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Finance Consulting Night, Tufts University, September 2023

In 2013, Tufts launched Tufts Finance Initiative (TFI) with a basic goal: to make our students more competitive when seeking careers in the financial services industry. More than a decade later, and with the philanthropic and volunteer support of alumni and parents in the Tufts Financial Network, TFI has significantly strengthened the academic and pre-professional experiences available to undergraduate students.

  • An industry-centered curriculum led by an expert in financial services. The academic side of TFI is currently managed by Pat Schena, the Barton L. Rachlin, E59, A85P Professor of the Practice in Economics. Schena teaches six courses and has more than 30 years of experience in investment management and finance operations. In the classroom, he helps students understand the real-world applications of their studies.
  • A rigorous and comprehensive minor in finance. In 2014, Tufts established a minor in finance. This six-course interdisciplinary program includes three core classes, two electives and a capstone seminar. By 2023, the graduating class included 108 finance minors—the most in Tufts history—compared to 70 students the previous year.
  • Dedicated career advising and learning resources. Karen Dankers, Associate Director of Tufts Career Center and Director of TFI, leads students through the competitive hiring process. She also facilitates networking opportunities, sponsors career events and bootcamps, and registers Tufts for exclusive memberships and subscriptions that benefit students. In 2023, attendance reached an all-time high for such programs.
  • Networking. Each semester, Dankers also coordinates employer trips to key regions and organizes two signature networking events for students interested in consulting (fall semester) and finance (spring semester). In September 2023, 30 alumni from 23 consulting firms traveled to Tufts to meet with nearly 300 students.

The Impact

TFI’s success is most evident in the increased number of Jumbos securing positions in the finance and consulting industries since the program’s inception. Before TFI began, the Career Center reported ~50 hires (full-time positions and internships) in finance and consulting in 2012. Since then, this number has steadily grown each year, peaking at 336 overall hires in 2023 with representation at all major banks and consulting firms.

What’s Next?

In their first year leading TFI (2022-2023), Professor Pat Schena and the Career Center’s Karen Dankers worked towards their collective goal to increase access to finance careers for individuals that were previously underserved in the industry. As such, they promoted employer programs to students prioritizing diverse candidates to help build connections and knowledge of the finance industry.

This year, they continue to build their partnership and to expand TFI offerings, including developing more meaningful ways for alumni to connect with students, on and off campus, and offer their support in the interview and hiring process.

To learn more about how you can support students interested in careers in finance, email

To learn more about how you can make an investment in TFI with a gift of your own, email