She accomplished all she set out to do as a student at Hamilton, and now May graduate Lisa Yang is ready to pay it forward. The economics and Chinese concentrator is joining Bank of America’s Global Wealth and Investment Management (GWIM) Analyst Program, a position she was offered after she interned at the bank last summer.
Yang credits Hamilton faculty with cementing her interest in economics and Chinese. She recalled emailing an Economics professor whose class she had attended as a prospective student. “He immediately responded with a link for further reading and ended his email with ‘do let me know which college you end up attending.’”
Similarly, when Yang met Chinese department faculty at first-year student orientation, she said, “I was impressed that they knew my name and my proficiency in Chinese before classes even started.
Majors: Chinese and Economics
Hometown: Quincy, Mass.
High school: North Quincy High School
“From the beginning I had a sense that students are really not just a number and relationships mattered,” Yang said.
Yang mentions Professor of Economics Chris Georges, who directed Hamilton’s Program in New York City when she participated. Taking advantage of that program “was one of the best decisions I made at Hamilton” and she credits Georges with giving her “a deeper appreciation for economics.”
Yang took that appreciation for economics and applied what she was learning to the Microfinance Club, which issues small business loans to local entrepreneurs. She became president of the organization at the beginning of her sophomore year.
“My first goal as president was to raise awareness about the organization, so we held a Giant Pumpkin Challenge fundraiser during Fallcoming Weekend,” Yang said. “People paid $1 to guess the weight of a 1,524 pound pumpkin and Microfinance raised over $1000 that was used toward providing small business loans to local entrepreneurs.”
The Pumpkin Challenge has become an annual tradition and Microfinance was chosen as Student Organization of the Year in 2016.
Yang said the most rewarding part of leading Microfinance was building relationships with the club’s clients. She cites Kelly’s Closet, a thrift shop started in Utica in 2014 by one of the club’s loan recipients. “When I visited this May, I was thrilled to see her change the store layout and fit more clothes. It’s been amazing to see her business grow over the last two years.”
Now, Yang moves on to a larger financial stage with her position at Bank of America.
Through a variety of internships she held while at Hamilton, Yang was able to explore different facets of business and economics, including fashion, biotechnology and banking.
“Through all these opportunities I realized I was most excited about the strategy aspect of the job,” Yang said. “I also found myself gravitating toward high-growth environments where I was an end-user of whatever product or service we were selling. I have always been a Bank of America customer and I appreciate how the bank touches everyone from individuals to institutions.”
Yang intends to continuously find opportunities to grow and challenge herself. “This could be through taking on volunteer leadership positions at work, joining a nonprofit board or pursuing an MBA. Regardless of what I will be doing, I’m thrilled to join the alumni network and start paying it forward,” she said.