2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Zachary “Zach” Skubic, Wake Forest University

Zachary “Zach” Skubic

Wake Forest University School of Business

“I fix stuff, I know things, and I like to make people laugh.”

Fun fact about yourself: I’ve always loved planes and am training for my pilot’s license

Hometown: Tower, MN

High School: Ravenscroft School – Raleigh, NC

Major: Finance

Minor: Computer Science

Favorite Business Course: FIN 236 – Private Equity

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Pre-Wall Street Career Track – Member, Student Advisor, and Peer Mentor

Sigma Pi Fraternity – Member, former Committee and Chair Positions

Undergraduate Business Student Council – Member

Wake Forest School of Business Student Ambassador

Greater Winston-Salem Minority Business Grant Program – Remote (Winston-Salem, NC) – Financial Review Committee – Sophomore Fall

Federal Reserve Monetary Policy Challenge Team – Former Member

Dean’s List – All Semesters

Where have you interned during your college career?

Storj Labs – Remote (Atlanta, GA), Business Development Intern – Freshman Summer

Decisionpoint International – Charlotte, NC – Investment Banking Summer Analyst – Sophomore Summer

BofA Securities, Leveraged Finance Group – Charlotte, NC – Summer Analyst – Junior Summer

Where will you be working after graduation? BofA Securities, Leveraged Finance Group – Analyst

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I’ve learned throughout my time at Wake Forest is that everyone can find a place where they belong in the business world. What I mean by this is that no matter who you are, where you’re from, or what you are passionate about or good at, there will always be a team out there that values you for who you are and appreciates your contributions. Sometimes, it can feel like your back is against the wall – especially in competitive industries like IB and PE; you’ve just got to trust yourself, stick to your values, and work hard, and your efforts will eventually pay off.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Spend a considerable amount of time on your business courses, but don’t forget that there’s more to life (and business) than corporate concepts. Combining your study of business with classes that tap into other interests and passions will help you get the most out of your education and make you a more effective business leader.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? My biggest (pleasant) surprise as a business major has been the sheer breadth of fundamental business courses I’ve had to take as a Finance major and their interconnectedness. At Wake, we are required to take a wide range of courses from Marketing to Business Law to Strategic Management (and lots of accounting courses), in addition to our core and elective Finance courses. Even though my academic “focus” is technically in Finance, I feel like I have a solid understanding of business and management fundamentals from these other course offerings. I’ve learned a lot from courses I, frankly, otherwise might not have taken, and will begin my business career as a more well-rounded professional as a result.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Generally speaking, I wish all of us could have the in-class time back that we missed from COVID. Having to take multiple semesters of online classes gave me a new appreciation for in-person learning experiences and reminded me how lucky we are to have things back to “normal” at Wake. The decisions made by the school were appropriate at the time. Still, I wish I could go back and form closer relationships with the professors and students from those courses and engage more with the class in-person versus an online format. It’s been great to have these in-person opportunities back throughout my junior and senior years.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Personally, I am most proud of (and most grateful for) my acceptance into Wake Forest and the Pre-Wall Street Career Track. The personal and professional opportunities that this track and this University have provided me are beyond anything I could have imagined, and I feel very fortunate that I’ve already been able to give back to the program in so many different ways. I had so many different people help me get to where I am today, and it makes me really proud to be able to pay that forward to the next generation of Deacs.

Which classmate do you most admire? I’m very fortunate that I get to spend my days in class around lots of smart people. I’ve made some great friends over the years, but one person who sticks out in my mind as a leader and just a solid, down-to-earth person is Haley Armstrong. Haley always brings a positive attitude to everything she does and can light up the room with a new conversation or insightful comment. She goes out of her way to help her peers on Wake’s UBSC or in her leadership role within the pre-Law organization, is eager to provide a unique point of view in class, or even just to check in and ask how your day has been or what you’ve been up to. Her resilience and dedication to her academic and professional pursuits is truly admirable, and I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to work with her on our UBSC this year and in a few classes now.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Undoubtedly my parents, Mike and Stacy. I cannot even begin to describe how much I respect my parents’ work ethic, perseverance, and determination, or express how grateful I am for everything they have done for my brother, Nathan, and I over the years. My parents have always worked hard to provide us with a great education and a comfortable life; they have supported me throughout all my endeavors and been there through all my ups-and-downs. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their sacrifices, and I’m grateful every single day for their love and support.

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

– Start, grow, and sell a business – helping operate from inception to exit.

– A bit more ambiguous, but I love to travel so I’d love to visit international conferences or work with businesses in as many countries as I can.

What are your hobbies? Guitar, Piano, Golf, Poker, Aviation, Woodworking, Cooking/Grilling, Traveling

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

“Zach is a selected member of the Pre-Wall Street program at Wake which allowed me to develop a relationship over three years. It was clear from our first sessions that Zach was hard-working, bright but equally important, intellectually curious about how to explore potential career opportunities. One of the core values of the Pre-Wall program is to give back and support the students that come after you, which Zach embodies. It is his leadership and selfless approach when mentoring other students, creating course content for future students, and working to improve the student experience at Wake that stands out the most. Zach’s career is well underway, and will no doubt be a bright one based on what I have observed these past three years.”

Martin Malloy
Professor of the Practice
Faculty Director of the Wall Street Prep Track Program

“Zach Skubic is a wonderful student and a remarkable individual. Always willing to offer his perspective insights in class, he combines a deep understanding of the material covered combined with the ability to articulate his thoughts. His academic excellence is complemented by humility and a focus on meaningful relationships and virtuous behavior. Zach has been active in many ways during his time at Wake Forest, including being a Student Ambassador for the School of Business as well as serving on the Greater Winston-Salem Minority Grant Program. He has also served as a Peer Mentor as he is always willing to lend a hand to others. His accomplishments are many and diverse, yet he is personable and likes to make people laugh. Wake Forest has been truly enriched by Zach’s presence, as have I by being one of his professors. Zach’s future is bright indeed, and he has left an indelible mark on his alma mater.”

Peter C. Brockway
Executive in Residence


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