2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: Connor Sept, Lehigh University

Connor Sept

Lehigh University College of Business

“Hardworking and driven student-athlete with a desire to learn and help others.”

Fun fact about yourself: Last summer, I won a 4th of July hot dog eating contest.

Hometown: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

High School: East Chapel Hill

Major: Integrated Business & Engineering Honors Program (IBE): Financial Engineering

Minor: Economics

Favorite Business Course: FIN 335: Financial Modeling

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • 2x Record holder on Lehigh’s D1 Varsity Swim Team
  • Decentralized Finance Research Associate
  • Project Manager in the Lehigh Consulting Group
  • Director of Funds for Lehigh’s Institute of Health Care Improvement
  • President and Founder of Wall Street Survivor Investment Club
  • Fin 335 Financial Modeling TA
  • Student-Athlete Council member
  • Student-Athlete mentor
  • Best Buddies
  • 3x Patriot League Academic Honor Roll
  • Dean’s List

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Fintech Capital Markets Intern at Uplift
  • MedTech & Lifescience Investment Research Analyst for Kyto

Where will you be working after graduation? Investment Banking Analyst at Financial Technology Partners in their New York City office.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? The advice I would give to a student looking to major in a business-related field is to get involved early and expose yourself to as many career paths as possible. There are so many different places a degree in business can take you and it can be overwhelming trying to discover what path you want to pursue. Taking the initiative to network, join business/professional clubs that sound interesting, and talk with your professors to get a feel for all of the opportunities out there can help a student realize where their interests lie.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? What surprised me the most about majoring in business is how much of the field is still unknown. Even models developed by the most prominent mathematicians and financial engineers leave room for a great deal of uncertainty. I find the push by some of the world’s smartest people to utilize modern technology and solve large-scale financial problems fascinating, and that is largely what drew me to fintech. This constant innovation and the amount of unknowns still to be discovered forces business professionals to never stop learning, which is part of what makes business so exciting.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? One thing I would do differently in business school is to start networking earlier. I didn’t start networking until my junior year, and when I did, I had the opportunity to meet some really incredible people. In some way or another, they all were able to offer advice and wisdom that made a big difference in my career journey.

What business executive do you admire most? Pat Gelsinger. Pat Gelsigner is currently the CEO of Intel after spending nine years at VMWare, where he successfully turned them around from a company in flux to a thriving software company. What sets Gelsigner apart from other CEOs is that not only does he have a intuitive understanding of how to lead and motivate people, as well as a strong business sense, but he is one of the most innovative and analytical Fortune 500 executives from a technical perspective.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? This past fall, a couple of student-athletes and I worked with the Athletics Office to organize and launch Lehigh’s first Student-Athlete Networking Event. Building out the structure of the event from the ground up was difficult, but it was incredibly rewarding to hear about students who landed internships and jobs as a result of the Networking Event. I’m proud of the overwhelming support from the Lehigh Athletics alumni who came to the event to offer their insight, as well as the large group effort that was put in to make the event happen.

Which classmate do you most admire? Asa Greenaway. Since I met Asa on the first day of campus, he struck me with his ability to connect with people and think critically. He was able to finish majors in both finance and accounting in 3.5 years, which speaks to his hard-working and intelligent nature. Asa is someone who I am confident will succeed in whatever he chooses to do down the line, and I am excited to see where he takes his career.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? The people I want to thank most for my success are my parents. Early on, they instilled in me the value of hard work and forging your own path. Their constant guidance and support has given me the confidence to always get back on my feet and push to be the best person I can be. Additionally, they’ve shown me the importance of staying resilient and working hard to create your own luck. Together, they have sacrificed a lot to always put our family first, and their ability to always act with integrity and to do right by others is something that I strive to emulate.

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

  • Own a high quality Italian restaurant.
  • After working in industry for a while, I would love to teach and pay forward all the lessons and mentorships I’ve received in my time here at Lehigh.

What are your hobbies? Chess, Guitar, Poker, Snowboarding, and Golf

What made Connor  such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Connor was a student in my Spring 2021 Advanced Financial Modeling course that focuses on models employed in the investment banking/private equity arena. He brought an intensity to learning that material that impressed me tremendously. His passion for the subject and building out professional-quality models was very evident. Connor’s ability to work on the team and his leadership to analyze group projects was also recognizable. Needless to say, he was one of the top students in the course. What is even more laudable is that he excelled in my class in tandem with the very rigorous demands of being a university-level athlete on the swim team, holding records in the 100m breaststroke and 400m medley relay! I am sure those athletic achievements do not come without hours and hours of dedicated practice. He also is visible in other campus activities such as the Lehigh Consulting Group, the Student-Athletic Council, and founder of an investment club. It is no wonder that he landed a role as an investment banking analyst which he will join upon graduation. Given his talents, I am lucky to have him as a TA for my course this semester. Connor exemplifies what my department believes is a balanced and wholesome student – conscientious and engaged in the society around them. I have no doubt that a great future awaits Connor and I am delighted to nominate him for this award.”

Nandu Nayar, Ph.D.
Professor of Finance and Hans Julius Bär Endowed Chair
Perella Department of Finance
Lehigh University
College of Business



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