Published: March 2, 2016
Chris Lutz

My experience at Leeds has been everything that my response to the classic “what do you do” question is not. Sure, I’ve had many late night battles with LIFO and FIFO (I’m no accountant) along with wrestling with uncooperative financial models but I’ve also had the opportunity to ski with my classmates and occasionally drink beer with my professors. I chose the Univeristy of Colorado because I wanted to stay in Colorado long-term and figured I would have the best shot at landing a job along the Front Range with a degree from a local school. I saw finance as a way to get involved in a variety of industries but have utilized the flexibility of the program to take courses in real estate, energy, law, supply chain and marketing. Having the ability to draw on both my prior work experience and a diversity of courses while in school was instrumental in the interview process for both internships and post grad positions.

As a career switcher I was cognizant of the fact that I really did not have the necessary background to initially land a lot of jobs that are posted online or elsewhere. Getting your MBA is an automatic resume boost, however, and I found that employers were much more receptive to my numerous applications even after one semester of the program. For me, finding the right opportunity happened due to a bit of serendipity. Early last semester I helped out on a real estate volunteering opportunity and met a few employees of a company on their service day. I later attended a career fair and met the recruiters from that same company and received a call to begin the interview process a few weeks later. Having a prior relationship with the company was a huge benefit going into interviews as it differentiated me in a positive way. I was fortunate enough to receive two job offers around the same time and ultimately made the decision to stay in Colorado and work for the company I met while volunteering. Having made my first connection with the company prior to sending my application bode well for my interview process and also assisted me in my decision to ultimately decide to work there after graduation. The lucky interaction that led to my full time offer would not have occurred if I had stayed home that day so I equate my fortune to a willingness to leave my comfort zone along with a dash of helpful coincidence.   

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