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Berry Investment Group president Alex Gonzalez leads meeting about the current portfolio of the Berry Investment Group.
March 13, 2020

Focused on helping families find financial freedom

With a long-term career interest in financial advising that helps families, Alex Gonzalez ’20 will pursue his MBA at Berry’s Campbell School of Business while working as a graduate assistant with the Center for Student Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (C-SEED). Just four years ago, he arrived at Berry with plans to be a veterinarian. But after two years of studying animal science, his heart tugged in another direction—the business world. “Thanks to my wonderful advisors, I was able to make a seamless transition to the business school,” Alex says.

Through Berry’s LifeWorks program, Alex had several jobs that sparked his interest in business and finance. “The high point of my working experience has been the opportunity to learn relevant skills through my on-campus jobs,” he says. “Whether that was seeing how a business is run and getting the hands-on experience to help manage it at the Guest Cottages, working on my customer service through Aramark/Chick-fil-a or by strengthening my interpersonal skills with students through my role as a resident assistant, I believe that I have had meaningful and helpful experiences in all of my campus jobs.”

Alex’s finance classes challenged him to take different approaches to problem-solving and connecting numbers to the real world. In the summer of 2019, he interned with The Avenue Wealth Management Group in Athens, Georgia, and got a taste of the corporate world. This experience afforded him the opportunity to research equities using selection factors such as prior performance, correlation to other portfolio assets, expense ratios and industry analysis. He also prepared client reports and sat in on meetings between clients and financial advisors.

Alex took advantage of professional development through the student-run Berry Investment Group. This past year, he served as president, managing the portfolio and leading weekly meetings.

“Alex has been an asset to the finance program through his involvement with the Berry Investment Group,” says Associate Professor of Finance Ken Johnston, who has been his mentor and advisor. “This began early on in his academic career and has evolved into a leadership role. I expect Alex to be very successful wherever his career takes him, given his work ethic, intelligence and intellectual curiosity.”

That career, Alex knows, will have everything to do with helping to make families financially secure. After sitting in on a meeting between his parents and their financial advisor, Alex recognized his path: “Helping families like mine reach their life goals has become my ambition, and this experience, along with my internship, helped me realize that I want to help people achieve their life goals and reach financial freedom.”

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