Management Graduate Named School of Business Valedictorian

Published: April 18, 2023 | Author: Abbie Cochrane | Read Time: 5 minutes

School of Business valedictorian Holly DayHolly Day has been named the 2023 valedictorian for Southern Utah University’s Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business. She is double majoring in business management and economics with a double minor in finance and Spanish. She will also graduate with a certificate in international business and plans to start working as a financial analyst after graduation.

“Holly Day is the whole package: affable, confident, intelligent, insightful, self-assured, inquisitive, hard-working, assiduous, thorough, reverent, ethical, and truly extraordinary in every way,” said Steve Engst, lecturer of finance at SUU. “I have no doubt that Holly will one day be listed as one of SUU's famous alumni. Keep an eye on Holly–she is going places!”

Originally from San Diego, California, Day is very active and spent her time skiing, hiking, and playing sports throughout her childhood. Her love of the outdoors and being active was one factor that drew her to SUU, as the surrounding area is full of outdoor activities.

When selecting a college, Day toured SUU and fell in love with the campus culture. It didn’t take her long to decide that she wanted to get her education at SUU.

“I felt like everybody I met really cared about my well-being; not just as a student but as a person,” Day said.

Throughout the many business classes Day has taken during her time at SUU, each one has equipped her with the knowledge that she will use in the future. She highlighted her experience in Quantitative Methods for Business and Economics (ECON 2500) as the class that really sparked her interest in economics. She also enjoyed her time in International Economics and Finance (ECON 3210) as well as Investments (FIN 3750), both of which piqued her interest in finance and led her to be a research assistant.

When Day started at SUU, she had her sights set on economics, but throughout her time as a student, she broadened her career aspirations to include finance.

“I had previously been interested in economics, but I hadn’t really figured out how passionate I really am about it,” Day said. “I also wasn’t interested in finance at first, but because of my professors, the classes I’ve taken, and the research that I’ve done, I’ve been able to see a different side of finance.”

Alongside juggling a double major and a double minor, Day got involved as the vice president of the Economics and Analytics Club, where she gets to plan lots of fun events and connect with other economics students and help them find opportunities. She is also a part of the Beta Gamma Sigma Society, which helped her get an internship that ultimately shaped her career path.

Day’s internship took place in Washington D.C. in the summer of 2022. The internship was made possible by the Fund for American Studies. Day followed the Business and Government Relations track conducting data analytics for a national trade association. She also met with different leaders, politicians, and researchers and took an economics course at George Mason University. Overall the experience helped her find her passion for the quantitative and interpersonal sides of economics and led her to the job she has now.

Day is also passionate about her major and helping people. She has worked in the Tutoring Center, as a teaching assistant, and a research assistant during her time at SUU.

“I was lucky enough to have Holly work as my TA for a number of years,” said Katie Hill, lecturer of economics at SUU. “She was appreciated greatly by both my students and myself. Students frequently reported how helpful the time spent with Holly was and how she was kind and caring and never made anyone feel less than or not smart enough for not understanding a concept. Holly gives her all in everything she does, going far above and beyond what is expected of her. Her bright and joyful personality helps her light up any room she is in. She has a strong work ethic and consistently shows she has the ability to succeed in anything she puts her mind to. Holly will be greatly missed by all within the School of Business, but we are so very excited for her and her well-deserved upcoming opportunities.”

Aside from being valedictorian, Day considers being a part of Beta Gamma Sigma as well as another economics honors society on campus, Omicron Delta Epsilon, as two of her greatest achievements during her time at SUU. She also was last year’s Outstanding Junior in Economics.

To Day, being valedictorian is an honor, and she is grateful to those who encouraged her to work hard and put in the effort during her time at SUU. She offers special thanks to her classmates and peers in the School of Business for their academic ability and classroom comradery. She also wishes to thank her family and friends for their support.

College comes with its own unique set of challenges for every student. For Day, the most challenging part of college has been learning to manage her time.

“One of my professors told me that during college, you can sleep, study, and have friends, but it’s important to find the balance between all of them,” she stated. “You can’t always do everything you want to do, but it’s about managing your time in a way that maximizes your utility.”

After graduation, Day is going to be a financial analyst for a Swiss private equity company and will work at the company’s new headquarters in Denver, Colorado. Her job will have her working in the client solutions department.

Day offers her advice to incoming and current students; “Get involved. You hear it a lot and it kind of loses its zing after a while, but it really is so important to try things–it really makes the college experience more enjoyable and you always have something to look forward to. It’s also important to get involved in things that have to do with whatever major you’re in and network with your peers.”

Southern Utah University’s Commencement Ceremony will be held on Friday, April 28, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. in the America First Event Center. The Commencement Ceremony is open to all graduating students and their guests. Tickets are not required, but graduates and their families will be given priority seating.

Visit SUU’s graduation website for a full schedule of events.

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