The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Banking, Finance and Investment

Ben Djelassi in a suit sitting at a tableBen Djelassi ’02, Vice President, Financial Advisor in the Mulligan Djelassi Group at Morgan Stanley

Soon after graduating UMass, Ben began his career in financial services at Fidelity Investments. As a Financial Planning Consultant he worked with clients to develop comprehensive solutions to meet their financial needs. He also developed a specialty in investment management, retirement, estate and tax planning. Currently, he holds the title of Vice President, Financial Advisor in the Mulligan Djelassi Group at Morgan Stanley.
Read more about Ben and his words of advice for current UMass students.


About the Industry

Students who have an interest in numbers, money management and business may find banking, finance and investment to be a good direction to take. Commercial banks take deposits from individual and institutional customers, which they then use to extend credit to other customers. Corporate Finance professionals manage an organization's money, including forecasting where it will come from, knowing where it is, and making recommendations for spending to ensure the greatest return. Investment banking is the term used to describe the business of raising capital for companies. When firms need cash in order to grow and expand their businesses, investment banks sell securities to public investors to raise this cash. Investment banks may work with corporations, governments, institutional investors and/or extraordinarily wealth individuals to raise capital and provide investment advice. Consulting firms and insurance corporations also hire for financial positions.

Sample Classes

Below are a few examples, but we urge you to talk to your major/departmental advisor and explore available courses in SPIRE. Remember not to constrain yourself to classes within your major.


ECON 311 - Money and Banking: The nature and functions of money and the significance of monetary circulation, commercial banks, the Central Bank, the non-bank financial institutional structure; integration of monetary theory into a general theory of economic activity.


ECON 394FI - Finance and Society: Students will sharpen and bring together knowledge they've gained about basic economic theory and apply it through a historical and contextual study of the myriad ways in which finance and society have interacted over recent centuries.


POLISCI 281 - Comparative Political Economy: This course introduces core political economy concepts from both classical and modern thinkers while engaging in contemporary debates about the relationship between states and markets.  


RESECON 314 - Financial Analysis for Consumers and Firms: Foundations of interest rate theory and fundamentals of finance. A problem-solving approach to selected financial applications as they affect microeconomic units such as the individuals, households, and small businesses. 


LEGAL 465 - Globalization: The globalization of law, culture, and politics. Competing arguments about the meaning and effects of globalization. Topics include economic globalization, the nature of international law, the influence of the U.S., human rights and refugee protection, the United Nations, and the implications of the rise of the Internet and other global communication media.


POLISCI 281 - Comparative Political Economy: Core political economy concepts from both classical and modern thinkers while engaging in contemporary debates about the relationship between states and markets. Engage with questions such as: What is political economy? Why and how do capitalist systems differ? Why are some countries wealthier and more prosperous than others? What is the role of the state in the economy, market, and development? 


POLISCI 388 - Corporate Lobbying & the Global Economy: The governance of the global economy by private actors. Theoretical and empirical perspectives on how, when, and why private actors are able to influence international institutions, global standards and regulations, and international negotiation processes. Some basic familiarity with international political economy (IPE), economics, and international relations will be extremely helpful.


SOCIOL 347 - Corporate Crime: The rise of the "corporate actor" in terms of social organization and social policy, and concerning interest, rights, power, and trust. Organizational processes and deviance in production markets; deviance by, within, among, and against businesses as corporations. The roles of government and state in both the social production of deviance and its regulation: deviance by within, among, and against government(s).


Depending on your main area of interest, your academic pathway will shift. To explore this field, you can take courses that will provide you with knowledge and skills in:


  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Effective communication
  • Research
  • Quantitative Analysis
Co-Curricular Activities

Being involved in on and off campus activities and organizations will give you experience and help you hone in on what you really love doing. Consider joining organizations that will provide you with a deeper understanding of the professional areas you’re considering. You’ll learn more about the field, meet people who share your interests, and have something to include on your resume to show your dedication. Go to the RSO webpage and start searching!


Examples include:


  • National Association of Bank Accountants
  • Actuary Club 
  • Undergraduate Economics Club
  • Resource Economics Society
  • Investment Club
  • Finance Society
Internships and Experience

Explore the different aspects of the industry through internships, co-ops, job shadowing, and other experiential opportunities. This will help you hone in on your interests while building an impressive knowledge base and resume for when you enter the job market. Internships are wide-ranging in these areas. Titles include things such as Sales & Training Summer Analyst, Equity Research Summer Associate, Public Finance Summer Analyst, Junior Investment Analyst, Summer Management Development Program, and more. Students looking for internships in the Investment Banking space should have a competitive nature, strong team working skills, and the desire to work long, intense hours. SBS students and alumni have completed internships in this field at places like:


  • MassMutual Financial Group - Hartford
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Liberty Mutual Group
  • Citicorps Investment Corps
  • State Street Corporation
  • Oppenheimer & Co.


Find an internship or co-op that suits you by using these search and application tips and by searching the Career Connect database.

Sample Job Titles
  • Staff Accountant
  • Financial Analyst
  • Teller
  • Account Manager
  • Accountant
  • Business Analyst
  • Accounting Manager
  • Buyer Senior
  • Financial Analyst 
  • Financial Planning Consultant