Student Spotlight: Danielle Seger, MBA/MSF Candidate 2015

Danielle Seger              

Full-time MBA/MSF Candidate 2015

Concentration: Finance 

Field of Work: Investment Management

Undergraduate Degree In: Economics & Spanish

Undergraduate School: Lafayette College

Career Goal: Buy-side investment finance

Organizations Involved With: Illinois Ventures and UIC Liautaud's Women Network    


Interests/Hobbies: Distance running, reading, and alternative rock

Internships: Illinois Ventures

Favorite Chicago Activities/ Places: 2nd Friday’s @ The Fine Arts Building – Thanks, Georgie!

Favorite Chicago Restaurants: Native Foods Café, Girl & Goat

Favorite Part of the Day: The pre-class jumble in DH at ~5:40pm

Hometown: Fulton, IL


Tell us about your personal and professional background.

Prior to joining the MBA program at UIC, I worked for three years in Operations for a large corporate pension fund’s investment management team before moving to the Private Equity team of the fund and putting in an additional three years there. All the while, I volunteered at a local animal shelter and helped with sustainability projects for the Illinois Northwest Forestry Association.

What prompted you to return to school to achieve your master’s degree?

An MBA was an essential part of achieving my goals of moving up in my field.  It was also time for me to broaden my skill set to become more viable in the marketplace rather than just outperforming in one part of finance.

We all know that people pursue graduate school to increase their business knowledge, but since you have started the program, what has been the most unexpected gain the program has given you?  

Access to Bloomberg Terminals (CME Lab) is critical for someone planning to go into a finance field. 

Which class/professor has been your favorite thus far and why?  

Tie between Balachandran – Financial Accounting and Rauscher – Microeconomics.  Balachandran has such a deep knowledge of his subject and impressive professional background that he can explain any topic you are struggling with in myriad ways to help you understand it, and he’ll work in real-world applications to boot.  Rauscher adds a lot of personally unique value to his classes.  It is clear from the first class session onward that teaching is both his passion and profession; that he’s engaged with his students and expects the same of them.   

What is your favorite aspect of the UIC campus and why? 

The Au Bon Pain in BSB.  You might laugh, but being a graduate student is very demanding and it’s easy to fall into a trap of eating poorly on the go.  It’s crucial for me to have access to good food while in a time crunch.

What advice would you provide to incoming UIC Liautaud students? 

Get deeply involved and take risks during the first semester of your program regardless of whether you are part-time or full-time.  Your time here is short; use it well.

Tell us about your internship experience?

I haven’t done an internship yet so I’ll write about my GA.  I’m a graduate assistant for Illinois Ventures; a venture capital company that helps UIC invented technologies bridge the gap between academia and becoming their own independent businesses.  I had worked in VC related fields before, but never have I had such an amazing opportunity to help startups get off the ground while also bolstering my school’s reputation and relevance in the community.

Many courses require students to complete a project that applies course concepts to real world situations. If you have had a course project that was very insightful, what course was it for and what did you like about the project? 

This semester in Operations Management (IDS 532) my team is doing a project that analyzes the operational issues surrounding the design layouts of breweries.  The project has ripped me out of my comfort zone of spreadsheets and the intangibility of finance and put me right in the middle of physical application of concepts learned in class.  Further, the project has given me the chance to interact with local entrepreneurs which gets me involved with the city of Chicago community. 

What is the best part about your UIC Liautaud experience? 

Large university experience with a small school feel.  The one on one interaction I received from the UIC administration, Student Services, Admissions, and Student Engagement,  was critical in helping me feel like a part of the UIC community even before I was a student.  I was a little intimidated to be going to a large school in a big city, but that personal interaction helped me to know that although the school is large, the students are individuals in a part of a tight-knit community.