“I like to understand how the world works – how things operate on a systemic level, a state level, and an individual level,” says Vanessa MacMillan ’19. “We live in such a complex world, and I really want to understand it as best I can and work toward better outcomes in the future.”
MacMillan decided that Bryant’s Politics and Law major, a multidisciplinary program that brings together Political Science and Legal Studies, will best prepare her to do just that. “It’s fascinating to look at the people and the ideologies that have shaped the world and leads to the formulation of ideas and theories that shape the field of international relations,” she notes.
Pairing that major with a minor in Finance has helped her understand how those ideas continue to evolve. “It's a really great combination,” says MacMillan, who aspires to be a researcher for a Washington, DC, think tank and, as a member of Bryant’s Archway Investment Fund, helps manage a $1.4-million investment portfolio. “It’s important to be able to understand how financial considerations, and the factors behind them, affect people’s lives when you’re making policy.”
Studying abroad at the University of Leeds in England broadened her perspective as well. “I made incredible friends,” says MacMillan. “We would talk for hours, exchanging information and viewpoints and learning about each other’s cultures. Sharing ideas with them helped me shape my own thinking.”
Being a catalyst for other students’ transformations is important to her. A member of the Smart Women in Finance group, she mentors students and shares her experiences, including an eye-opening internship with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “We have so many great professors and guest speakers at Bryant,” she says, “but it's really valuable to get advice from other students as well.”
As lead organizer of TEDxBryantU 2019, MacMillan will bring together faculty, students, and staff to discuss “The Keys to the Future.” The day-long event will explore a wide range of topics with one goal: creating a better tomorrow. “We’re looking for ideas we can use to move forward as a society, and seeing how we can build on them to create a better future,” MacMillan says.
Wealth Management Intern, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
• Worked alongside the client associates and financial advisors of The Barcomb Group to provide high quality financial services and support.
Smart Women in Finance
• Oversaw outreach and communication efforts
Lead Organizer, TEDxBryantU 2019
• Supervising all aspects of Bryant’s 2019 TEDx-style event, including organizing speakers, outreach, and overseeing the event itself
University of Leeds, England
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