Finance Association

Homepage for the Penn State Smeal MBA Finance Association

The mission of the MBA Finance Association is to prepare Smeal students for a career in both corporate and investment finance. Careers in finance are related to both the internal perspective of the firm and the external perspective of the markets. The association is designed to give students access to Smeal alumni and current business leaders who can help mentor students with a professional interest in finance. Additionally, the Association provides internal support to students for their professional development efforts in the field of finance.

Officer Bios

Portrait of Dylan Nahra.Dylan Nahra, President

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Dylan serves as President of the MBA Finance Association. The Association intends to help members explore and target corporate finance career paths through workshops and by connecting members to resources. Another primary goal is to broaden the scope of the Association by engaging the larger MBA community through specialized programming. 

Dylan graduated from the University of South Carolina with degrees in finance and risk management and insurance (2016). A native of Northern Virginia, he returned to the area to begin his career at Accenture Federal Services in its Client Financial Management function. In this role, Dylan collaborated with project and portfolio leadership to advise on the business’s financial performance and risk profile. He developed deep competencies in forecasting, annual planning, and variance analysis.  Dylan will be joining E & J Gallo Winery in Summer 2022 as an MBA Finance Intern in their Strategic Leadership Development Program.

Portrait of Cody Williams. Cody Williams, VP of Operations

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Cody Williams is the Vice President of Finance for the Class of 2023’s MBA Association. In this role, he manages funding for the MBA Association, which includes developing an annual budget, overseeing the collection of the MBAA dues, and liaising with other MBAA Board Members to efficiently distribute funds for activities.

Cody was born and raised in Kent, Ohio and graduated with his bachelor’s degree in finance from Kent State University. Prior to joining the Smeal MBA program, Cody worked as a Risk Management and Compliance consultant for four years, specializing in areas of Cybersecurity and Anti-Money Laundering compliance. In these roles he led cross-functional engagements, designed tools for process improvement, and developed procedures to align with Lean Six-Sigma methodology. Next summer, Cody is going to join the Chase Associate Program at JP Morgan Chase in Columbus, OH.

Cody chose the Smeal College of Business because of its highly ranked finance department, extensive alumni network, and strong sense of community. He is concentrating in Finance and Consulting. In his free time, Cody enjoys maintaining a routine exercise, reading a new book, and talking all things personal finance.

Portrait of Gregory Brueckner. Gregory J. Brueckner, VP of Professional Development

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Gregory J. Brueckner (Greg) is the Vice President of Professional Development for the Class of 2023’s MBA Finance Association. In this role, Greg’s primary responsibility is to foster alumni-student mentorship through informative outreach. He actively seeks out development resources and opportunities for MBA students at the Smeal College of Business pursuing corporate or investment finance careers. In this role, Greg is responsible for planning and executing various programs such as mock career fairs, Simulated Interview Programs, corporate-sponsored tailgates, speaker sessions, and other networking events to facilitate alumni and corporate engagement.

Greg is from Madison, New Jersey. He holds a Bachelor’s in Science for Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of South Carolina (2013). Prior to starting his MBA at the Smeal College of Business, he worked as a civil engineer for seven years. His work involved the design, approval and construction of an array of land developments ranging from single-family homes to two million square foot distribution centers. As part of his responsibility, he negotiated with town and state government officials and agencies to gain approval for developments. In April of 2019 he became a Certified Professional Engineer in the State of New Jersey.

As a career pivot to Finance, Greg is always comfortable sharing his experiences and providing guidance when navigating finance internships and internship searches.

Past Association Events

Past Association events have included; a trip to Omaha to meet Warren Buffett, an annual corporate sponsored golf tournament, networking events and dinners with Fortune 500 companies, and lunch sessions with professors discussing financial impacts of current events.

The MBA Finance Association standing outside on the steps leading up to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

On February 21, 2014, the MBA Finance Association went on a NYC Roadshow with 23 members. We learned about the US Central Banking System at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, got to visit the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, spoke directly to the President of the Bank of New York Mellon, and saw the closing bell at NASDAQ.

Here’s what the members said were the best part of the trip:

"The coolest part of the trip was being able to go down to the trading floor of the NYSE and talk directly to a Designated Market Maker." Anthony Cheng [2013-2014 Finance Association VP of Treasury], Smeal MBA Class of ‘14

The MBA Finance Association visiting the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

"It's always exciting to visit and learn more about places with such a history behind them, but I have to say that such a friendly meeting with President of BNY Mellon was definitely one of the highlights not only in my MBA but also in my entire life so far." Masoud Ghayoumi [2013-2014 Finance Association VP of Corporate Relations], Smeal MBA Class of ‘14

“The best part for me was becoming a millionaire, even if only for a couple minutes. Deep within the Federal Reserve's vault, I had the opportunity to hold two 30lb gold bars valued at over $500,000 each!” Jeff Goff, Smeal MBA Class of ‘14

“I was excited to see three different kinds of financial organizations in one day and I loved the feeling of holding a big, big gold bar in my hands. And this would be one of the most memorable trips in my MBA life.” Carrie Zhou, Smeal MBA Class of ‘14

The MBA Finance Association saw the closing bell at NASDAQ.

"I got to hold a $500,000 gold bar at the Fed, talk with market makers on the trading floor of the NYSE, and see the closing bell at the NASDAQ, but the most fun part was spending 18 hours with Alpha Nayete [2013-2014 Finance Association President]. That guy is crazy and so fun!" Andrew Svoboda, Smeal MBA Class of ‘15

“Being on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange was a fascinating experience. I'm also glad that we had to chance to speak with the President of BNY Mellon and feel very fortunate that she offered her time and gave us a chance to speak with her. Overall, it was a very exciting trip.” David Eilenberger, Smeal MBA Class of ‘15

The MBA Finance Association speaking directly to the President of the Bank of New York Mellon.

"My favorite part of the day on Wall Street was talking to Karen Peetz, President of BNY Mellon and Penn State alumnus. She spoke candidly about the banking industry: how it works, how it has changed and how it can utilize technology to face its most pressing challenges. In addition, our discussion with her on leadership and the skills that we should focus on was eye-opening. Karen emphasized how it takes a lot more than a high IQ to be influential in today's business environment. It's opportunities like these that make the MBA program both unique and invaluable." Matt Herbert, Smeal MBA Class of ‘15