2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: Greta Felten, Southern Methodist University (Cox)

Greta Felten

Southern Methodist University, Cox School of Business

“Feisty entrepreneur, eager to build, results-oriented leader, curious student fixated on trends and innovation.”

Fun fact about yourself: I started a hairstyling business in high school called Gretilocks.

Hometown: Washington, DC

High School: St. John’s College High School

Major: Finance, Specialization in Alternative Asset Management

Minor: Spanish

Favorite Business Course: My favorite business course was, without a doubt, Negotiations taught by Professor Steve Denson. The class demanded that I exercise muscles in communication, strategy, research, and psychology that I seldom used in my finance curriculum. I learned that however valuable quantitative analysis is, crunching numbers is not enough by itself to understand the nuances of strategy in deal-making. Qualitative analyses, reasoning, and corporate strategy all play roles. The class also taught me not only to analyze the needs and goals, strengths and weaknesses of those on the other side of the negotiating table, but also to keep those issues in mind with regard to one’s own team. Every teammate needs to learn his or her strength and play to it. A team needs someone with political skills to build relationships and be persuasive; just as the team needs a numbers-cruncher working behind the scenes making sense of new proposals and suggested solutions.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Boulevard Investment Group: Director of Rothfeldt Financials Sector, Chief Recruitment Officer

Student Senate: Cox Senator, Chief of Staff, Student Body Treasurer

SMU Board of Trustees: Student Representative to Finance and Audit Committees

Encap & LCM Alternative Asset Management Center: Don Jackson Fellow, Teaching Associate

SMU Community Action Network: Student Representative

Chief Information Officer Student Advisory Board: Member

Provost’s Student Advisory Board: Member

Cox Career Management Center: Peer Coach

Delta Sigma Pi: Vice President of Membership

Second Century Scholar

Where have you interned during your college career?

Citibank – New York, NY – Investment Banking Summer Analyst, Financial Institutions Group

Harris Williams – Richmond, VA – M&A Boot Camp Analyst

Human Ventures – New York, NY – Summer Analyst

The Bernstein Companies – Washington, DC – Asset Management Summer Analyst

Where will you be working after graduation? Moelis and Company – New York, NY – Investment Banking Analyst

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Ask questions – and pay attention to the answers you are given. The foundation of any personal or business relationship is asking questions and listening attentively. That goes for the most senior people in a business and the newest hires. A successful negotiation depends on asking questions that will reveal motivations, goals, and areas for concession. Just as effective CEOs ask the right questions of their reporting units, the most successful interns ask questions that demonstrate curiosity, attention, and a willingness to improve. High-performing students ask questions to engage with the material at hand, to understand it in ways that reach beyond the textbook and lecture.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Master the fundamentals. Strive to be an effective communicator, a persuasive writer, a critical thinker, and a lifelong learner.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I had always imagined an entrepreneur to be a jack-of-all-trades, a one-man show of sorts. I learned that even in a small start-up, a successful enterprise depends on the work of a team, one in which each of the members specialize in one aspect of the product or service.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? If I could redo my undergrad experience, I would seek out classes and opportunities to build a foundation in technology and computer science. I am someone who learns by doing, and I know I could speak the language of technology more fluently with personal experience building and using products. If I pursue a graduate degree, I will definitely focus on technological innovations.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of being a Don Jackson Fellow and Teaching Associate in the Encap & LCM Alternative Asset Management Center. As a fellow and TA, I’ve had the privilege of coaching students through behavioral and technical interview preparation and mentoring students as they run the gauntlet of professional recruitment. This experience has provided me the opportunity to teach, mentor, and cheer on students over the course of their academic careers.

Which classmate do you most admire? The classmate I admire most is Tatiana Butkevits, who is not only a friend but also a business partner. She’s a fierce competitor, a quick learner, a patient teacher, and a servant leader. At every step of my college career, I have aspired to live up to the example she has set. Tatiana has been both my toughest competitor and my loudest cheerleader. I look forward to seeing the leadership roles she holds in the future.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents are my greatest teachers and biggest fans. My dad is a writer and musician, and he taught me to research, always come prepared, nurture creativity, and remember the importance of being a lifelong learner. He also made me a grammar nerd and fostered my jazz education. My mom is a public affairs executive and she taught me to lead effectively, solve problems, build relationships, and execute well. She also taught me that being bossy is a strength, not a weakness. Both have relentlessly championed my academic, leadership, and entrepreneurial pursuits. Thank you, Mom and Dad.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? The top two items on my professional bucket list are to have someone invest in my ideas and to have the means to invest in someone else’s.

What are your hobbies? Yoga, Pilates, trying new restaurants, reading memoirs, wellness and psychology podcasts, road-tripping, and reality TV (it’s just the truth)

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

“Greta Felten has never met a door she can’t kick down. She is a force to be reckoned with and “is going to continue to show the world what a Cox education can do. And she does it all with a smile. In addition to being one of the Cox School’s best BBA students, she is also charming and professional in a way that makes our community gravitate to her. Greta has taken advantage of so many opportunities in her time here, but what I will remember about her most is how she gave back.  As a Cox student senator, she led the way in organizing a student/administration forum where the Cox community could come together to discuss the issues of the day.  She served as a peer mentor in the Cox Career Center to help younger students get as much out of their time here as she did.  And she was also a student representative to the SMU Board of Trustees.  Greta is the dream student.  She excels in the classroom, but also recognizes that she has the skills, and perhaps even, obligation, to give back to her school so those who come after her will have the same opportunities.  We will miss her tremendously when she graduates. The Cox School is a better place because she graced our hallways for four years.”

Jim Bryan
Associate Dean, BBA Program
SMU Cox School of Business




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