Two graduating seniors from the College of Business Administration at Pitt, are among the Top 100 Best and Brightest Undergraduate Business Majors of 2023. The list celebrates graduating undergraduate business students who are leaders inside and outside the classroom.
Lauren McNichol – a finance, Spanish, and economics student – was not sure where her time at Pitt Business would take her. “What surprised me most about majoring in business is the versatility and specializations that you have the opportunity to explore. If you have a passion for another field or wanted to work in a specific line of business, those companies needed businesspeople,” she said. “There is so much room to work in not only a career that you were interested in – but also in an industry that you are passionate about.” After graduation, McNichol will be taking her talents to Citi as a full-time Sales & Trading Analyst in the Institutional Equities Group at the Philadelphia office.
Women in Business
McNichol, who credits her mother as her biggest supporter, has made a profound impact on women’s organizations at Pitt. McNichol’s proudest achievement was the completion of a new Seminar Series curriculum for members of Smart Woman Securities. Smart Woman Securities is a female-focused investment portfolio that trades real funds and focuses on educating members on relevant finance topics. “I decided to run for CEO of Smart Woman Securities because I strongly believed that the baseline curriculum could be improved,” she said. “I have heard that the lessons are engaging and enjoyable. I felt extremely fulfilled knowing the impact I was able to make. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to spread knowledge and ensure a new generation of financial literacy.”
Audrey Murrell, professor of Business Administration, Psychology, and Public and International Affairs, said, “Clearly Lauren has made an impact not only across our campus and community but has also expanded opportunities and pathways for the next generations of women in finance to pursue their passion while making a difference.”
To read McNichol’s full profile, click here.
Alex Firestine has academic concentrations in finance, business information systems, data analytics, and ethics. Audrey Murrell, professor of Business Administration, Psychology, and Public and International Affairs, said Firestine’s involvement inside and outside the classroom allowed him to “create social impact solutions that have sound business foundations to produce effective outcomes.”
The Future of Food Insecurity
Firestine was recently named a George J. Mitchell Scholar which sends future American leaders to Ireland for a year of graduate study. He is the University’s first-ever recipient of this prestigious national scholarship. He plans to study climate change, agriculture, and food security at the University of Galway.
Murrell has worked with Firestine through Food21 of Pennsylvania. Of Firestine, she said, “Once again, we see how his academic preparation, engagement in research, and strong community service shape his drive toward ethical leadership that has a sustainable impact on society, especially in terms of strategies to increase access to healthy and affordable food in the U.S. and globally.”
Firestine credited Murrell as his greatest mentor. Over the past four years, they collaborated on extensive research, discussion, and learning in the areas of sustainable food systems and servant leadership. “She taught my capstone class in Service Learning, has been my faculty mentor on numerous research fellowships, and co-authored my first publication. I’m immensely grateful for all the support Dr. Murrell has provided me,” he said.
To read Firestine’s full profile, click here.