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Alumni Profile: Priya Sekaran, Finance ‘15
Alumni Profile: Priya Sekaran, Finance ‘15
In 2001, Priya Sekaran immigrated to the United States with a degree in Accounting from Mumbai University — and a solid background in finance. Yet the transition to a new country and the focus on raising her daughter put her career in the backseat. She worked for seven years as an instructional assistant at Aloha High School until her daughter left for college. At that time, Priya found her motivation turning back to the career she had left behind in India. 
 
“I worked for ten years with a  share custodian in India in all aspects with financial institutions as our main customers, and worked in the share market operations, benefits collection, and reconciliation, and client interface,” said Priya Sekaran. 
 
She began working at Berkshire Hathaway as a commissions supervisor and then realized she wanted to re-enter the finance world. She pursued the MSFA program at PSU’s School of Business to advance her understanding of current topics, as well as business methods and practices. 
 
What drew you specifically to PSU’s School of Business?
The MSFA program’s comprehensive list of courses and a good mix of accounting and finance were the main reasons for me to choose the PSU School of Business and the MSFA program. Looking at the lineup of courses like Financial Analysis, Valuation, Financial Statements, Financial Institutions, Cost Accounting, and the fact that we would have to do a capstone project in real-world companies solidified my decision that this program would bring me up to date to join the current finance world.
 
What helped you achieve success in the program?
The teachers are excellent and went above and beyond to help in the overall success of students. The adjunct teachers are industry leaders and actively practicing thereby giving us a real-life view of what is relevant and trending in their respective fields, instead of being a purely academic program. This was very important to my success. I also worked really hard and completed all the required work regularly. 
 
How do you like living and working in Portland?
Portland has been my home for the last 14 years and I love it here. The people are friendly and there is so much to do here. You are close to the city, the beach, and the mountains. Nature is at its best here.

What is your current position and what role did the MSF play in helping you obtain this position?
I have worked as a Financial Analyst at Intel ever since I graduated the program in December 2015. Currently, I am responsible for managing the inventory/PNL for networking products and forecast, as well as reporting out actuals to senior management. The MSFA program gave me the confidence and knowledge I needed, and also helped me grow my network, which directly helped me acquire this position.

After having classes like Financial Institutions, I was able to understand Intel’s investment activities better and it also reduced the learning curve to a great extent. All the core subjects in the course are very helpful in one aspect or another of my current job. 

What are your future career goals?
I want to become the CEO/CFO of a company.

How will you stay connected to The School of Business at PSU now that you’ve graduated? 
I am connected with most of the cohort through LinkedIn and some of us meet regularly. I also like to stay in touch with Dave Nickel, our Academic Director.