Jared Sharpe, a native of Andreas, Pennsylvania, earned a doctoral degree in financial services analytics from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics in May 2023.
Sharpe was nominated for this series by UD Professor of Operations Management, Director of the Institute for Financial Services Analytics and Faculty Director of the Financial Services Analytics Ph.D. Program Bintong Chen, who said, “Jared has been an active leader of and contributor to UD’s graduate student government. He is also a productive researcher and active in presenting his research results.”
In this profile, Sharpe shares his favorite UD memories, how he has changed during his time at UD and his plans following graduation.
Lerner: How do you think you have changed from your first semester at UD to now?
Sharpe: Since my first semester at UD was actually in Fall 2014 as an undergraduate, I hardly know where to begin. That said, I have to admit I believe I have come full circle from expecting to go into industry as an actuary, to pivoting into data science and broader financial applications, to ultimately going back to a dream goal I can put back to the 5th grade of becoming a college professor.
Lerner: What have been some of the challenges you have faced during your college experience and how did you overcome them?
Sharpe: Learning how to manage a social sphere was probably the largest challenge I faced. Moving from rural Pennsylvania to Newark was a larger culture shock than I anticipated, and it took several years to expand and branch out. Even now, it’s been a blessing to know so many friends who have stayed in the area.
Lerner: What was your favorite signature UD experience and why?
Sharpe: My four year membership in the University of Delaware Fightn’ Blue Hen Marching Band throughout my undergraduate career continues to remind me of a real sense of collegiate spirit. I cannot identify a single event that would be my favorite, but the friends, memories, and lessons the entire experience brought me were so much more than I could have ever anticipated or hoped to discover.
Lerner: What does being a “Lifelong Lerner” mean to you?
Sharpe: As someone who is making the education of machine learning and data science techniques his profession, “Lifelong Lerner” means I will never be able to stop learning. I can hardly imagine what Lerner will be teaching its students in 10 years as ML (machine learning) and AI rapidly change the business world, but I am thrilled to find out.
Lerner: What advice would you give to incoming freshmen to make the most out of their college experience?
Sharpe: Find what brings you joy. Find what you could live without and do so. Second to that, talk to your professors – they are (we are) people too, and want to help you succeed.
Lerner: Did you have a Lerner professor or staff member that had a big impact on your UD experience?
Sharpe: Kelly Chan’s unwavering professionalism and her ability to balance it with a personal level of understanding, compassion, and support really put her in a category all her own. Kelly is undoubtedly the biggest cheerleader for the students she supports.
Lerner: What are your plans following graduation?
Sharpe: First, a vacation to unwind in the stillness and tranquility of the Adirondacks. Then, I will be returning to UD as a visiting assistant professor in the accounting and management information systems department focusing on business analytics.