Kirstyn Sperry - 460x460

Kirstyn Sperry '19

Hometown

Phoenix, AZ

Complementary Minor Communication
Path

A team of friends and mentors helped a talented athlete build a record of success

For Kirstyn Sperry ’19, it all comes down to teamwork. “Coming to Bryant from across the country, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do something new ­– and do it all on my own,” says the Arizona native. “But I came to realize I didn't have to do it all by myself. I’ve met so many people here who have become such a big part of my life, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.”

That approach has brought success. Captain of the NEC Champion Bryant volleyball team and a 2019 Rhode Island Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women Distinguished Student-Athlete, Sperry recently played alongside her friends and teammates in the NCAA Division I tournament. “Being on the court and looking up and seeing 5,000 cheering fans was surreal,” she says. “When I was a little girl playing with my friends on the YMCA team in third grade, I couldn't even imagine something like that.”

The team takes the game seriously, but they also encourage each other to excel academically. “We had such amazing experiences at the NCAAs or the NEC tournament, then at the end of the day, we’d go back to the hotel room and study together,” says Sperry, who has been selected to the NEC Academic Honor Roll three times and the Commissioner’s Honor Roll twice.

Sperry’s “team” extends to her Bryant professors, whom she credits with helping prepare her for life after college. “Things change so rapidly, you need to understand, or at least be knowledgeable about, everything that’s going on in the world around you and how it’s affecting your industry,” she says. “My professors all have a pulse on what’s going on in their fields right now.”

“One of the things that I love about Bryant is the relationships you can build with your professors,” notes Sperry. “We always tell new students on the team, ‘You should try to get to know your professors here, because they want to get to know you.’”

After graduation, Sperry will begin her professional career as a Staff One Auditor at EY. “I think one of the things they were looking for was leadership experience. We talked a lot about the projects I’ve done at Bryant, being on the volleyball team and my involvement in the community as well,” says Sperry, who has volunteered with the Special Olympics and was a recent finalist for the NCAA’s CLASS award.

As always, she’s playing to win – and knows she’s ready. “Bryant prepares you really well for your internships and your career.  From your first semester, you're giving presentations and getting comfortable in a business setting.”

Real World Experience

Bryant Athletics

Bryant University Division 1 Athletics, Women’s Volleyball
• Captain 2018, NEC Setter of the Year 2017, All-NEC First Team Award 2017, All NEC Second Team Award 2016 Qualified for NEC Tournament Fall 2015, 2016, and 2017, Received Bryant Bulldog Award 2016
• NEC Academic Honor Roll Fall 2015, 2016, and 2017

Academic Competitions

Investments: Stock Track Competition
• Researched and managed a hypothetical portfolio of $1 million based on current market conditions
• Managed trades throughout the semester using stocks, mutual funds, and futures to create a positive return Composed final report analyzing trade results compared to climate of real market

Fidelity Computer Information Systems Project
• Analyzed 100,000 rows of airline data through pivot tables and graphs
• Made recommendations to Fidelity to improve marketing inside airports Financial Risk and Return – Stock Analysis
• Calculated adjusted returns, risk-free rate and beta of 5 stocks over the past 5 years
• Analyzed results of risk of investment for each company

Internships

Accounting/Finance Intern, Waud Capital Partners (Private Equity) Chicago, IL
• Reconciled accounts payable and created pivot tables based on data
• Enhanced quarterly valuation programming and updated programming to predict ROI
• Calculated management fees from portfolio companies to create “super gross” profit
• Overview of accounting process using iLevel, QuickBooks, Investran, and quarterly reporting packages

Leadership

Special Olympics Volleyball Coach
• Coached practice Special Olympians every Wednesday to prepare for tournament
• Refereed at final Special Olympics Volleyball Tournament

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