Whitman Voices


Alumni of the Week: Oriana Fuentes ‘12

Alumni of the Week: Oriana Fuentes ‘12

Having several, seemingly unrelated, interests, I often found myself planning out a way to make it all fit in a mere four years. Syracuse turned out to be a great place to ‘build your own’ undergrad. Nine years after leaving the Northeast, I decided to return and traded the mild climate of Lima, Peru, for the not as mild climate of Syracuse, N.Y.

I was originally enrolled as a biochemistry major and transferred into Whitman my sophomore year to major in finance and economics. My key experience at Whitman was spending two years as an Orange Value Fund (OVF) analyst. In this role, I researched metals and mining and oil and gas companies to pitch for investment. The fundamental analysis I learned, along with finance industry knowledge and work ethic I developed, were pivotal to interviewing and starting a career in banking after graduation. In parallel to the fund, I interned writing VBA applications at J.P. Morgan during the school year as part of my global enterprise technology minor. Being able to gain exposure to a large corporation as an intern while working on real investments at OVF made for a unique undergraduate experience: class material learned in the morning became directly applicable in the evening.

Syracuse gives undergraduates great flexibility in combining different majors, minors and extracurricular involvement—both on and off campus. Whitman truly exemplifies this notion through the EEE program where students are able to take some of their class projects live or bring in their business ideas and further refine them for Capstone.

Whitman also provides plenty of opportunities to connect with professionals in the industry through speaker series, Whitman on Wall Street and organizations such as the Whitman Alumni Club of CNY. Being able to meet Whitman alumni who offer advice on resumes and interviewing was always very helpful in understanding what employers are looking for.

Syracuse University has a plethora of resources and faculty who are deeply supportive of student initiatives. Having so much authorship over how I spent my four years on campus really motivated me to take advantage of events, student organizations and special classes like those offered at Honors or cross-listed with graduate courses. By the time I graduated, I had founded and run a volunteer organization in Syracuse’s inner city schools, helped manage WERW, Syracuse’s student radio station; conducted research for Robert Morgenthau, a former district attorney of Manhattan, and travelled to the University of Michigan for its annual stock pitch competition. I encourage current students to seek out the many opportunities Whitman has to offer and take advantage of the great network of alumni who love giving back to the university.

Oriana Fuentes
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