Lifelong Connections: Raj Gupta

Professor of Finance Raj Gupta is as comfortable presenting at conferences as he is mentoring undergraduate and graduate students and helping them reach their full potential.

By Alex Dempsey ’12 

Long live Elon. It’s a phrase we all know and love. I’ve heard similar catchphrases used at other colleges, but at Elon, it rings true. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet people from all over the world, and no one talks about their university as much as us Elon folks. What makes the connection to our alma mater so powerful is, in no small part, the relationships students have with their professors. Looking back at my experience at Elon, I was fortunate to have many incredible teachers and mentors with whom I currently keep in touch. But Professor Raj Gupta stands out as someone who truly exemplifies the power of the Elon experience and the lifelong connections it yields.

I first got to know Raj when I took his Corporate Finance class during my sophomore year. After the first day in that class, I decided to make finance my major. I will always remember the enthusiasm with which he teaches, the care that he takes to stimulate intellectual curiosity toward the subject and the genuine interest and pride he takes in his students. What I still find most impressive about his teaching method is that it empowers students to seek more knowledge and fosters independent thought.

Raj’s mentorship goes far beyond the classroom. I can’t count the number of times I was studying in the Koury Business Center and popped by his office to talk markets and bounce around ideas. Those moments fostered my interest in finance that led to my future career. I also had the pleasure of working with Raj on the CFA Investment Research Challenge; his guidance helped me and the rest of the team truly become better analysts and future professionals.

Elon professors are fantastic academics, but they are even better people. This
is particularly true with Raj. I will never forget his many acts of kindness, whether it was inviting the CFA team to his home to meet his family over samosas, grabbing a round at the Oak House during Homecoming, offering to write recommendation letters for graduate school or sharing connections that could lead to new careers or contacts. It’s these amazing qualities and true passion for students’ welfare and success that make Elon’s faculty, and Raj in particular, so special.

While the bond Raj and I have is terrific, it is far from unique. Raj has built these incredible connections with countless students. He has attended several of my friends’ weddings, gone out of his way to spend time with alumni if they happen
to be in town and made important connections between alumni that have helped advance their careers. Graduating from Elon is a special accomplishment, and it is one that will prove fruitful for a lifetime. However, that lifelong experience would not be possible without people like Raj, who foster the next generation of great industry professionals, pushing them to be their best while keeping them connected to the Elon network well after graduation.

A finance and accounting double major, Alex Dempsey ’12 is an associate at Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners and a recent MBA graduate from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.