Category Archives: APMP

Full-Circle Moment: MLK Day Speaker, Alumnus Reflects on Husky Experience

Speaker Donzell Dixson stands before an audience
Dixson Dynamics founder, Donzell Dixson, got his first speaking experience as a Michigan Tech business student.

Heading back to campus as the keynote speaker for the 30th annual Michigan Technological University Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration banquet was a pinch-me moment for 2014 finance graduate Donzell Dixson. It wasn’t that long ago, where instead of inspiration and confidence, Dixson waded through self-doubt.

“At times as a student, I felt inadequate. I felt less than. In class, I wasn’t the smartest. Other students seemed to be more prepared for college than I was,” Dixson says. “But my professors in the School of Business and Economics seemed to recognize I had a willingness—an eagerness—to learn.”

Michigan Tech alumnus Donzell Dixson
Today, Dixson resides in Minneapolis and is employed by Target Headquarters.

The Saginaw, Michigan, native first experienced campus by way of the MiCup Scholars Program, a collaboration between three Michigan community colleges and Michigan Tech, which encourages low-income and first-generation college students to continue to follow their dreams of higher education. The initiative is specifically geared toward students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

“MiCup was really the first and only time I got to see firsthand what Michigan Tech was all about. That’s how I knew it could be for me,” he recalls.

Coursework was rigorous and with support Dixson rose to the challenge. “Getting connected with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion was critical for me. My relationships there helped during times of struggle,” he says.

In his senior year, Dixson applied and was accepted into the competitive and nationally recognized Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP). “It is a hands-on trading experience that really opened my eyes to possibilities in business. The thought processes and strategies I learned in APMP apply to just about every facet of my career and life now. I tend to approach everything a little bit differently—asking, ‘how can I be a producer instead of a consumer’?”

A college internship with Target headquarters has evolved into a diverse technical career for Dixson. “Colleagues will often assume that as a business graduate I might not have a handle on the highly technical aspects,” Dixson explains. He became even more motivated to learn, challenging himself to master coding and develop mobile apps. Management took notice. He has thrived in software engineering roles with the company and is now a business analyst.

In 2017, Dixson, who recalls his first-ever public speaking experience as an APMP student, founded Dixson Dynamics, whose mission is to educate, motivate and guide others to achieve their goals through a plan. He and his business partners have spoken to schools, colleges, organizations and businesses about how to not only create a plan but to put it into action.

Donzell Dixson poses with Dean Johnson, dean of the Michigan Tech School of Business
Reconnecting—Donzell Dixson stands with his former finance professor, Dean Johnson, now dean of the School of Business and Economics.

Dixson calls Minneapolis home now, but he still has family back in Michigan rooting for him, just as they have since his days as a Husky. “In a lot of ways my mom barely recognizes me. I was a kid who at one time was expelled from school. She is proud of me. And she is proud that my success is centered on serving others.”

Just as Donzell Dixson has evolved, campus continues to, too. Dixson believes in President Koubek’s leadership and his mission to diversify Michigan Tech, providing more opportunities and experiences like his to even more students.



Finance Information Session

Please join us in the School of Business and Economics on September 19, 2017 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.  in AOB 117 to network with finance students & faculty.  Additionally, you can learn about finance course offerings, career opportunities, the Applied Portfolio Management Program, Chartered Financial Analyst Program and the Finance Club.

Finance Information Session


APMP Travels to NYC

Four students from the Applied Portfolio Management Program traveled to New York City for the Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education Forum.  This two and a half day experience provided students and faculty from 47 states and 36 countries the opportunity to interact with industry leaders while learning the best practices in investment management. Zachary Bedell, Matthew Mateer, Kendra Rasner and Dallas Bond traveled by car from Houghton Michigan to attend this forum.

The forum included key note presentations, interactive sessions, and networking opportunities.  Kendra Rasner even had the opportunity to close the Nasdaq alongside other students attending the forum.

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Senior Dallas Bond shares his perspective on the experience:

We left Monday March 28th at 2:00 pm, it was the usual trip except we were headed to the big apple. We reminisced in the car and joked around like most college students would. First we had to get through Pure Michigan which takes forever in itself and then we crossed into Ohio and drove the turnpike all the way to Pennsylvania and through Pennsylvania to New Jersey onward to New York.  We had many stops throughout for the usual bathroom break and food. Once we arrived into New Jersey and into New York everything seems so crazy. You’re sitting in bumper to bumper traffic and everything is almost so overwhelming. It can be a bit frustrating but it is a really good learning experience. While in New Jersey and New York once we got settled at the Hotel we used public transportation which took us the first day to get the swing of things but by the end of the week we had it pretty down pat. While in New York we got to see the Statue of Liberty, the NYSE, the Nasdaq, Times Square, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, the World Trade Center, the Empire State Building and just the crazy city that is packed with 8 million people all trying to do their daily routines. Traveling and experiencing a city so big can be tiring and stressful but it also teaches to many different things. It takes you out of your comfort zone and no matter where you travel you always learn something new. You learn more by traveling and doing then by staying exactly where you are. I think we all enjoyed New York but we were also at the end just happy to get back to our lives and be home here at Michigan Tech. Always take the opportunity to journey into a foreign land as it will teach you many lessons you may have not learned otherwise.

 

 


APMP Members ENGAGE in Investment Symposium

April 1, 2015 – With a GDP of over $17 trillion dollars, the U.S. is the largest economy in the world. Despite the 2008 financial meltdown, the US dollar has, and continues to be most trusted currency throughout the globe; helping to make the US financial markets the place where investors turn to for security. As APMP students look to enter the world’s largest and most trusted financialsystem it’s important to venture outside the classroom and learn from professionals first hand. This past week APMP seniors Joel Florek, Yi Yuan, and Yinan Chen when to Detroit, MI for Engage 2015 to do just that.

APMP JoelENGAGE is a two day international investment education symposium. The goal at Engage is to help provide a level of insight into our financial system that students can’t learn from sitting in classrooms. To accomplish this goal Engage brought in some of the top financial professionals in the industry to host Q&A discussions.

For example, Dennis P. Lockhart, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and a 2015 voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee spoke on the Fed’s economic policy decisions from the depths of the 2008 economic meltdown to today. Chaired by Janet Yellen, the FOMC decisions significantly impact not just the US economy, but the global economy. Ultimately Mr. Lockhart made the argument that the actions of the FOMC will be seen as vital to turning around the US economy. He added that within the next 6 to 12 months the FOMC will begin to ease out of its current actions which have been taken to prop up the US financial system. One unique comment from Mr. Lockhart was his cautioning of high US government debt. Due to low interest rates the US has had the ability to borrow high quantities of short term debt requiring small interest payments. As these debts mature, the US will be forced to refinance at higher interest rates hindering its ability to pay off debts.

Additional keynote speakers include Jeffrey Kleintop, the Chief Global Strategist for Charles Schwab and Co., Fred Tomczyk, the President and CEO of TD Ameritrade, and Scott Powers the President and CEO of State Street Global Advisors, which oversees $2.4 trillion in traded funds. Students learned their trading strategies, ideas on the direction of the economy, and career advice to help direct students into the right career paths.

The second day of conference allowed students to break up into smaller sessions that provided more Q&A opportunity. For example, students were able to learn about the CAN SLIM trading strategy, venture capital, hedge funds and received targeted career advice. Thinking back on the Engage experience, Joel Florek said he realized the field of finance is constantly evolving and there is no clear definition as to what one will be doing as a finance professional. Florek said “there is significant room to constantly be learning and changing within the profession. Ultimately, as a finance student ready to go into industry the Engage conference helped to make the lessons learned in the classroom more real, and gain exposure to the flexible ideology that exists amongst professionals.”

This article was written by APMP members Yinan Chen, Joel Florek, and Yinan Chen.