2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Lois van Weringh, Fordham University (Gabelli)

Lois van Weringh

Fordham University, Gabelli School of Business

“I love to be spontaneous but also need to have a good plan.”

Fun fact about yourself: I have insurance on my bike in the Netherlands

Hometown: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

High School: Keizer Karel College

Major: Finance

Favorite Business Course: Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF)

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

School Awards and Honors:

  • Alpha Sigma Nu
  • Faber Award
  • Finance Scholar
  • First Honors Dean’s List
  • Honors Thesis Program
  • UNOVA Scholarship Recipient
  • William E. Boyle Society
  • Woolworth Award

Community Work and Leadership Roles:

  • Gabelli School of Business Freshman Advising Program: Freshman Advising Coordinator (2022-2023), Freshman Advising Mentor & Industry Connectivity Committee Liaison (2021-2022)
  • Gabelli School of Business Math Recitation Leader (2022-2023)
  • Gabelli School of Business Ground Floor Teaching Assistant (2021-2023)
  • Gabelli School of Business Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Executive Board (2019-2021)
  • Gabelli School of Business Academic Tutor (2020-2023)
  • Smart Woman Securities: Chief Investment Officer (2021-2022), Consumer Discretionary and TMT Equity Research Analyst (2020), Associate (2019-2023)
  • Fordham University’s Student Managed Investment Fund: Managing Director & Healthcare Portfolio Manager (Fall 2022), Healthcare Analyst (Spring 2022)
  • Fordham University Office of Residential Life: Senior Resident Assistant (2022-2023), Student Life Council Voting member (2022-2023), Resident Assistant (2019-2022)
  • Fordham’s United Student Government Operations Committee Member (2019-2022)

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Portolan Capital Management, Boston, Intern (Summer 2021)
  • Credit Suisse, New York, Investment Banking Analyst (Summer 2022)

Where will you be working after graduation? Credit Suisse, Investment Banking Capital Markets Analyst

Who is your favorite business professor? My favorite professor at Fordham University is Professor Michael Gatto, who has been my Credit and Special Situation Investing professor. He teaches as part of the Gabelli School’s recently established O’Shea Center for Credit Analysis and Investment. The Center focuses on bridging the gap between academia and the financial markets through education, networking opportunities, and its connection to several credit industries. I have been fortunate enough to have been in Professor Gatto’s class for two semesters. His classes are engaging and exciting, but also are useful and relevant no matter what field within finance you want to pursue. Professor Gatto has had a successful career in finance and shares his experiences with the class, which has inspired me to pursue a career in credit. He is a great source of thoughtful advice, whether it be a question on an upcoming exam or what role to pursue after graduation. Professor Gatto genuinely cares about his students; he frequently reminds us: “The greatest reward for an educator is the success of their students.” I am very grateful to have been part of Professor Gatto’s classes, and am looking forward to continuing to be part of his network.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I have gained from studying business is the value of working on a team. At the Gabelli School of Business, the importance of teamwork and collaboration is embedded in our curriculum. I have taken part in many group projects, both inside and outside the classroom, which showed me first-hand the importance of working collaboratively with others, balancing people’s differences, and when necessary, managing conflict. I appreciate how the Gabelli School of Business has prepared me for the real world.

I also consider my experience as a Resident Assistant (RA) to have been an invaluable lesson in my business education. During my sophomore year of college, as part of my work-study arrangement, I became an RA. I was not quite sure what to expect or how the role of an RA would shape my college experience, having grown up in the Netherlands and being the first and only person in my family to attend university abroad. However, I found I learned a lot in the role and even continued to serve as an RA for the rest of my college career. As an RA, I often had to deal with many complex situations: students with serious academic issues—interpersonal conflicts, homesickness, Covid-19 protocols, among others. Working through these situations has put my skills in collaborating and managing conflict to work. Along the way, I worked with other amazing RAs who often did not attend the business school. Their unique perspectives allowed me to understand the value of working as part of a team in a very different way than I did during my class projects. As part of becoming the Senior Resident Assistant this year, I have been able to commit further to the role and work with others. I now not only work with residents and other RAs, but also with the Office of Residential Life, bridging the gap between each of these groups. This outside-the-classroom experience has been invaluable, and I recommend that everyone seek these types of experiences.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? I would advise any student looking to major in business to take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way and to seek out opportunities for whatever you may want to learn. Your college years are a unique opportunity, between classes and extra-curriculars, to prepare yourself and explore what you want to do in life—knowledge is there for the taking. From the moment I started at the Fordham University Gabelli School of Business, I was committed to getting everything out of my college experience. I am perhaps a bit unusual at Fordham University, considering I am not only an international student, but I also took some time off before college to work as an au pair to improve my English. The common path for foreign au pairs is to return home, which was originally my plan as I wanted to start my studies in the Netherlands. However, when I saw the educational opportunity that Fordham University offered, I resolved to do everything I could to attend. And, since I pay my own tuition, I wanted to make sure that I was not wasting any opportunities the School and the University had to offer. I have been very intentional in my efforts to work hard since day one, to do my best, and to get something out of every class and activity I have tried. Sometimes your path might not be easy or straightforward, it does not mean you cannot get there!

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Something that has surprised me most about majoring in business is people’s willingness to help others and the ways in which collaboration and caring for others can be such a powerful formula for success in business. At the Gabelli School of Business, I was fortunate enough to receive a business education grounded in the Jesuit values of teamwork and collaboration. Our education is based on the principle of caring for the whole person (cura personalis), rather than being self-focused and competitive, which might be expected in a business environment. Yet, at Fordham University, I never felt that way. From administrators to faculty members to students, I have experienced a network of people who care for one another and want to see each other succeed.

An example of this is the alumni network, which has been an invaluable resource during my time at the Gabelli School of Business and at Fordham University. Many of them I met through Fordham’s chapter of Smart Woman Securities (SWS). SWS is a national organization focused on educating women about finance and investing. I joined the club as a freshman and later became the chief investment officer on the Executive Board. SWS has been the key to my success at the Gabelli School; everyone has always been very enthusiastic and happy to share their perspectives and advice. Thanks to all their help, I was able to land my internship at Credit Suisse, for which I am very grateful. Even outside Fordham University, I have noticed people’s willingness to help others. During my summer internship at Credit Suisse, my team really went out of their way to help the other interns and me. I learned more than I ever thought I would and always felt very welcome on the team. I am really excited to return to Credit Suisse post-graduation; they evidenced the collaborative and caring approach to business that I have learned during my time at Fordham University.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I had a difficult time answering this question because I really do believe I made the most out of my four years at the Gabelli School of Business. I promised myself I would take advantage of all the opportunities that came my way, and I feel like I succeeded in doing so. One thing I would pay closer attention to in business school is the classes I would take. I came to Fordham University knowing I wanted to pursue a career in business, but I was unsure of the area in which I wanted to focus. During the last four years, I took the opportunity to really figure out what I wanted to do and eventually realized I wanted to pursue a career in finance. I think that having a clear direction of what I wanted to do and what I wanted to get out of my education was very helpful and productive. It set me up for success more so than seeing business school as a way to explore, like I did during my undergraduate career.

What business leader do you admire most? One of the business leaders whom I admire most is Jenna Florendo. Jenna graduated from the Gabelli School of Business in 2019 and has since been extremely successful in everything she does—working first at Blackstone and now at TPG.  She is smart, hard-working, caring, and loved by everyone who meets her. I met Jenna through Smart Woman Securities. During her time at Fordham, she was the chief executive officer of SWS, and since graduating, has continued to be involved in the club through several mentorship programs. From the first time I met her in my freshman year, she inspired me to work hard and to be the best version of myself. She gave me advice on how to pursue a career in finance, as well as how to navigate college. I am very grateful to have such an amazing mentor as Jenna, and one day hope to become the person she is today.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? At Fordham University, I am most proud of leading Fordham University’s Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) as one of the three managing directors. SMIF is a student-run, multi-strategy global investment fund that actively manages $2 million dollars of Fordham University’s endowment. The two consecutive semester course consists of the Gabelli School’s top finance students, and together we manage a balanced portfolio of major asset classes of equities, bonds, foreign exchange, and alternatives such as commodities and real estate.

This real-world investing experience is demanding, but also is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had at Fordham University, fully emerging myself in a real-life investing experience. As one of the managing directors this Fall semester, I had to lead the Fund during a highly volatile time. However, we were able to outperform our benchmark by more than we have ever done in the past, of which we can be very proud. I am very grateful to have worked with such a great group of students led by Professor Jim Kelly, who always has given us the most insightful advice.

Looking more at the bigger picture and my life outside of Fordham University, I am also proud of how far I have come. It might sound trite, but having lived in the Netherlands for 18 years, I would have never thought I would end up living in New York City, pursuing a career in investment banking. At the age of 12, I started working as a babysitter and delivered newspapers in my neighborhood every Sunday. When I was 14, I also took on position as a cashier at the local supermarket, where I continued to work until I graduated high school. During high school, I even had my own marketing firm, which allowed me to go to Paris Fashion Week every year. I worked all of these jobs while also being an athlete and taking the hardest classes my high school had to offer – and I never once complained. Now at Fordham University, I have four different jobs that help me pay for my tuition. I have always understood that you must work for what you want, and I have never depended upon anyone. I believe you get what you deserve when you work hard. I hope my background and my ability to make the best of every situation will stay with me throughout my career and life; the adversity I faced growing up made me the person I am today.

Which classmate do you most admire? The classmate that I admire most is Colin Wexler. Colin graduated from the Gabelli School of Business in 2022, and I had to pleasure of getting to know him really well during the past couple of years. Colin is hard-working and compassionate, always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it. He has accomplished more than anyone I know during his time at Fordham University. Besides his academic success, he has also been very involved on campus, including his involvement in Residential Life, the Gabelli School of Business Deans Council, and the Freshman Advising Mentor Program. Each of these programs has changed for the better because of Colin. As an example, Colin had a tremendous impact on the Freshman Advising Mentor (FAM) Program, for which we briefly worked together. The FAM Program is designed to ensure that the freshman class has a successful transition to college by having upperclassmen mentor these first-year students through orientation sessions, small group sessions, panels, DEI educational events, and 1:1 meetings throughout the year. Without Colin, the program would not have been where it is today. He always ensured every student was heard and seen through several (diversity) initiatives he implemented. I’m really grateful to have worked with someone like Colin. He has a very different perspective on things; he is someone from whom we can all learn.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? As an international student, I had no idea what I was getting into when I began studying at the Gabelli School of Business; I had never even written an essay in English. I was uncertain about what to expect, but I also was incredibly excited. Even though my four years at Fordham University definitely had their challenges, the members of the Dean’s Office at the Gabelli School of Business have always been there for me. They have believed in me from day one, and have helped me every step of the way. As an example, during my very first week of college, I mentioned to Freshman Dean Betsy Parr that I was worried about paying my tuition. From that moment on, she always has gone out of her way to help me. I can truly say I would not be here without her, and that I will be eternally grateful for her support.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Giving back to the Gabelli School is tops for my professional bucket list. Something that has been invaluable to me over the past couple of years has been the mentorship that has been provided to me and from which I have greatly benefited. During my first couple of years at Fordham University, I was able to seek guidance from upperclassmen and alumni through clubs like Smart Woman Securities. They helped me explore different areas within business, but also prepared me for interviews and networking opportunities; they got me ready for the business world. This was very helpful when I started my summer internship at Credit Suisse; I was ready and had such a great summer due to all their help and guidance. Now that I am a senior, I am able to give back and help underclassmen the same way upperclassmen helped me when I needed it. Mentorship and helping others will always be a priority in my professional career. It is so important to give back.

What are your hobbies? I really enjoy traveling with friends and family. Growing up in Europe, I was very fortunate to visit many countries. My grandparents live in the Alps in France, so my family and I would drive to visit them every summer and winter. While a student, I made many trips with school to cities like Prague and Paris. I developed a love for travel, which eventually took me to Santa Barbara, California, to study English when I was 16 and then led me to the decision to work as an au pair in the U.S. after high school. During my time as an au pair, I wanted to see as much of the U.S. as possible – I lived in Boston and California and traveled whenever I had spare time, from Vermont to Florida, all over California, to Tennessee, Nevada, and even to Canada. I always loved New York City and eventually decided to enroll at Fordham University. While a student at the Gabell School of Business, I love spending time in Manhattan. I live on Fordham University’s Bronx campus, which is only a short train ride from Manhattan. I love walking around the city and exploring neighborhoods and restaurants. I also am very fortunate to have continued to stay in close touch with the family I au paired for before college, and I really enjoy visiting them. I visit them pretty much every chance I get; they are like family to me now. I am so grateful to have them in my life and for everything they have done for me.

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

“Lois Van Weringh personifies the Gabelli School of Business mission of positive global change through compassionate business leadership. Moving from the Netherlands to the United States at age 18, Lois has the grit of a seasoned globetrotter, with the humility and eagerness of a student of the world. In her four years at Fordham, she acclimated to a new culture while elevating the overall student experience for herself and her peers.

Her list of accomplishments includes a wide range of academic, research, DEI work, and volunteer service. Beyond her formal accolades, Lois’ legacy is defined by her supervision of the University’s invaluable Freshman Advising Mentoring program. With compassion, vision, and patience, she has recognized the needs of incoming students and fostered an environment of mentorship and support between upper-classmen and first-years. She transformed the program by creating smaller, more intimate, mentorship groups and tasking upperclassmen with meeting regularly one-on-one with freshmen, something Lois wished she had available to her in her first year.

The Gabelli School was both proud and fortunate to be represented by Lois in two different Women in Business programs through Blackstone and Credit Suisse. Her worldly perspective, care and attention to her peers, and steadfast dedication to mentorship and innovation are unparalleled. Lois’ contributions over the last four years have made the Gabelli School of Business a better place to learn and work. In pursuit of ongoing new knowledge and social good, we could not have elected a better representative.”

Betsy Parr, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean, Gabelli School of Business


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