalities and perspectives helped me to look at situations from different angles and strengthen my thoughts on several issues.

What did you enjoy most about being a Love School of Business student?

What’s not to love? The business school was my home when I was at Elon. When I wasn’t in class or working at the Porter Family Professional Development Center, I would be hanging out with friends and professors in the atrium or even visiting my main ladies Peggy and Sandy at Java city. The sense of community was truly exceptional, and I can’t speak enough about how awesome it was learning side by side with so many incredibly motivated and talented individuals.

What advice do you have for current Love School of Business students?

My main pieces of advice would be to 1) get involved 2) find your passion and 3) read, read, read. There are so many student organizations in the business school that there is no excuse to not get involved. Through these organizations you will meet some of your best friends, learn a LOT, and maybe even secure your future boss. Participating in these organizations will also help you find your passion. Business is such a broad term, and even within each corner of business, there are a million different specialties. Finally, read as much as you can. Your performance in the classroom will get you the interview, but if you truly want to stand out in an interview, you have to show your passion, and this can be done through knowledge you learn in your extracurricular reading.

Elon Activities

Business Fellow
Vice President of Beta Alpha Psi
CFA Investment Research Challenge team member
President of Habitat for Humanity
Sophomore Class Vice President
Sigma Phi Epsilon
Alternative Service Break Trips to New Orleans for Katrina relief
Burlington Animal Shelter volunteer

Internships

PricewaterhouseCoopers
Haverford Trust Company