The Boehly Center is proud to provide students who show a deep commitment and passion for finance opportunities to deepen their knowledge through paid Research Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships with finance faculty of the Raymond A. Mason School of Business.
Student Research & Teaching Assistant Opportunities
Serving as a teaching and research assistant for Professor Katherine Guthrie were two of my most rewarding experiences at Mason. As an RA sophomore year, I helped construct a literature review on current research in household financial management. I realized that the process of understanding, synthesizing, and communicating academic studies let me combine my math background with my love of constructing arguments. As a TA junior year, I got to lead weekly lecture-style review sessions with as many as 60 students and mentor them through their finance internship searches. I also had a semester-long project re-doing the lecture notes and creating new homework problem sets, which will be used in the course next fall. The work challenged me to understand the fundamentals of finance at a much deeper level.
I enjoyed both experiences so much that I’m now strongly considering applying to graduate school, and I’ve changed my IPS to include the necessary economics and math prerequisites.Ellen Longman '19Teaching and research assistant for Professor Katherine Guthrie
Serving as Teaching Assistant to Matthew Siano for his Hedge Fund Management course was the highlight of my time as a student in the Raymond A. Mason School of Business. The industry research and data acquisition required to create a presentation which would meaningfully impact participants during the three-day weekend of coursework both challenged me and prepared me for similar tasks and analysis I expect to carry out when I enter the financial services industry full-time. Additionally, the ability to experience students' group presentations alongside Mr. Siano taught me to ask the right questions and have an eye for detail when conducting due diligence, in this case, on the students' mock hedge funds.
The greatest value of serving as Teaching Assistant for this course, though, were my interactions with Mr. Siano himself. His extensive legal career in the hedge fund industry shone through in the breadth and depth of his knowledge. From the nuances of fund structures to legislation concerning the investment management industry as a whole, Mr. Siano gave me an exceptional perspective on the state and history of the financial services world. It was a pleasure to work with him.Matthew Buckley '18TA to Matthew Siano for Hedge Fund Management
I am so grateful for my opportunity to serve as the Teaching Assistant for Carl Tack’s course Special Topics: Financial Services. Working with Professor Tack allowed me to simultaneously help students with coursework and communicate professionally with guest speakers and faculty. Business-like communication with guest speakers and representing the Boehly Center for Excellence in Finance served as great practice for conducting myself professionally. I think what a TA for this course can really stand to gain is an understanding of the professional world.
Professor Tack has years of relevant experience in investment banking and corporate finance; the ability to work closely with him provided me with unparalleled insight into the financial services industry.Nic Greer '16TA for Professor Carl Tack (Pictured above with Professor Carl Tack)
As a Research Assistant, I worked closely with Professor Katherine Guthrie to explore how behavioral factors related to sleep and fatigue influence individuals’ economic and financial choices. The topic is of particular interest to me, as the long-term impact of household financial decisions inspired me to help start a chapter of Smart Woman Securities at William & Mary. This national organization is dedicated to providing undergraduate women with an essential education in finance and investing.
The Research Assistant experience not only allowed me to pursue my interests, but also provided an excellent opportunity to combine the skills of my two majors: English and Finance. The breadth of research necessary before one even begins conducting an experiment astonished me, and the process of gathering, analyzing and synthesizing existing resources taught me a great deal about distinguishing between poorly designed and well thought out studies.Caitlin Hedgepeth '15RA for Professor Katherine Guthrie (Pictured above)
Professor Guthrie is an extremely accomplished faculty member, and I was happy for the opportunity to continue learning from her after taking her class. She perfectly balanced challenging my skills while offering valuable mentoring advice. I highly recommend the Research Assistant position to any student who desires to work closely with our incredible professors, delving deep into the most current issues and trends.
Working with Professor Vladimir Atanasov as a Research Assistant has been an excellent opportunity to collaborate with a faculty member on business research and to enhance my knowledge of finance and law. I have found my experience as an RA especially rewarding, because the position allows for students and faculty to directly kick ideas off of each other in order to devise innovative solutions for academic inquiries.
I started by assisting Professor Atanasov with a continuing project on public pension fund governance. In short, we are interested in what characteristics make public pension fund boards effective. From working with Professor Atanasov, I have gained insight into the current structure and specific practices of public pension fund boards. Professor Atanasov has helped me to develop my research skills and knowledge of this topic that is relatively obscure in many business school textbooks. In turn, I was able to leverage my familiarity of automated text analysis from my second major, linguistics, in order to devise a method for determining pension board member financial expertise by using biographical data.
The Research Assistant experience is an excellent way to explore topics in finance with greater depth and faculty interaction than is allowed for in typical academic settings. In addition to having the opportunity to work more directly with Professor Atanasov, I have had the opportunity to further explore a topic on which I am currently writing a paper to submit to academic journals. I would encourage future Boehly Center Research Assistants to be receptive to the surprises and new areas of inquiry that arise along the research journey. To me, that has been the most rewarding part of the experience.Quentin Ullrich '16RA for Professor Vladimir Atanasov