Whitman Voices

Introduction

#WhitmanWatch: Charlie Naples ’21

#WhitmanWatch: Charlie Naples ’21

As a triple-major at Syracuse University, Charlie Naples ’21 is steadfastly working towards degrees in finance and accounting at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and Spanish at the College of Arts and Sciences, while serving as a leader of several student organizations, gaining knowledge through summer internships and obtaining global experience through Syracuse University Abroad.

Naples hails from Livingston, New Jersey, and attended Morristown-Beard High School. In high school, he was on the ski-racing team and credits his spirited nature to participating in sports and growing up as one of four children, himself a triplet.

Naples got his first taste of the professional world when he completed his school’s senior internship requirement at Pzena Investment Management, a global investment management firm. During his time at Pzena, he began to learn the fundamentals of value investing, finance and accounting, as well as the level of due diligence and attention to detail required to succeed in finance.

When it came time to decide where he would pursue his education after high school, Naples believes he was always meant to attend Syracuse University. He knew of Syracuse hallmarks like the official orange color and popular basketball program from his cousin, a 2014 graduate. Still, he did not know much beyond that until he researched and visited campus.

(Naples in Madrid during his time abroad)

Syracuse met everything Naples was looking for in his college experience – its location on the East Coast, a moderately large undergraduate student body, a strong business school and reputation for its camaraderie and school spirit. 

Naples recalls the day he visited Syracuse as sunny and in the high 70s. After a tour of the campus, he attended a smaller tour of the Whitman School.

“I remember standing outside the Ballentine Investment Institute and learning about the Orange Value Fund, and I knew Syracuse was the right fit for me,” he explains.

Flash forward to his final year, and Naples is now a senior analyst for the Orange Value Fund (OVF). He considers his involvement in OVF as the most beneficial aspect of his Whitman education.

“OVF is a rigorous program that challenges you to think critically,” Naples explains. “So far my OVF courses have involved learning financial concepts and applying them to case studies. The hands-on exercises are detail-driven and have helped me build my quantitative and qualitative skills.”

He cherishes the friendships he has fostered with other students in the program.

“As a class, I believe we have bonded and developed a great relationship,” he says.

His relationship with his grandfather sparked his interest in finance and accounting. He recalls visiting and tuning into CNBC with his grandfather, watching the ticker go by and reading the news. From those visits, his interest only grew.

“Despite my interest, I did have doubts,” he explains. “When I would look at the OVF website and saw that analyst classes were small, I certainly doubted my abilities at times. When I had my interview and found out I had been accepted, I was ecstatic – the first person I called was my grandfather. He now calls me weekly to ask what he should buy.” 

Naples is also a member of the Syracuse University Investment Club and served as a peer mentor for the organization in the past.

Outside of academics, Naples is heavily involved in the Syracuse University Ski Racing Club and the Varsity Racing team. During his sophomore year, Naples served as the club’s recruitment chair, then as the secretary during his junior year. This year he is the president of the Ski Racing Club serving 124 members. The varsity team competes in the USCSA, the governing body for collegiate team ski racing and snowboarding, made up of 175 member institutions and 5,000 student-athletes. 

This past April, Naples was elected to be one of four student representatives on the USCSA Board of Directors. He will serve on the COVID-19 task force, strategic planning, and alpine committees.

One of Naples’ most memorable experiences through Syracuse thus far is his time studying abroad in Madrid, Spain, this past summer. Instead of taking traditional courses, he secured an internship with Camacho & Seijas, a consulting firm in Madrid, with the help of SU Abroad. He is now also an SU Abroad ambassador.

“Getting the chance to intern in a different country is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Naples says. “Professor Dharwadkar inspired me to intern abroad and assured me that it would be a great opportunity. In nearly every one of my internship interviews this past fall, the discussion gravitated towards my experience in Madrid, and it was a focal point of each conversation.”

This year, Naples also represented the Whitman School at Syracuse University’s TEDx event on Feb. 11, 2020. For the first time this year, TEDx Syracuse University selected student speakers for the “A Seat at the Table” event. Naples spoke about his struggles in learning Spanish and how with a change in mindset, you can successfully learn a second language. 

“The opportunity to give a TED Talk was an unbelievable experience,” he shares. “TED is such a large global platform and representing the Whitman School meant a lot to me.  Through this opportunity, I learned what makes a great presentation and further developed my ability to communicate with a large audience effectively.”

(Smiling Through The Challenge of Learning A Language | Charlie Naples | TEDxSyracuseUniversity)

Naples will be interning at Ernst & Young in the Structured Finance department this summer. 

“I am excited about this internship opportunity, and I look forward to building my finance skills,” Naples says.

In the future, he sees himself continuing to grow in financial services and one day combine his Spanish knowledge with his business interests. 

He stressed his appreciation for the camaraderie and inspiring friendships he has formed within the Whitman community and credits these friendships to a large part of his success thus far.

“It is important to recognize the people that allow you to succeed, and I certainly would not have had the same success without my relationships with peers, professors and the entire Whitman community,” Naples shares.

Before graduating from Syracuse University and the Whitman School, Naples is committed to helping make Whitman a better place by paying forward the guidance he has received from peers, professors and alumni alike.

“I’m thankful for all those that have helped me, and I try to pay it forward by helping other students,” he says. “I spend a lot of time in Ballentine, and I’m always looking to help others. So, I encourage you, if you ever have a question about finance, the Orange Value Fund or need a resume or interview help, stop by Ballentine – I’m always happy to help.” 

Learn more about Whitman students and their experiences at Syracuse University.

Lindsey Godbout
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