An influx of scholarship money couldn’t have come at a better time for University of Delaware student Mia Alexander-Oliver, a junior finance major in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics.
Recently Mia was given the Howard A. Trauger Award from The Bond Club of Philadelphia. She plans to spend the $5,000 award money on one special person: Her son.
“I work hard every day for my son. In the end, every promotion I take, and every cultural norm I break is for my son,” Mia said of her two-year-old.
Mia, who said she wants to have a long, fruitful finance career, maintains a 3.5. GPA and excels in classes like calculus and finance. Several professors attested to this.
She was awarded the scholarship recently in Philadelphia by The Bond Club of Philadelphia, a 100-year-old organization that encourages forging relationships between business individuals with an interest in investment securities. The club hosts regular in-person and virtual professional development and educational opportunities for members, with an emphasis on fixed income, macro-economic and general market-related subjects.
“Our hope is that this scholarship is the beginning of a long, productive relationship with the Bond Club of Philadelphia,” said Bond Club Vice President and Temple University Professor of Finance, Jon Scott. Scott told Mia that she will be welcomed to participate in all club activities and congratulated her.
The scholarship fund gives annual rewards to local college students majoring in finance or economics. Each student must be nominated by faculty at his or her institution.
Four Lerner faculty and staff members recommended Mia, who also submitted a resume and wrote a deeply personal, personal statement about her upbringing, college experience and future plans. Lerner Dean Bruce Weber gave her the final stamp of approval and attended the award event in Philadelphia.
“Mia is an exceptional student and person and is an ideal candidate for this scholarship,” Weber told the committee. “She is a finance major with a sales minor, and continues to achieve personal goals with less privileges than many others. She shows leadership in both on- and off-campus activities, and will pursue a career in financial services.”
Mia’s nominators included department of finance acting chair and associate professor of finance Jay Coughenour, associate professor of finance Jack Bao, associate instructor Chris Lynch and her advisor Carrie Baldwin.
Mia has mastered good grades and social interaction at Lerner. She arrived on campus in 2019 and quickly joined the Women in Business, Women in Finance and Sport Management clubs. She also made the Dean’s List before her freshmen year was interrupted by COVID-19.
Mia also gave birth to her son during the pandemic before returning to school. When she is not studying concepts that she’s learned in class like impulse buys, opportunity costs, retirement savings and capital budgeting, or learning investment strategies, including how to make short-selling profitable, she works two jobs. Mia is a pricing consultant at a local doctor’s office and a waitress at a local bar on the weekends.
“I’m happy to have both these jobs now while I’m completing my education, but in the long term I hope to build a long and fruitful career in the finance industry,” she said.
Mia noted that she has had to overcome multiple challenges that would have derailed some, but focuses on the feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment that comes after an obstacle is overcome. As a young mother, motherhood has presented many challenges for her, but also the best rewards.
“All I want in life is to be a good example for my son, and I will, as I am now, persevere because of my determination to be successful,” she said.