2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Abigail (Abby) Bartlett, Miami University (Farmer)

Abigail (Abby) Bartlett

Miami University, Farmer School of Business

“Trader Joe’s fanatic and passionate about exploring the world!” 

Fun fact about yourself: I have visited all seven continents & have dual citizenship in both the United States and Slovenia!

Hometown Broadview Heights, Ohio

High School: Gilmour Academy (Gates Mills, Ohio)

Major: Finance

Minor: Accountancy

Favorite Business Course:  My favorite business course has been ACC 321 – Intermediate Financial Accounting. I enjoyed learning more about the application and evaluation of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), and how GAPP impacts financial statements. This has given me a much greater appreciation for how the recording and reporting process for various transactions and events over the business cycle are reflected in and can be easily identified during analysis of the various standard financial statements.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Extracurricular Activities & Leadership Roles:

RedHawk Ventures, Managing Director (April 2021 – Present): RedHawk Ventures is one of the only student-led venture capital funds in the country, managing $400,000 in capital and investing up to $25,000 in Miami student and alumni-founded startups. As Managing Director, I am responsible for coordinating startup and ecosystem involvement, investments, portfolio management, and professional development for our 30+ student analysts from across Miami’s various schools and programs. I am empowered everyday with this opportunity to teach and lead other students about VC. I am currently collaborating with other members of our executive team to kickoff fundraising for RV Fund 2.0 to allow more students to have this unique opportunity and further support the Miami ecosystem.

Delta Sigma Pi (Alpha Upsilon), Director of Mentorship (January 2022 – Present), Vice President of Chapter Operations (June 2021 – May 2022): My experience in Deltasig has defined my college experience by allowing me to grow personally and professionally. As Vice President of Chapter Operations (VPCO), I actively managed and oversaw the maintenance of the Chapter Management Program (CMP). I also helped earn recognition for National Most Outstanding Service Award and the highest level of chapter accreditation, Chapter of Excellence. My involvement with the mentorship program has been incredibly rewarding – I have helped coordinate and redesign our mentorship program to ensure pledges are receiving the best professional development experience as they integrate into the chapter. I have also served on the Recruitment and Pledge Education committees.

My other involvements included Wall Street Week (study away experience; January 2022), Phi Sigma Sigma (Iota Tau; May 2020 – Present), and Miami University Investment Banking Club (August 2022 – Present). I have also served as an Undergraduate Associate for ESP 103, BUS 102, and ESP 252.


Cincy Inno Five Under 25 (2022): An annual award from Cincy Inno, a Cincinnati digital media publication in Cincinnati, OH, which identifies and honors innovators, founders, and entrepreneurial ecosystem players. As one of the honorees, I was identified as having the possibility and potential to play a key role in bringing success to the region and world.

Dustin David Schmidt Scholarship Recipient (2022): Awarded with the Dustin David Schmidt Scholarship for my participation in the Alpha Upsilon Chapter of Delta Sigma Pi for my academic merit and demonstration of strong character (a competitive, merit-based award).

Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) U.S. Northeast Regional Champion (December 2020 – April 2021: VCIC is the world’s largest venture capital competition amongst top-tier undergraduate (and graduate) students. Our student group participated in Miami’s Venture Capital Immersion Program to prepare for the competition and to uphold Miami’s tradition of success in this competition. The preparation involved sessions covering topics such as valuation, due diligence, deal analysis, term street construction, understanding venture debt, equity crowdfunding, and more. We were able to apply these skills and effectively apply due diligence frameworks to comprehensively assess 3 startups within 48 hours, draft a term sheet representative of our investment thesis, and present in front of judges. We placed first in the Northeast Region, continuing Miami’s legacy as champions, and later participated in Global Finals.

Beta Gamma Sigma: Recognized as a member of the top 10% of students in the top 5% of business schools around the world with my induction into the international business honor society.

Where have you interned during your college career?

Investment Banking Summer Analyst, Goldman Sachs (Chicago, IL; May 2022 – August 2022): During the summer after my junior year, I worked for Goldman Sachs in their Investment Banking Division within their Financial Institutions Group (FIG). As a Summer Analyst, I supported due diligence on one deal and two client service teams by analyzing financial statements, modeling projections, and creating various slide decks. I also evaluated banking and M&A trends to identify areas of opportunity for a client’s potential expansion into FinTech. To conclude my summer, I performed a comprehensive case study on a financial institution on financial, competitive, and market position with banking hot topics.

Venture Capital Analyst Intern, Ohio Innovation Fund (Columbus, OH; May 2021 – July 2021): My time at Ohio Innovation Fund (OIF) required me to become familiar with the MedTech, FinTech, and SaaS spaces as I researched seven potential investments with corresponding due diligence packets. I also assisted portfolio company leadership teams on various strategic projects, including fundraising communication, market research, and board calls. Finally, I spearheaded consulting projects on FDA regulations, acquisition landscapes, and worked on pro forma projections for various portfolio and pipeline companies.

Venture Capital Fellow & Region Lead, New Stack Ventures (Chicago, IL/Remote; August 2020 – January 2021): I worked as a Venture Capital Fellow at New Stack Ventures (NSV) during the fall semester of my sophomore year. I applied NSV-specific filtering & evaluation criteria to identify 100+ compelling startups in 6 months that aligned with the fund thesis. I was responsible for building startup ecosystem knowledge in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee by networking with accelerators, incubators, and other key players. Through tools like PitchBook, Crunchbase, AngelList, and other offline channels, I was able to source, prospect, and evaluate potential deals within this region, while leading a team within the Midwest region.

Legislative Intern, Office of U.S. Senator Rob Portman (Cleveland, OH; June 2020 – July 2020): Working as a Legislative Intern provided me with the unique opportunity to advocate for constituents by documenting 200+ concerns into the U.S. Senate’s Intranet Quorum database and conduct research to report on local economic changes during the COVID-19 pandemic to staff assistants.

Where will you be working after graduation? After graduation from Miami University, I will be joining Goldman Sachs as an Investment Banking Analyst in the Financial Institutions Group (FIG) in their Chicago office. I had a fantastic summer internship and am looking forward to rejoining the Chicago FIG team soon!

Who is your favorite business professor? David Eyman is my favorite business professor. Better known as “Eyman” by students, he was my first ever collegiate professor – 8:30 am, Monday morning on my first day of classes. I arrived early to class and Eyman immediately engaged me, both welcoming and challenging me, and it set the trajectory for my entire college experience.  In a single moment I went from “butterflies in my stomach” to confident self-assurance, on track for a great education and launch into my professional career.  I will be forever grateful for this single moment, and everything that it both portended and which has followed.

Eyman was my ESP 103 professor, which is a required first year Entrepreneurship course.  As a part of Miami’s unique, competitive, and very powerful First Year Integrated Core (FYIC) program, ESP 103 requires both pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and learning to be comfortable with the “grey areas” that life inevitably and routinely presents to each of us. I was very skeptical coming into this course but was immediately encouraged by the sage wisdom which Eyman readily shared and the wise guidance which he has always provided.

Beyond the few weeks when I was in his class, Eyman has acted as a sounding board or me, starting when I navigated the process of changing my major and transitioned into college.  I later served as his Undergraduate Associate for ESP 103.  Eyman has remained a close advisor for my entire time in the Farmer School of Business and has continued to support me throughout my professional journey. He was key in my decision to both join my first club, RedHawk Ventures, and to compete for (and accept) one of my first professional experiences as a Venture Capital Fellow at Chicago-based New Stack Ventures. I have never doubted that I had his support and I know I can always go to him for wise advice, encouragement, and professional support.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The value of making a good first impression is the biggest and most important lesson I have learned from studying business.  Few things can beat the importance of authentic, genuine relationships, regardless of where you are in your career, and good first impressions are the foundation of genuine relationships.

This was stressed to me during my first semester at Miami, as our professors all emphasized the importance of proper introductions and how to effectively develop a professional network.

My experience has since validated how great networks and relationships are among a business professional’s greatest assets.

I have seen first-hand the importance of meeting and developing relationships with as many people as possible, especially those with unique experiences. It isn’t possible to predict when one of these relationships can profoundly benefit one or both of you.  I have had multiple experiences, where simply having connections with those in my desired field has enabled me to create a group of close confidants. This group has become a support system of advocates who have been, and continue to be, essential to my development as I continue to navigate through my career.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field?:

The advice that I’d give to a prospective business major is to keep an open mind. When I came into the Farmer School of Business, I had no idea what the future would hold for me. I knew little to nothing about Business Economics, which was my major at the time.  The First Year Integrated Core program opened my eyes to the full spectrum of business specialties, and I opened my aperture.  The world really does revolve around business. The skills you learn in business school are incredibly transferrable and prepare any student who applies themselves for success regardless of where you would like your career to go.

I trusted that my mentors and advisors were truly looking at what was best for me, so I kept an open mind when new opportunities came my way. This advice can truly be applied to many aspects of the college experience, but it’s critical to keep an open mind when it comes to trying out new clubs, considering a new potential major, or meeting new people with diverse backgrounds.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The simple fact that I am graduating as a business major is the one thing that has surprised me most about majoring in business! When looking at colleges, I initially thought I would go into baseball analytics and had the dream of becoming the first female General Manager in Major League Baseball.  I was then invited by Miami to apply for consideration for the school’s then-new Presidential Fellows Program.  While I was only selected as an alternate, this program had a profound impact on my education because of my pre-admission individual, in-person exposure to the most senior leadership at Miami University.

Following the selections announcement, the University’s Director of Admissions took decisive steps to help convince me to still select Miami University.  She first told me that the Sports Leadership and Management major, where I had been accepted, was the wrong major for me.  While the Farmer School of Business incoming Class of 2023 was already “oversubscribed” with acceptances, she convinced me that, should I continue to pursue baseball analytics, I would be better-prepared if I majored in Business Economics.  She then exercised her personal admissions override to enter me into Farmer, and I have never looked back!

I entered my freshman year optimistic and excited for the future. After completing my first semester at Miami, I had complete confidence that I had made the right decision, both for college and my program of choice. After my first semester I realized how business truly intersects our entire world. I realized how a degree in business would benefit me long-term and I am incredibly grateful that I was pushed to go down this path!

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why?: I would try to take my introductory courses in each subject earlier. While I did change my major a few times, I spaced my introductory courses into each primary business subject out over my four years, believing that this would provide a better sequencing.  Unfortunately, my decision prevented me from exploring other career or educational opportunities that I might have enjoyed.

What business leader do you admire most? Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder and CEO of Bumble is the business leader that I admire the most. Her story is incredible – she started her career working in startups as soon as she graduated from college and quickly became the Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing at Tinder. She left the company, though, after being forced out.

Whitney Wolfe Heard has always been both driven and focused on female empowerment, so it makes sense that her next venture after facing adversity at Tinder was creating Bumble, a dating app which focuses on females making the first move.

While this career move is inspiring, I admire her because she became the youngest female, self-made billionaire and the youngest woman to take a company public at 31 (and did so with her son on her hip). She has always stayed true to her values and never backed down from a challenge. Her reaction to adversity is quite inspiring and I truly admire how she has never taken “no” for an answer. Instead, she has found a way to go about turning her dreams into a reality, regardless of what was thrown in her direction. Her resilience is something that I intend to emulate throughout my personal and professional career.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Becoming a Slovenian citizen is the achievement that I am most proud of. My maternal grandmother and grandfather are 100% Slovenian, and I am proud to have grown up with a strong Slovenian influence. I have taken great pride in partaking in Slovenian traditions and have become involved in the Slovenian community in Cleveland, which has the largest population of Slovenians outside the country itself.

My Slovenian great grandparents were refugees following World War II; my grandparents were born in a displaced persons camp and their families emigrated from Austria to the United States with nothing.  Despite incredible adversity and because of great family sacrifice, my grandparents have persevered and had incredibly successful lives. My Slovenian citizenship reminds me daily of the many sacrifices that were made to enable me to have the opportunities which I am fortunate to have had. While I will be forever proud to be an American, getting my Slovenian citizenship has allowed me to feel further connected to my Slovenian roots.

Which classmate do you most admire? Duncan Fox, an Accountancy Major, is the classmate that I admire the most. Duncan was the very first person I met at Miami – I happened to randomly sit down next to him at the dining hall right after my parents dropped me off freshman year and we have been quite close ever since. He is an incredibly intelligent, well-spoken, and reliable friend to everyone who knows him. Despite being heavily involved in multiple organizations (Alpha Chapter of Beta Theta Pi, Miami University Men’s Glee Club, the Cheesies acappella group, an on-campus job), he has maintained a high reputation within Miami University and the Farmer School of Business by being a resource for all of those around him.

Whenever I need a laugh, I know I can count on Duncan to cheer me up. Duncan is one of the brightest and most driven people that I have worked with at Miami, yet he is incredibly humble and will go out of his way to help anyone. He is the definition of a life-long learner who has an admirable work ethic and is incredibly poised. He leads with confidence and can command the respect of any room he walks into. We have chosen different professional paths, but know that I will continue to look up to him as he begins what I know will be a very successful career.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I could list many people, including my parents, as they have continuously supported me throughout thick and thin. However, the first name that comes to mind and the person I want to thank the most is Joseph Vavpetic, my Grandpa.

My Grandpa was born in 1948, in a Displaced Persons Camp in Spittal an der Drau, Austria.  His parents were war refugees who fled the communist takeover of Slovenia, then a part of Yugoslavia. When he was 2 years old, his family emigrated from Austria to the United States.

He immediately faced adversity when he began his education in English as a second language. His parents had faced severe hardships, living in the DP Camp for several years and once they arrived in America, the hardships continued. The family, however, had strong faith and placed extreme value on Catholic schools, where tuition required even more sacrifice. Perseverance in the face of extreme adversity is the principal “life lesson” that my Grandpa grew up with from the moment of his birth.

After high school he did not have the opportunity to go to college, but instead began working at a Lincoln Electric factory in Cleveland. He had extreme company loyalty and worked for the company for over 50 years. Even though he started in a factory piecework role, he worked his way up to become National Sales Manager.He and my grandmother, who was born in the same Displaced Persons Camp in Austria, made the necessary sacrifices to provide my Mom and Uncle with Catholic educations and to ensure that the Slovenian traditions continued to be passed down.

My Grandpa has taught me about resilience, overcoming adversity, and the importance of hard work, family, and staying true to your values. He has always been one of my biggest supporters and has encouraged me to follow my dreams. In fact, he is the reason I am where I am today. When it came to choosing a college, I initially discounted Miami since I didn’t think I would go to an in-state school. It was a conversation with my Grandpa which led me to my final decision.  I realized that I would have been throwing away an incredible education at one of the best business schools in the country.

I am forever grateful to call my Grandpa one of my best friends and am incredibly fortunate to always have him in my corner. Thank you, Grandpa, for always pushing me to be my best and for helping me get to where I am today. I could not have done it without you!

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

The first thing on my professional bucket list is to work and live abroad at some point in my professional career.

The second item on my professional bucket list is to give back to Miami University and serve as a resource to students who come after me. This could be through serving as of a board member, advisor, or guest speaker, or any other appropriate role.

What are your hobbies?:  I love traveling and have been fortunate enough to travel to all seven continents! When I am not exploring new places, though, I love cooking, watching Cleveland sports, and spending time with friends and family.

What made Abigail such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Over four years, Abby has consistently and relentlessly demonstrated excellence in her academic, social, and professional pursuits.

While still a Freshman, Abby led her team to a victory over more than 100 teams in a competitive project regarding healthcare. Out finalists presented to the client live in Cleveland. During her final presentation, Abby was articulate, confident, and knowledgeable. Her presentation skills, demeanor, and topic expertise demonstrated professionalism far above expectations. What I recall so vividly is at the end of the presentation I noted the clients and faculty all looking around the room to see if everyone else had the same reaction. We did. I turned to see the team exiting the presentation area and watched as one of the executives (Head of patient experience) approached Abby. I watched Abby smiling pleasantly while she accepted a business card. When I asked her about it, Abby confirmed that she was asked to submit a resume even though she was a Freshman. There were no available or published jobs for Freshmen, yet the client would create a position outside the normal duties of interns just to have Abby join them. The client had intended to help Abby become a leader in their organization over time by getting her in early.”

David Eyman
Associate Lecturer & Farmer School of Business Director of Innovation


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