“Take advantage of the knowledge and connections of your professors. One of my summer internships and my involvement with a local political campaign were both experiences directly related to my classes. Connections like these can lead to great opportunities in the future, especially in the work place and with graduate programs.”
Home: Ann Arbor, Michigan
UT Dallas Degree: BA - Political Science with a Minor in Economics, 2008
Profession: MBA Student at the University of Michigan and University Fellow with Opus Faveo Innovation Development (based out of Dallas).
UT Dallas Achievements
I am fortunate to be a McDermott Scholar. I became a proud Comet because of the opportunities that this program provided, and it enticed me to come to UT Dallas (from South Carolina). While on campus, the additional experiences I gained from being both in the McDermott program and in the CV Honors College were significant. The honors classes I took were intellectually stimulating and academically rewarding; my study abroad at the Goethe Institute in Frankfurt, Germany, was a fascinating cultural and educational experience; and the connections I made and retain through the Honors College, with both colleagues and faculty and staff, have proven beneficial in the job market and in my graduate studies.
Study! Outside of (the fantastic) classes, I get to go to The Big House with 110,000 other Wolverine football fans, I am a contributor to the Ross School of Business student newspaper, I am the founder and editor of an in-school humor publication (like The Onion), and I am president of The CEOhs, Ross’ a cappella group.
Besides school, (my summer employer) Opus Faveo invited me to stay on board with the company as a University Fellow, where I will continue to contribute to projects part time. Also, I am an occasional house-husband since my wife is a resident at the University of Michigan Hospital.
Honors/accolades, additional degrees received, and/or previous work/positions held
I am also an Archer Fellow, where, during my junior year at UTD, I spent a semester with roughly 20 other UT System students in Washington, D.C., taking classes while working as an intern.
In addition, during my time as a student at UTD, I was fortunate to have two internships, first, as a computer programmer at Los Alamos National Labs for the Theoretical Department of Computational Astrophysics, and second, as a cash analyst with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
Since graduation, I am proud to be the cofounder and current vice president of development for the McDermott Scholars Alumni Association.
Prior to joining the University of Michigan MBA program, I worked as a financial advisor at ALM First Financial Advisors in Dallas, leading a team of analysts and providing balance sheet and investment strategies to financial institutions based on our interest-rate risk analyses. My team would conduct all merger and validation analyses as well. In addition, I would speak regularly to boards of directors and at national conferences, as well as lead educational seminars. I joined ALM First immediately upon graduation in 2008, when I started as a Financial Analyst.
The Value of My Degree
My time as a student in EPPS led to my summer internship at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. This experience solidified my interest in the connections between economics and politics, which in turn directed my senior thesis (studying the interaction between national economic and political cycles in the United States over the last 200 years). Ultimately, this research and my work experience landed me a job at ALM First Financial Advisors.
The internships and research opportunities I established through EPPS proved to be a great benefit when applying for jobs. Also, the great curriculum and the professors in the school advanced my studies and provided me with a valuable degree.
Advice for EPPS Students
My advice for EPPS students would be to take advantage of the knowledge and connections of your professors. One of my summer internships and my involvement with a local political campaign were both experiences directly related to my classes. Connections like these can lead to great opportunities in the future, especially in the workplace and with graduate programs.
I am the third of three brothers that ventured from Charleston, South Carolina, to Dallas, Texas, to join UTD and the McDermott Scholars Program. In addition to our influential degrees and thrilling experiences as Comets, we each got the best prize: a Comet wife as well! (Walter B.S. '05, M.S. '06, and wife Felicity B.S. '09; Richard B.S. '06, and wife Sijy B.S. '05; Benedict B.A. '08, and wife Jessica B.S. '09)
I am a political junkie who also enjoys Frisbee, board games, Michigan sports and photography.
**Benedict Voit was selected to give the commencement address in 2008 at graduation. You can read his address to the graduates here.
Updated September 2014