Students at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics have almost 30 unique student groups that they can choose to join. In each installment of this series, an executive member of one of these student groups will share their first-hand experience choosing, participating in and eventually leading their group.
Will Wallace, UD Class of 2023 finance and business analytics double major, is the Co-founder and Vice President of the Private Markets Club (PMC) at the Lerner College. Wallace shared why he joined PMC, what makes this group unique and more!
Lerner: When and why did you choose to join this student group?
Wallace: In July of 2020, my good friend Keaton Stott called me and offered to have me build the PMC with him. I had an interest in private finance and venture capital but not a lot of knowledge about the industry. I thought this was a great opportunity to learn more about the space and build on my leadership skills!
Lerner: When and where does your student group meet and approximately how many members do you have?
Wallace: Our club was founded during the pandemic while UD was in an online semester. All of our meetings were virtual this past year. We met anywhere from two to three times a week, mostly on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays. We’re working on where our in person meetings will take place right now! I look forward to interacting with our 30 other members in person this fall.
Lerner: What is the mission/goal of your student group?
Wallace: The greatest goal of the PMC is to create a space at UD for all students to learn more about the private side of finance, regardless of their knowledge or familiarity. Additionally, the Club wants to allow students to professionally develop and learn from individuals and alumni who work within the private markets.
Lerner: What is your best memory from this student group?
Wallace: My best memory of the Club was the day we hosted our case competition this past spring. We had two UD alumni judge about 25 members’ presentations about the Square Inc IPO case written by Harvard Business School Faculty. When each team returned from their presentation, I enjoyed hearing how their pitches went and their perspectives on the case. Each team had a unique viewpoint they presented and discussing this as a group led to further learning!
By the end of the pitches, there was a moment where every member who participated in the contest was together. I fondly remember laughing about a lot of things our members were talking about, whether it was their week, the excitement they felt before presenting or defending their stance on the case. By the end of the contest, I could tell our members grew closer together by working as a team which made me really happy
Lerner: What is unique about your student group?
Wallace: What I find most unique about PMC is that we’re the only club solely focused on private finance. Furthermore, I think our members have greatly benefited from the advice and lessons that have been shared by our guest speakers. Members can bring this wisdom with them as they begin their careers!
Lerner: What has been your proudest moment leading your student group?
Wallace: The spring case contest was a major highlight for me. However, my proudest moment has been leading this club to a successful first year on campus. We accomplished almost all of the goals we set back in September. To host a case contest, recruit over 25 members and have 30+ guest speakers in one year is something I am very proud of. There are a lot of people that helped make this first year possible. I am very thankful to everyone who has been involved thus far.
Lerner: What are your goals for the future of your student group?
Wallace: Our club has a lot of goals in mind for the future. What I’m looking forward to most is hosting a larger case contest with other clubs and maybe other universities. Along with, potentially, traveling to Boston with the club to the Q4 VC summit this fall. And, finally, building on the great community we have already established!
Lerner: How has your student group helped you grow?
Wallace: Launching PMC with Keaton, our advisor, Professor Dolinsky, and many others has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life! Along with building great friendships through the club, I have learned so much about private finance and the business world from our guest speakers and advisors. Also, I have taken on additional leadership roles at UD. Lastly, by co-founding the club, I learned the importance of leaving my comfort zone, which I would encourage everyone to do.
Lerner: Is there any additional information regarding your student group that you believe has not been covered? Please feel free to share.
Wallace: I would like to thank each of our members, our E-board, Advisory Board and the finance department for all the support they’ve provided us over the last year.