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John Pearce, '11

John Pearce, Albion College Class of 2011Major: Mathematics and Economics
Residence: Troy, Mich.
Career: Quantitative Analyst, NorthPointe Capital

In a nutshell, what do you do?

I use math to pick stocks. Specifically, I develop and maintain mathematical models that take into account a bunch of data on domestic equities and return metrics that aid in our investment decision-making process. I often compare it to the book/movie Moneyball, just without all the baseball and Brad Pitt.

Why do you love what you do?

My role allows me to have complete intellectual freedom. I get to study and think about a vast range of subjects and then figure out how to connect those varied ideas to each other, the models I create, and my general understanding of financial markets. In this way, my job is a perfect example of how a liberal arts degree applies in a professional setting. Working in the markets also gives you instant, concrete, feedback about the validity of your ideas. There is never a dull moment.

How did Albion help you get there?

The faculty taught me the technical skills I needed to get started and helped me learn that no idea exists in isolation and the best questions lead to more questions. The staff provided me with constant support and friendship when things got tough. The students pushed me to study hard, party hard, learn about who I am, and develop relationships that will last a lifetime.

For me, Albion ...

... is only the beginning to my story of lifelong learning, but was an excellent one.

Will Pearl, '15

PearlW220x240Major:Economics & Management
Internship: NCA Group
Activities: Treasurer of Sigma Chi Fraternity, captain of the Men's Tennis Team, advisor for the Albion community farmer's market.
Career: Analyst for NCA Group

In a nutshell, what do you do?

I project personnel requirements for natural disasters insurance adjusters. Additionally, I'm involved in recruitment and assignment of resources. 

Why do you love what you do?

It's a fast-paced job and no two days are the same. It requires focus and good communication skills.

What did you like most about Albion?

I enjoyed playing four years of tennis, which is a sport that I love. 

How did Albion help you get there?

For me, Albion got me where I wanted to be by giving me the opportunities and the confidence to tackle complex problems and to effectively communicate solutions.

Aaron Croad, '12

Aaron Croad, Albion College Class of 2012Major: Mathematics-Economics
Residence: Novi, Michigan
Career: Consulting - Data Analytics, Ernst & Young

In a nutshell, what do you do?

I work as a data analytics consultant at Ernst & Young. In general, I am brought in on projects to assist in analyzing big data to determine real-world applicability to our clients. We do this mainly by using tools such as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access, and Tableau (to name a few) to load, store, and transform data into something meaningful. A few specific projects I have dealt with concern identifying duplicate payments made by the client, creating models to determine likeliness of committing fraud, and creating a database in Microsoft Access to aid in a client's billing process.

Why do you love what you do?

Ernst & Young is such a big company that there is quite a bit of variety in my line of work. There are employees who have worked there for their entire careers and say that they always have something new and exciting to work on and learn from. So far, everything I have done has been new, and consequently, I haven't stopped learning after graduating from Albion. Being able to have variety and a continued education (in any sense) in my line of work was the two things I valued most in a job coming out of college, and Ernst & Young provides both for me.

How did Albion help you get there?

I had a very well rounded education at Albion. Academically, my major in Math-Econ gave me the knowledge to learn quickly and efficiently the world of data analytics. By getting a minor with the Gerstacker Institute, I was able to see the incredible value of data in the context of the business world. The other classes that filled up my course load and met the requirements for a liberal arts degree gave me the confidence to approach new challenges with vigor, the perspective to always look outside the box, and the ability to relate and communicate effectively with clients and colleagues.

Through my connections with Gerstacker and the Econ Department, I was able to obtain, and excel at, internships with Humanergy (a management consulting company in Marshall, Mich.) and Ernst & Young.

The connections at Albion allowed me to get my foot in the door in the working world. My education (and what I did with it) did the rest!

For me, Albion ...

... helped me discover my potential, introduced me to lifelong friends, prepared me for life after college, and will always be my home away from home.

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