Whitman Student Combines Math and Finance to Expand Professional Skillset
Finance and Applied Mathematics
- Undergraduate Dual
I am confident that the fundamental resources and connections Whitman have provided me will continue to open doors for my career in finance, I am looking forward to seeing where the next road takes me.
As a local of the Central New York area, Angela Wu ’23 (WSM/A&S) had long been familiar with Syracuse University. Seeking the best professional development opportunities with a strong alumni network, Wu didn’t have a difficult choice landing at the Whitman School of Management.
Studying applied mathematics at the School of Arts & Sciences and finance at Whitman, the dual major initially envisioned working in medicine and biology. However, she soon recognized that the medical field wasn’t right for her. She was, however, certain she possessed strong analytical skills and enjoyed working with numbers.
After arriving on campus and collaborating with her academic advisor to explore career opportunities, she quickly discovered her affinity for economics and finance. Wu has since bolstered her interest in these fields during her time at Whitman.
FIN 256 Principles of Finance, a course she took early in her academic career, solidified that finance was what she wanted to pursue. Specifically, working alongside Associate Teaching Professor of Finance Fatma Sonmez-Leopold was instrumental in providing her with the professional insight she needed.
She says, “I was pretty indecisive at the start of my college experience. But, then I considered declaring an accounting major. However, Professor Sonmez-Leopold’s guidance helped me understand that I could combine finance along with my Arts and Science experience in math. The way she taught her course convinced me that this was the right decision to make.”
Wu further maximized her undergraduate career by joining multiple student organizations. She has participated in several clubs, including First Year Players, Syracuse University Marching Band, Sour Sitrus Society and Global China Connection. Most notably, she is a member of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), a Whitman-based accounting and finance honor society.
“My accounting and finance tutor role for BAP truly allowed me to practice my communication skills while strengthening my economic business knowledge overall,” she explains.
Wu says that without the structure of Whitman’s academic track, she would not nearly be as confident in her business capabilities. She mentions that the Goodman IMPRESS Program, workshops and diversified course requirements have all contributed to her growth as a professional.
“Whitman courses have truly set me up well for so many jobs,” she explains. BUA 345: Business Analytics allowed me to master coding in R-Studio, and each of my classes provided experience using Microsoft Excel. These skills have allowed me to demonstrate the different value I can bring as an applicant to any role.”
Through these math and finance courses, Wu has been able to apply in-class concepts to real-world occupations. She stays busy balancing three part-time jobs, including her role as a sales associate for the Syracuse University Book Store and her position as a resident advisor in Ernie Davis Hall. Most recently, she spent the last year working at the Syracuse Community Bank as an internal audit intern.
Following graduation, Wu plans to remain around the central New York state area, but she is also open to traveling and exploring unprecedented opportunities that may come her way.
“I am confident that the fundamental resources and connections Whitman has provided me will continue to open doors for my career in finance,” she says. “I am looking forward to seeing where the next road takes me.”
By Kari Kelly ’25 (WSM/MAX)