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Palak Thakore’s story started out in typical fashion. Freshman year – “I’m going into medicine.” Sophomore year – “Exercise science is my future.” But then, she discovered a passion for finance and everything changed. Now, you won’t find anyone more excited about this major and the prospects it holds for her future.

Palak credits the liberal arts with helping her discover a love of finance. “I came here intending to study science, and eventually took a drawing course. That opened up possibilities that I hadn’t considered, and it taught me that there were subjects beyond biology that I might enjoy learning.”

With no background whatsoever in finance, she began taking business courses. “Business administration was appealing as a major because I could choose from the selection of specific concentrations within that field. Then, during the fall of my junior year, I took a business finance course and totally loved it. The class was really intense, but what grabbed me was how dedicated the professor was. She set up 6:00 a.m. study sessions, and she was there for every one of them. Surprisingly, that turned out to be great. I never considered studying so early, but it really works.”

In one course, Palak had to conduct an analysis of an existing company. “I chose J. Crew because I’ve got a big interest in fashion. I had to look at how the company operates, who the main people are and how that firm works within the current economy. I wasn’t able to get any financial data from J. Crew because the company is now private and doesn’t release that information, so I had to find it on my own. But that was fine because what I really love about finance is the research aspect.”

Palak says that she also likes the small classes, which give her extraordinary access to her professors. “I feel tremendously supported. Another thing I love about this discipline is the way the various elements overlap. I’m taking the intermediate class in finance now, and so much of what we’re covering extends back to what we learned in our introductory course. It all makes sense, and ultimately I feel as though I’ll be able to hit the ground running when I get into the working world.”

Program Information

We offer solid grounding in all aspects of finance, and our graduates go on to thrive in a wide spectrum of professional roles, from commercial banking to corporate and public finance to commercial real estate. In addition, 17 of our professors have backgrounds in finance and real estate, meaning that you can find a specialist for nearly any sub- discipline of finance that interests you. Collectively, their research ranges from emerging markets to international finance, investment behavior and more.


  • Our program delivers ready-to-work graduates to the financial industry and prepares them for prestigious grad school programs.
  • The Student Finance and Investment Club invites topnotch speakers to campus, including the former director of Merrill Lynch’s $7-billion tech fund and a former marketmaker on the NASDAQ.
  • Scholarships exist for Level I CFA study guides and exam fees through faculty sponsorship.


  • Participation is available in an exclusive investments program where students invest real dollars in public markets and private equity ventures. (Selective application process required.)
  • The Micro-finance Club offers students an opportunity to apply finance to social responsibility and assist individuals in developing countries.
  • Students secure valuable internships in Charleston and elsewhere through accelerated networking.

Contact Information

Weishen Wang
Department Chair