2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: Lizbeth Edwards Smith, St. John’s University (Tobin)

Lizbeth Edwards Smith

St. John’s University, The Peter J. Tobin College of Business

“I am passionate about things that inspire me – whether that’s a new recipe or helping others.”

Fun fact about yourself: I speak three languages!

Hometown: Panama City, Panama

High School: The Oxford School (Located in Panama City, Panama)

Major: Finance

Minor: Cyber Security Systems

Favorite Business Course: Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF), which is a class for undergraduate students at the Peter J. Tobin College of Business. In this class, we had the opportunity to generate investment ideas, perform equity research, and manage assets with a total value of $4.6M (at the time). As students, we impacted the fund by performing written recommendations on the purchase and sale of securities while gaining real-life experience.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Awards & Honors:

  • Honor’s Program
  • Dean’s List
  • Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society Member
  • John’s University Merit Scholarship Recipient – Scholastic Excellence Scholarship
  • ALPFA Scholarship (Wells Fargo Sponsored)
  • Applied Finance Institute Fellow at St. John’s University
  • President’s Society Member at St. John’s University

Extracurricular activities & Leadership Roles:

  • Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force of the Peter J. Tobin School of Business
  • Director Student and Corporate Relations of ALPFA’s Chapter at St. John’s University
  • Resident Life Hall Council – O’Connor Hall President (2019-2020)
  • Project AIM Mentee (2018-2019)
  • I. S. E. Network
    • Mentee (2018-2019)
    • Mentor (2019 – Present)

Community Service:

  • Academic Service Learning at the Briarwood Family Residence
  • Management Consulting Project for the Queens Community House

Where have you interned during your college career?


  • Deutsche Bank – Investment Bank: Sales, Trading, and Structuring Fixed Income, Currencies, and Commodities Summer Analyst


  • Nexus Fellow at The D.E. Shaw Group
  • Fellow at Dell Technologies & ALPFA

Where will you be working after graduation?

Company: Deutsche Bank

Title: Investment Bank: Sales, Trading, and Structuring Fixed Income, Currencies, and Commodities Analyst

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Time management skills. During high school, you will find that the day lasts forever. In college, you have to learn how to multitask. You will encounter extracurricular activities of interest and networking events alongside your social life that you must balance to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Being able to prioritize your responsibilities will take you far in life.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Keep an open mind. This is important as you enter an innovative industry that is constantly changing. As you begin your classes, notice what sparks your interest. Read about it, research it, and ask questions. It may be something that you explore later on as a business opportunity or something that motivates you to explore a different career pathway.

Additionally, something that really helped me was having a mentor. Having a mentor is a great way to learn more about career opportunities, improve time management skills, and receive advice from a professional who has already faced things that you are currently dealing with. Through mentorship, you receive guidance, encouragement, and motivation as you advance in the early stages of your career.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? One of the things that came to my surprise was how willing professors and professionals in your network were to help you. If you are eager to learn and reach out with questions and research that interests you, you would be surprised how everyone in the industry is willing to help you learn and succeed.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? As I look back, I am truly grateful for how it all played out. I lived in the moment and learned from all of my experiences. If there is something I would consider changing, I would add a Data Science minor to my studies. I am genuinely interested in Blockchain technology and data analysis.

What business executive do you admire most? Ursula Burns, the former CEO of Xerox, is a woman in business that I admire. She was the first Black woman to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Ursula grew up in the Lower East Side in a low-income household and proceeded to study a career in STEM that led her to her C-Suite role. She now sits on the board of Exxon Mobil, the Ford Foundation, IHS Towers, Nestlé, Uber, and Waystar.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? It was leaving Panama, the country I was born and raised in, to study higher education in another country is the accomplishment I am most proud of. Starting over and pursuing something that I am truly passionate about is not an easy task. I am happy I took the leap of faith because I discovered myself and what makes me happy. Although I didn’t have family and friends by my side, I made sure to make the most of it.

Which classmate do you most admire? A classmate I admire in Nikhil Sankar. He is a Finance major at St. John’s University. Nikhil is an international student with a strong work ethic and a firm moral compass. He always tries to do what is right and will succeed in the future.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I want to thank God and my parents for being there for me. My parents sacrificed a lot for my education, and it is something I will never forget. Additionally, I would like to thank my mentors for constantly giving me guidance and support throughout my undergraduate studies. Thanks to them, I went outside of my comfort zone and pursued opportunities I never thought would be possible.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? One of my work goals is to work in another country for some time. This would expose me to a different culture and would allow me to learn a new language. Additionally, I would like to have the opportunity to be in a C-Suite position. Through this position, I would like to expand on my current company’s D&I opportunities, mentor younger professionals and students, and volunteer/partner with an organization such as ALPFA that gives back to the community.

What are your hobbies? Some of the things I enjoy during my free time include exploring new restaurants, visiting museums and art galleries, working out, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

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

“Lizbeth has been in two classes with me: an investments class and in the Student Managed Investment Fund class of Spring 2021. Her resume speaks for her formal achievements, but what stood out to me was how motivated and engaged she was. She was constantly attentive during lectures, and was the most enthusiastic participant in every class discussion. In all aspects of classwork she went above and beyond what I required. She took pains to be reliable and communicative, which led naturally to a good working relationship with me and her fellows. These qualities, I think, will stand her in good stead in the workplace. I expect great things of her!”

Dr. Andre B. de Souza
Director of the Applied Finance Institute
Faculty of the Finance & Economics Department at the Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University



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