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Spotlight On: Jamal Carnette, MSF ‘17

The graduating master’s student opens up about his experiences at AU and what made studying at Kogod special

By Jessica Joy De Jesus and Jamie McCray

Photo of Jamal Carnette

Credit: Jamal Carnette

For Jamal Carnette, MSF ’17, the Kogod School of Business is an academic oasis. It’s a place that offers the intellectual challenges he craves, coupled with unwavering support from his professors and classmates.

He credits his professors with fostering this challenging, yet nurturing, environment. “They push you, but are all personally invested in your success,” Carnette says.

The program’s focus on experiential learning was especially impactful. Carnette worked with real-world financial applications like Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters, completed hands-on projects in class and even worked with a student-run investment fund. Carnette believes these applied learning experiences prepared him for work after graduation. “In the real world, it’s important to know how to apply what you’ve learned. Kogod truly prepares you for those situations,” he says.

Carnette will graduate next weekend with his cohort and a crowd of other AU master’s candidates. He’s looking forward to new challenges (he’s starting as a Senior Communications Investment Specialist at ICMA-RC), but admits he will miss his academic home at Kogod. “The camaraderie from both fellow students and professors is high,” he says. “The Kogod School of Business helped propel me forward.”

Read more about Jamal below:

Kogod School of Business: What initially attracted you to the MSF program at Kogod?

Jamal Carnette: I was drawn to Kogod because of its reputation. I was looking for a program with a high degree of intellectual rigor; and, after researching options in DC, I found Kogod’s MSF program offered the challenges I sought.

KSB: What sets it apart from others like it?

JC: Kogod’s MSF is unlike others in many ways. First is the professors. They offer generous office hours, return e-mails quickly and truly focus on putting the student first. Second is the access to job-specific applications like Bloomberg, Stata and Thomson Reuters. Working with these programs helped me develop the skills I’ll need working in the field.

KSB: What did you enjoy most about your time here?

JC: I enjoyed learning from my professors. They all had impressive credentials in the public and private sectors, and in academia. More than credentials, they are united by a desire to educate their students and they are invested in your personal success.

KSB: What defined your experience here at Kogod?

JC: After taking International Finance, I was able to discuss foreign exchange and currency intelligently with fund managers at my job. In the real world, it’s important to know how to apply what you’ve learned. Kogod truly prepares you for those situations.

KSB: Why do you think pursuing a career in business is important, and is the right fit for you?

JC: Ethics were considered paramount during my education at AU. I want to work in finance to change maligned perceptions by acting as a fiduciary for all investors.

KSB: Tell me about what you will be doing after finishing your program.

JC: During my final semester, I received a job offer at ICMA-RC, a non-profit financial service corporation providing retirement plans. I accepted and will be working as their Senior Communications Investment Specialist.

KSB: What are you most looking forward to in your work post-graduation?

JC: Moving forward in my career and applying the knowledge I learned at Kogod.

KSB: In what ways has what you’ve learned at Kogod prepared you for this next chapter?

JC: Many of the professors at Kogod have a great perspective on where the financial market is going, and integrate real-world lessons into their curriculum. The result is a deep understanding of both theory and applied knowledge. This critical real-world background has prepared me for the next chapter in my career.

KSB: What impact do you hope your work in the finance field will have?

JC: I want to impact others by empowering them through finance. I want people to know that financial literacy can improve their quality of life. I’ll be able to accomplish this by using the education I’ve received at American University.

KSB: What advice would you give to a prospective student?

JC: Prepare to work hard. However, you are not alone – the camaraderie from both fellow students and professors is high. You’ll have a support system here that will propel you.

Learn more about the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program and apply today!

Schedule a visit to American University here.