Becoming Business-Savvy at a Liberal Arts College

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Kaitlyn Coyne ‘19

President of Smithies in Business

Kaitlyn Coyne ‘19, an economics major and government minor at Smith, means business. In her role as the 2018-19 President of “Smithies in Business” — a student-led organization on campus — Kaitlyn organizes a variety of events that help Smithies gain business acumen and prepares them for careers in all areas, not only business. “Last semester we hosted a LinkedIn workshop in collaboration with the Lazarus Center to teach students how to utilize the platform for virtual networking,” she explains. Although a liberal arts education teaches students to be well-rounded leaders, think critically, and solve problems creatively, students like Kaitlyn who are interested in specific careers in business have to take advantage of extracurricular opportunities that help them gain the tools they need to succeed.

Kaitlyn (second to right) with her co-fellows during the 2017 Women in Finance Fellowship.

Kaitlyn (second to right) with her co-fellows during the 2017 Women in Finance Fellowship.

Kaitlyn’s involvement in Smithies in Business and her passion for finance stems from her professional aspirations to have a career in finance after graduating from Smith. Knowing she wanted to go into finance, Kaitlyn applied for the 2017 Women in Finance Fellowship at the Massachusetts State Treasury, where she gained first-hand experiences and learned important financial skills. “Every morning, I had to prepare an email message with updates on the financial markets from the previous day that was then distributed office-wide,” Kaitlyn explains. “That forced me to be knowledgeable on what was happening in the financial markets, and helped me familiarize myself with the industry,” she reflects.

When Kaitlyn returned to campus as a junior, she knew she wanted to build on the skills she acquired during her fellowship, so she pursued a variety of on-campus opportunities that promote financial literacy. As a participant of the Smith-Tuck Bridge Program — hosted by Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth on Smith’s campus in January, and in her financial accounting course, Kaitlyn learned about the fundamentals of financial modeling, financial data analysis and accounting. Taking advantage of these resources at Smith not only made Kaitlyn a more competitive candidate for her junior internship, but also helped her feel more confident throughout the recruiting process.

Kaitlyn (middle) during the Smithies in Business “Biz Thrift” fundraiser.

Kaitlyn (middle) during the Smithies in Business “Biz Thrift” fundraiser.

During the summer of 2018, Kaitlyn was employed as a Global Wealth and Investment Management Analyst Intern at U.S. Trust - a branch of Bank of America. At U.S. Trust, she worked with their National Philanthropic Advisory Team. One of her most important tasks included researching different groups of philanthropic donors and their giving habits for advisors within the company. This proved to be a defining experience as Kaitlyn realized that she was more fulfilled by conducting financial analysis than in pursuing a career within consulting.

“This internship gave me clarity on what I really wanted and did not want to do professionally,” Kaitlyn states. “It really helped me hone in on specific full-time opportunities when I started looking for jobs as a senior.”

Ultimately, after a long and tiring recruiting process, Kaitlyn was excited to accept a position as a Financial Analyst at Freddie Mac — a rotational program that will allow her to gain exposure in a variety of different job functions. During her last semester at Smith, Kaitlyn will prepare for her move to D.C. after graduation. Of course, she’ll continue to have plenty to do at the Conway Center, where she is one of the lead interns helping to organize the 2019 Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs.


Kaitlyn Coyne ‘19 is an economics major and government minor at Smith, concentrating in Global Financial Institutions. Originally from Long Island, New York, Kaitlyn is an avid Mets fan and tries to attend as many baseball games as possible. At Smith, she works as a supervisor for the Phonathon and a Draper Planning Intern with the CIEC, was a Treasurer for Jordan House for two years, and is the President of Smithies in Business.

Connect with Kaitlyn on LinkedIn

Katharina GeppertComment