Ashby Business Scholars Program: Shaping Careers in Finance and Business

Current and former participants share their experiences and insights from the Ashby Business Scholars program, highlighting its impact on their career paths.

For the past 20 years, the Ashby Business Scholars program at Oberlin College has been providing students with a unique opportunity to explore careers in finance and business. Combining hands-on experience, professional development, and networking opportunities, the program has helped shape the career paths of countless students. In this article, we hear from five current and former participants who share their insights and reflections on the program’s impact.

Adrian Alvarado ’24: Gaining Insights and Building Connections

Adrian Alvarado, an Economics major from Chicago, decided to apply to the Ashby Business Scholars program to gain insights into various financial-related jobs and to better understand the recruitment process. One of the most surprising aspects of the program for Adrian was the opportunity to interact with alums and ask them questions about their industry experiences. As a result, Adrian has decided to pursue community development-related work that combines his finance expertise in the future.

Bridget Adu-Dapaah ’25: Networking and Exploring New Opportunities

Bridget Adu-Dapaah, a double major in Economics and Business from Chicago, was drawn to the Ashby Business Scholars program because of its focus on careers in finance and business. Bridget highlights the power of networking as the most helpful aspect of the program, allowing her to establish connections with alumni who have navigated similar career paths. This networking has not only provided advice on career goals but has also opened doors to more opportunities and broader networking possibilities. Bridget plans to pursue a career in wealth management or private equity and has even considered attending law school.

Samantha Gilfond ’25: Access to Specialized Business and Finance Classes

Samantha Gilfond, majoring in Mathematics and Economics from New York, found the Ashby Business Scholars program helpful in providing access to specialized business and finance classes. Through a partnership with Case Western Reserve University, Samantha was able to take a class with their Director of Investments, focusing on key aspects of business and finance not covered in her general classes. This hands-on learning experience, including case studies and group work, has prepared Samantha for real-world challenges in the workplace.

Willem Chojnicki ’25: Building a Network of Alumni Mentors

Willem Chojnicki, a double major in Economics and Psychology with a Business concentration from Gainesville, Florida, applied to the Ashby Business Scholars program to learn from the best in the field of finance. The program’s access to a network of Oberlin alumni has been the most helpful aspect for Willem. He has gained valuable insights and experiences from alumni in the finance industry, learning about financial modeling, consulting, and data analysis. Willem plans to work in Syndicated Corporate Finance Banking at Raymond James after graduation.

Michael Dinkel ’26: Making Connections and Preparing for a Career in Finance

Michael Dinkel, an Economics major from Silver Spring, Maryland, was inspired to apply to the Ashby Business Scholars program after hearing about its benefits from a lacrosse teammate. Michael believes that the opportunity to meet alumni and make connections within the finance field is one of the best opportunities Oberlin offers. He is looking forward to traveling and meeting alumni during Winter Term to learn about different career paths and gain general advice. Michael plans to pursue a career in finance, potentially in investment banking or equity research.


The Ashby Business Scholars program at Oberlin College has had a profound impact on the career paths of its participants. Through hands-on experience, networking opportunities, and specialized classes, students have gained valuable insights and connections in the finance and business world. Whether it’s shaping their career plans, expanding their knowledge, or building a network of mentors, the program has provided a solid foundation for success. As the program celebrates its 20th anniversary, it continues to inspire and empower the next generation of business leaders.

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