2019 Best & Brightest: Caitlin Cavanaugh, University of Miami

Caitlin Cavanaugh

University of Miami, School of Business Administration

Always working towards the next goal (except when happily distracted by dogs, food, and travel).”

Fun fact about yourself: I was the captain of a nationally-ranked cheerleading team in high school, despite disliking the sport for much of my childhood.

Hometown: Mendham, New Jersey

High School: West Morris Mendham High School

Major: Finance, Global Business

Minor: Business Analytics, Spanish

Favorite Business Course: BUS150 – An introductory business analytics course that focused exclusively on the advanced uses of Excel in a business setting. This class gave me the skills that have propelled and directed my entire academic and career path since taking the class in my freshman year.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Foote Fellow Honors Program – Honors Scholar – The University of Miami
  • Bermont/Carlin Scholar – Scholar – The University of Miami
  • Innovation and Research Forum – 1st Place Freshman Winner – The University of Miami
  • 2017 Citi Economics Case Competition – Finalist – The University of Miami
  • TAMID Group – Consulting Analyst, Investment Fund Analyst, Professional Development Leader – The University of Miami
  • Lighthouse for the Blind – Volunteer – Miami, FL
  • Camp Fatima of New Jersey – Annual Volunteer – Clinton Township, NJ
  • University of Miami’s London Career Crawl – Selected Participant – University of Miami, London, UK.

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Jonathan Kroner Law Office – Miami, FL – Case Research and Data Analysis Assistant
  • The Schultz Group at Morgan Stanley – Miami Beach, FL – Financial Analyst Intern
  • Guggenheim Securities – New York, NY – Investment Banking Analyst (Equity Capital Markets Group)

Where will you be working after graduation? Guggenheim Securities – New York, NY – Investment Banking Analyst (Equity Capital Markets Group)

Who is your favorite professor? Anita Cava, a business law professor I had freshman year. She is the type of professor whose lessons transcend the traditional classroom bounds and affect the way you view and live life. In my case, Dr. Cava taught me the importance of decision-making and ethical values but also taught me the power of being kind, working hard, and maintaining relationships (and how those little things will get you much further in life). She is the type of professor I can run into on a random day or time, and she can immediately tell if something is wrong (or right), then will take the time out of her day to hear more about it, and to help fix it in any capacity that she can. She helped me get my very first internship, which allowed me to build upon my technical data analysis skills in a law and research setting. Dr. Cava is unique in her personality, her energy, and her teaching style, yet she raises similar, endlessly positive reactions from every student I know who has had her.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? My favorite thing about the University of Miami’s School of Business and my experience there has been the endless support and accessibility of the staff in my academic and professional journey. From professors, to program advisors, to professional development mentors, and everyone in-between, I have felt personally encouraged and motivated by them all.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Have an open mind and take every opportunity that you can to learn, even if it doesn’t seem like something interesting to you. You never know where you can find your passions. Sometimes, the most important lessons are the ones we learn in situations that we do not particularly enjoy. Business can relate to almost any other field, and your experiences can always apply in non-traditional ways, so you never know where you could go OR what of your random previous experiences can help you get there as a business major.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The most surprising aspect of my business major is how much crossover there is between seemingly-different topics. My academic experience as a business major has taught me how to analyze data and think about concepts from other disciplines or majors, but what is most surprising are all of the interrelated disciplines within business and how narrow or broad your focus or understanding on any one or combination of them can be. There really is a way to apply your knowledge from any one class to another.

For example, operations management and statistical analysis can be linked, then modeled and analyzed using MATLAB, Excel, or R Studio to further interpret and visualize the data. Finance and accounting practices can then be tied in, along with ethics and business law concepts, internal management, and understanding of current events in today’s economic, social and political environment. Before you know it, what seemed like a very narrow, technical focus is now the beginnings of a broad analysis of a company’s health with regard to the external environment around it. It kind of seems obvious, but it was shocking and very cool to me to see how these concepts really did tie together and could be applied to any other industry or practice, not just the traditional “business” setting.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Computer science, specifically programming, because I believe that now and even more so in the future, this will be the basis of knowledge upon which all things are done and in an increasingly technological world it will be imperative to understand this discipline just to keep up with younger generations which will be raised learning it.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My mom had a very impressive career in finance. Hearing about her passion for and success in her field throughout my upbringing definitely guided me towards pursuing business and, perhaps, finance more specifically. She was always able to relate certain responsibilities she had in her job to things I loved to do in general. This made me really be able to draw connections between business actions and the everyday things I enjoyed doing in life.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? It sounds cliché, but the achievement I am most proud of was first getting my internship with Guggenheim, which has now translated to a full-time job after graduation. Being as geographically distant from New York as Miami can be tough sometimes in terms of networking and logistically scheduling interviews and flights to the city for events with everyday responsibilities as a full-time student. The interview process, in general, for these types of positions requires months of prep, which consumed nearly all of my time and focus for months leading up to getting my position. Landing that internship, however, was the greatest feeling. Even better was how much I truly enjoyed myself there last summer, which confirmed how great of a fit the company and position are for me. I am so appreciative that I have been fortunate enough to have this, and I really am so happy that I was able to do this all on my own and through years of hard work – the work really made the payoff that much sweeter.

Which classmate do you most admire? I very much admire my dear friend Jordan Wilde. Not only is Jordan a stellar student, but she balances her difficult academic schedule with being a captain of the University of Miami Sunsations dance team, which performs at nearly every football and basketball game (in addition to other promotional and community events). She commits hours upon hours of her week to this organization and the school while still staying focused in her academic and career responsibilities. There are a lot of things that she has sacrificed in order to commit herself to the Sunsations team. Still, you never hear a complaint from her, even when she has to go from a full day of class to hours of night practice three times a week. She has an incredible job at JP Morgan post-graduation, and she always brings the most positive, outgoing, and welcoming personality to any situation. Being able to share my academic and college experience as a whole with her has been a true treat.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Without a doubt, my mom. She is the inspiration behind so many things that I do, but especially my academic and career paths. She has led by example, teaching discipline and devotion in all aspects of her life. She has dealt with and eased any of my stress or nerves, always building my own self-assurance, saying “You’re a smart girl, it’s not that hard,” perhaps giving me a little false confidence to push me through tough times. She has raised my three sisters and me to be thick-skinned, but always open to learning new ideas and appreciating the power of intelligence.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? To run a full marathon (I’m a big distance-running fan now but have so far maxed out at 16 miles), and to see the northern lights (which I hope to achieve on my upcoming trip to Iceland).

What are your hobbies? My hobbies include a lot of health and fitness related things, like healthy cooking, distance running, hiking/trekking, and, more recently, yoga. I also love art, photography, and music, and I have played the piano for much of my life. I love dancing, spending time with people, and exploring my surroundings (I will often opt to walk places if possible, for this reason). I am obsessed with travel and learning other cultures through food, people, music, art – anything to immerse myself. Finally, I love volunteering, whether it be with people, the environment, or animals.

What made Caitlin such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“Caitlin exemplifies the model Global Studies Scholar. She’s smart, but more importantly, she has taken risks that have helped her to grow intellectually and personally. She truly understands the challenges that decision makers encounter every day in this uncertain, global marketplace, and we know that she’s well prepared to meet it head-on.”

Dr. Maria Susino Lorca
Global Business Scholars Faculty Advisor

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.