2024 Best & Brightest Business Major: Sam Sprute, Loyola Marymount University

Sam Sprute

Loyola Marymount University

“Philosophical gym-bro and ex-doctor wannabe turned aspiring financier with a love for meme finance accounts.”

Fun fact about yourself: I broke both my elbows this year, at the same time.

Hometown: Van Nuys, CA

High School: Notre Dame High School, Sherman Oaks

Major: Finance

Minor: Accounting

Favorite Business Course: Tie: Entertainment Finance & Investment Banking

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  1. Finance Society – President
  2. LMU Competitions
    1. AICC – Deloitte Audit Innovation Campus Challenge, 2022 National Champions
    2. CFA IRC – Team Leader for the CFA Institute Research Challenge, 2nd Place
  3. LMU Cub Fund – Team Lead/Mentor
  4. Rains Research Assistant – Entertainment finance research under Dr. David Offenberg
  5. Bloomberg Learning Lab – Mentor
  6. Sigma Phi Epsilon – VP Finance
  7. Contract Biologist for the Butterfly Project run out of Moorpark College

Where have you interned during your college career?

  1. Deloitte, Los Angeles, Audit & M&A Summer Intern
  2. TELEO Capital, Manhattan Beach, Private Equity Fall Analyst
  3. Concordia Capital, Remote, Investment Banking Summer Analyst

Where will you be working after graduation? Intrepid Investment Bankers, Analyst

Who is your favorite business professor? Dr. Hai Tran – Dr. Tran was the first person I thought to ask for advice when I received competing job offers this Fall. He took the time, out of college hours, to talk me through the pros and cons of each offer and help me rationalize a highly emotional situation. This is just one story of Dr. Tran’s impact on me and LMU’s Finance Program. His advice, guidance, and advocacy are a large reason why LMU finance graduates are more successful than ever in finding amazing post-graduate opportunities. Dr. Tran is my teacher, friend, and role model and it has been a great honor to learn under and work alongside him during my time at LMU.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Diligence and analysis are necessary, but without the empirical creativity to make sense of the numbers they are useless in guiding decisions and actions.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Talk to people. As simple as it sounds, leveraging your time as a student to explore fields and find mentors is one of the most rewarding experiences.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I never expected business as a field to be such a fruitful way to explore my other interests. However, in my experience, company research quickly turns into trying to understand healthcare, computer science, chemistry, or psychology. The more I study “business,” the more I think of it as studying businesses that interest me and to do that requires much more than supply chain or finance and accounting knowledge.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Though I generally have no regrets from my time at LMU, it took time to become comfortable reaching out to people for conversation or asking for roles I wasn’t sure I was ready for. Self-confidence is a muscle in that it needs to be exercised to grow and I wish that I had started exercising it sooner.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Trustee Scholar – During high school I constantly worried about college finances. My mom was and is the most supportive person in my life, and I desperately wanted to find a way to unburden her from the onerous cost of a college education. After scoring a 1600 on my SAT, I decided to capitalize on my luck and hard work to find an alternative. The Trustee Scholarship, LMU’s previous “full-ride”, has allowed me to graduate debt free. The ability to free my mom from financial stress while earning a world-class education has been a great gift and is among my proudest achievements.

Which classmate do you most admire? Emma Salvo – Coming into LMU as a junior transfer, I watched Emma create her own opening at Houlihan Lokey through determination, fearless self-advocation, and elegantly worded emails. She is one of the most tenacious and creative people I have come across while at LMU, and never lets an opportunity slip through her fingers. She also has very cute dogs, second only in cuteness to my own.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My mom, Dr. Jana Johnson. My mom single-handedly raised two boys while working a plethora of jobs. I grew up under her desk at Moorpark College as she gained tenure, at the Butterfly Project watching her rear endangered butterflies, and riding in the backseat cross-country to attend conferences (flights were too expensive and my brother called shotgun). She is the person responsible for my work ethic, curiosity, compassion, and love for living. No matter how tough our situation was she found a way to get us through. She is the foundation from which my brother and I learned to live and thrive.

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

1. Start my own firm – Though it will be down the line, it has always been my dream to be an entrepreneur. I want to master my craft then enter the game on my own terms.

2. Give back to my community – I would love to become a professor at the end of my tenure in finance/business to pass on a bit of what I learn in the next 30 years.

3. Learn how to play golf well – Have you ever met a successful businessperson that sucks at golf? Correlation isn’t causation, but I am going to take advantage of as many correlatives as possible.

What made Samuel such an invaluable member of the Class of 2024?

“Sam is one of the best students I’ve ever had in class. His intelligence, intellectual curiosity, and strong work ethic are excellent qualities that set him apart from his peers. In addition, as President of the Finance Society, he has significantly enhanced the Finance student experience at LMU, inviting alumni and industry professionals to serve as guest speakers. Sam’s positive energy and light-hearted personality make him a joy to work with. I have no doubt Sam will have a remarkable career, and we are fortunate to have him as a student and a future alum.”

Hai Tran, Ph.D.
Co-Chair and Associate Professor of Finance
LMU College of Business Administration


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