2020 Best & Brightest: Sofia Remez, Fordham University (Gabelli)

Sofia Remez

Fordham University, Gabelli School of Business

A curious mind with an insatiable need to learn concepts, meet people, and taste food.”

Fun fact about yourself: I make my bed every morning as soon as I get up.

Hometown: North Palm Beach, Florida

High School: The Benjamin School

Major: Global Business, concentrating in Finance and Economics

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Fordham’s Student Managed Investment Fund

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Woolworth Award for academic achievement
  • Jogues Scholarship
  • Dean’s List – all semesters
  • Managing Director of the Student Managed Investment Fund
  • Fordham Career Ambassador
  • Five Under Forty (Breast Cancer Awareness Non Profit) Junior Host Committee Member and Presidential Liaison
  • Fordham University Investments Club
  • Bloomberg Market Concepts Certification

Where have you interned during your college career?

Freshman Summer:

Douglas Elliman, Real Estate

  • Role: Sales and Marketing Internship: Shadowed “Superbrokers” and worked directly under the director of operations of a top selling residential sales team.
  • Location: New York, NY (Corporate Headquarters)

Sophomore Summer:


  • Role: Sophomore Leadership Program: Gained hands on experience with three different teams within Citi’s ICG through a cross-bank rotational analyst program.
  • Location: New York, NY

Junior Summer:


  • Role: Private Bank Summer Analyst: Assumed the role of associate banker in a High Net Worth Team providing daily support to my lead banker.
  • Location: New York, NY

Where will you be working after graduation? After graduation, I will be working at Citigroup as a private banking analyst in New York City.

What company do you admire most? The company I admire most is Warby Parker. When it was founded in 2009, this company broke down the institutional norms within the eyewear space to lower prices, established a more competitive market for consumers, and did good for society. When answering this question, I thought about the companies that I believe have the best cultures, both internally and externally. As an outsider, it is challenging to truly see into the internal structure and culture of any firm. Because of this, I thought of the user experience that I have had with Warby Parker and coupled that with published information about the culture and mission of the organization.

User experience: Individuals who work at the store are kind, caring, and efficient.  Steps are taken in their systems to expedite the user experience and efficiently serve their customers.

Published information: Warby Parker does good for the world while passing minimal extra fee on to the consumer. The company prides itself on its ability “to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.”

Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor I have had at Fordham University is Professor Ken Davis. He taught a Business Law Course that I took the spring of my junior year. I loved the style of lecturing he used, teaching us a topic with real life examples and legal cases and then asking the students to develop an opinion and argue it. The course was a perfect example of learning skills, facts and methods of thinking, and then immediately using them to win your case.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? While in school, I had the opportunity to participate in Fordham’s Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF). It is an application-based course that takes a hands-on approach to investing. The students are entrusted with almost $2 million of the university’s endowment for equity style investing. Over the two semesters of the course, my roles included commodities analyst, commodities portfolio manager, and managing director. Under my management, the fund saw the highest growth. By taking this course I was expected to be completely aware of any and all market events that could impact our holdings. I additionally had the opportunity to feel as I was contributing to and working for something larger than myself and the grade earned at the end of the semester. My actions impacted the endowment as a whole, making this a truly unique experience.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? It is so important to talk to people. Anyone and everyone has an opinion, concern, interest, or passion that can be applied to the study of business. From talking to other people, including students, professors, mentors, neighbors, and taxi drivers, I have been able to broaden my understanding for the global economy and the many layers that exist within it. More than that, by introducing myself to others and asking probing questions, I have made great friends and deepened my relationships with peers and professors.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Adaptability is key. In business school, you will have to take many courses with a broad range of focuses. In order to succeed, it is crucial to adapt your thinking and study skills to succeed. This applies to internships as well. The eagerness and willingness to adapt can make all the difference to an employer.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I was very surprised that fairness, kindness and compassion are not required in the world of business. While there are regulations to prevent discrimination and foul play, the human aspect of business is easily lost.  In many instances, the motivation is on profits, revenues, and perception instead of the holistic character of organizations. By becoming aware of this, it has become clear that it is up to organizational leadership and the individual to instill the importance of kindness, fairness and compassion in business.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am very proud to have been appointed the managing director of Fordham’s Student Managed Investment Fund. My role as managing director included making executive decisions on investment proposals, organizing class events, leading team presentations, and serving as a liaison between the Fordham endowment committee and the students. I gained great hands-on practice and leadership skills through this experience that will stick with me throughout my professional career in finance.

Which classmate do you most admire? Siena Mayer-Costa: I first met Siena when we were assigned our Consulting Cup groups during the sophomore fall. Her bubbly personality and genuine kindness made me excited to work with her. At the conclusion of the course, after spending many hours together organizing our project, we became friends. Siena is very involved with extracurriculars at Fordham. She always knows what’s going on around campus and is a friendly face to run into. I am impressed with the many roles she has and her ability to do everything with a smile.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I am so appreciative of my dean, Father Vincent DeCola, SJ, for all of the guidance and attention over the past four years. I first met Father Vin when I was touring Fordham and he instantly made me feel supported in my academic endeavors. As the semesters went by, I relied on Fr. Vin for scheduling needs, internship guidance, and mentorship. I am so grateful for his open door policy and eagerness to help students. I believe that the close relationship with my dean enhanced my experience at Fordham and set me up for success.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. I have a sister two years older than me who also studied business in university. I hope one day to pursue an entrepreneurial endeavor with her – possibly something focused in creativity.
  2. As a student of global business, I hope to one day work outside of the US in order to broaden my knowledge and understanding of the global economy.

What are your hobbies?

  • Volunteering: I volunteer at Five Under Forty, a not-for-profit organization focused on helping women diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 40. I work on the junior host committee and love to be involved in planning the yearly gala.
  • Running: I find running to be an excellent way to relax and decompress my mind. I compete in around five 5k races each year with friends and family. It is fun to get together and compete for a charitable cause and improve my skill and speed.
  • Baking: Finding new recipes and making delicious treats by hand makes me very happy. I love to create something special out of nothing. Baking is so special because I can create a treat to share with friends and family and brighten up their day!
  • Reading: In my spare time, I love to read. I specifically love non-fiction and self help books. Some of my favorites include: Failure Is Not an Option, Food Therapist, Sapiens, What it Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence.

What made Sofia such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

If I were to make a list of students who possess the qualities I value most, Sofia Remez would be at the top of the list. She is a superior student, but then again other students perform well on exams. She has a keen intellect, but then again other students are bright. She is an eager contributor in the classroom, but then again other students like to participate. Sofia stands out, not merely because of her academic excellence, but also because of her character. She is helpful, kind, and self-sacrificing. Beyond that, she is a person of great humility. I am not surprised that she has won this award, although I imagine that she will suggest that she doesn’t deserve it. On that count, she would be wrong. Congratulations Sophia!”

Kenneth Davis
Professor of Law & Ethics


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