As he invested time in his classes, sophomore accounting student Chris Aditya (’14, M.B.A. ’18) became increasingly interested in pursuing a career in corporate finance. After some encouragement from his peers, he went for it, adding on his second major in finance. “You can actually complete [both] in four years [with] summer classes,” said Aditya, while also admitting that one of the keys for doing so “is to forgo short-term pleasure.”
After graduating with his M.B.A., Aditya transitioned quickly into his job as a senior associate in mergers and acquisitions and capital advisory for KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms alongside Deloitte, EY, and PwC. In this position, Aditya helps prepare marketing materials for investments and develops financial models for equity valuation and debt sculpting. As he works with clients, he looks for ways to help them solve problems and then delegates different responsibilities to his team while also working with those above him.
“I feel that the Lord has called me to this field through difficulties, past relevant experiences in [my] educational background, past working experiences, and opportunities,” Aditya said.
Aditya chose to attend PCC for a few reasons, but one of the main factors was the positive changes his family had seen in Aditya older sister after she attended PCC. “I guess this [made] a solid precedent . . . for me to attend the school,” he said. Aditya’s sister had learned of the College while attending an international school in Jakarta, Indonesia—the same city in which Aditya currently works.
Before he graduated with his M.B.A. from PCC in 2018, Aditya’s perseverance and diligence helped him accomplish something many finance students dream of—he completed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification on his first attempt. Although the tests are known to be difficult, with many test takers studying up to 300 hours to pass, Aditya said because of work and his other learning responsibilities, he spent less than approximately 200 hours studying. “The key is to pray, to plan, to act, and never complain,” Aditya said.
“This [certification] is the gold standard in the investment field,” Aditya explained. To gain the certification, participants must pass three levels of exams. He added, “The exam is offered once a year for levels 2 and 3.” Aditya completed level 1 in December 2016, level 2 in June 2017, and level 3 in 2018—all while working toward his own M.B.A.
Aditya considers his most valuable classes to have been Corporate Finance (BA 301) and Principles of Accounting (AC 231, AC 232)—a direct result from having tacked on the finance degree as a sophomore. He found the classes to be important building blocks for other in-depth courses. In addition to these, several other classes helped him prepare to get his CFA certification, including Portfolio Management (FN 448) and Advanced Statistics (BN 600), which Aditya took as part of his M.B.A. studies.
Even if a class didn’t seem directly related to corporate finance, Aditya sought to use them to help him in his career path. And while he admits that he didn’t consider his history or literature classes relevant for his future as a student, he was surprised by how often even these could be brought into conversations with colleagues or clients. “All [classes] serve/complement each other,” he said. “Life at PCC has helped me to develop discipline, punctuality, a dress-for-success mindset, and leadership [skills].”