Commencement Countdown with Anurag Vuthunuri

Anurag Vuthunuri is an undergraduate student majoring in Finance and minoring in Business Analytics. Anurag has been the President of the Finance and Investment Group for the past two years and the founder of UIC's Improv Club. He is a Business Scholar, Honors Student, and part of UIC's GPPA Program for MIS. He has also served with Collegiate Association of Business Scholars (CABS), Business Student Advisory Board (BSAB), and has been a research assistant for iLEAD. Anurag has interned at many companies including William Blair, UBS, Northern Trust, NextGen Growth Private Equity and worked on some start-ups out of the Tech Incubator, Tech Nexus. We caught up with Anurag as his time at UIC comes to a close.

1. Why did you choose to attend UIC and major in Finance and minor in Business Analytics?

UIC was one of my top choices out of high school for several reasons. The Business Scholars program was very attractive as it allowed me to be a part of a close-knit, focused group of students and empowered me to work on networking and building my professionalism starting at the beginning of my college career. Additionally, being in the city was always a perk as there is so much to do socially and professionally. Growing up, I’ve always had a love for numbers and talking to people. With those attributes, I knew Finance would be the field that I would enjoy the most. Once I came to college I realized that technology is the future of the industry and, after taking a couple IDS classes, I really enjoyed what I was learning and wanted to pair it with my Finance knowledge and Business Analytics seemed like the perfect fit. I’ve always been intrigued by new technologies and using it to solve existing problems and that’s what Business Analytics allows me to do.

2. Tell us about one or two of your favorite courses and why?

All the Professional Development courses BA 100, BA 220, BA 420! I truly believe in the mission behind these classes and that it is very important for students to develop their professional skills be able to properly communicate in business environments. These classes have the best faculty. All of them are very experienced in the improv world - they know how to rewire the brain to communicate and build confidence with proper games and lesson plans. I actually started UIC’s Improv Club due to how beneficial BA 100 was for me. I wanted all students to get the same experience and I wanted all students to be able to work on their confidence and professional skillset in a fun and open environment.

Outside of those classes, I really enjoyed my Behavioral Finance class because this class forces you to take everything you think you’ve learned in your finance courses and challenge them through the lens of human psychology. It makes you question the behavior of irrational investors and the market inefficiencies that contribute to real life financial markets. This class is well taught by Professor Bodnaruk, as he uses a hands-on teaching approach through engaging experiments in classes and real life examples.

3. What's next for your career?

I currently am interning at William Blair and I will be transitioning out of that role at the end of May. Starting in July, I will be working at Allstate Investments as part of their 3-year Investments Development Program. During these 3 years, I will be studying for my CFA along with rotating through stints in several teams including: Private Equity, Risk and Return, Trading, Real-Estate, and Research. Outside of work, I plan to be involved with professional organizations. As of right now I am a Board Member for the Analyst and Associate Board of Chicago which is an initiative of the

 Financial Executives International organization. In this role, I'll be able to help connect CFOs and high level Finance Executives in the Chicagoland area to college students and help students network outside of school and get real world exposure.

4. What will you miss most about campus?

The people. When you go into college they say "it is what you make out of it." During my time at UIC, I was fortunate to meet some of my best friends, mentors, roommates, and the people who make me want to be better and keep striving for more. UIC is the epitome of "surround yourself with the people you want to be like," and that is exactly what I was able to do here. I will miss the people, the student organizations, and all the initiatives UIC is constantly taking to grow and help students. A big part of my college time revolved around my time with organizations like the Business Scholars and my time as President of the Finance and Investment Group. I held this role for 2 years and during this time, I personally grew a lot and met some great people and was also able to help a lot of students. I will miss being part of such high achieving groups and working with like-minded and proactive students. Besides that, I guess I will also miss getting lost in BSB but that is a given.

5. Can we have a sneak peek about what will inspire your speech?

My speech is very much inspired by the idea of innovation and renovation in today's growing world and what the role we as future graduates need to play in society.

6. We are putting together a Finals Cram Track playlist. What are your go to jams while hitting the books?

In interest to music, I am not very picky, I am more so lazy so I tend to just fall back on Spotify Weekly Top 50. However, if it is not that, then I probably have Khalid's new Album, Free Spirit, on repeat along with an occasional appearance from “Old Town Road” and the Jonas Brothers.

 

Congratulations to all the 2019 UIC Business graduates! We’re looking forward to hearing Anurag’s speech at Commencement.