Coming to Ithaca College from Portland, Oregon, senior Connell Pritchard decided he wants to take his major in business administration with concentrations in finance and corporate accounting to the Big Apple.
As the first sophomore business administration major to go, in Spring 2013, Pritchard participated in the Ithaca College New York City Program, which was first piloted the year before, and had an internship with Pinebridge Investments, a global asset management company, which he kept that summer as well. Pritchard said he felt like an adult living in an apartment by himself on the Upper East Side working 40 hours a week, which he said gave him more experience in his field than his classes did.
Pritchard interned for the institutional sales team there, which he said is around the time when he realized he wanted to get into consulting. The internship also helped Pritchard land his job for post-graduation with Ernst and Young, a business management consulting organization, which he was able to get before his senior year even began.
“I didn’t see the value in investing other people’s money and charging them for that,” Pritchard said. “I thought I could do more good in the world if I thought I was going to be consulting and helping businesses run better. It’s more than just picking up a business.”
Pritchard’s passion for his major developed most heavily through becoming a member of Core Trading Consultants, a small investing club at the college.
He started out in CTC as a junior analyst during his freshman year, was a senior analyst during his sophomore year and has been on the executive board as a treasurer since his junior year. Pritchard said when he first joined, everything they talked about sounded intelligent and fascinating. He said he also participates in Open Mic Night; numerous intramural sports; dabbles with HiFashion Studios, a student organization where the students plan and walk fashion runway shows; and is a member of Spit That, an on-campus spoken-word poetry club. Pritchard is currently the president of Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations, which is a group that consults for nonprofit organizations, and was president of the Peer Advisors Organization during his junior year.
However, despite how passionate he is about his business and financing endeavors, Pritchard said his love for music is just as strong and maybe even stronger.
“Honestly, if I could play music for a job, I would probably do that,” Pritchard said.
He learned to play piano at a young age and taught himself guitar as well. Pritchard said he got into writing music when he got to college, and he now plays guitar at open mic nights as often as possible.
“The master plan is to work in NYC and start making music in my free time while I’m there,” Pritchard said. “If I happened to get discovered — fingers crossed — which is unlikely … but if I could go tour or something after working for a few years, that would be awesome. If not, I would probably be going to business school at some point and getting an MBA, maybe teaching down the line.”
Pritchard said numerous professors have told him to hold a doctorate in teaching because they say he’s going to be bored in the business world. He said he finds the concepts of finance and markets interesting, and as a professor he would get a more in-depth knowledge of those topics. Pritchard said he also enjoys working with peers and helping them learn the concepts.
One professor in particular, Alka Bramhandkar, professor for finance and international business, said she thinks Pritchard would definitely be a good candidate for pursuing a doctoral degree for teaching in finance. She said not only is he good with numbers, but he is also an effective communicator with good writing skills.
“He’s an extremely, extremely smart person who has a really good grasp of the complex issues,” she said.
Senior Brandon Xing, Student Government Association vice president of business and finance and currently Pritchard’s roommate, said Pritchard makes sure that he’s always on top of what he needs to do, but he never takes himself too seriously, which he believes is a great character trait.
“He never puts himself on a pedestal in a way that would belittle other people, but I think he recognizes that he has a lot of self-efficacy,” Xing said. “He’s proud of who he is. He’s comfortable in his own skin.”
Pritchard said eventually he will move back to Oregon because he loves it out there and has family and friends there. However, he said he has enjoyed his college years and is excited to live in New York City.
“I think college is a time to explore, and there’s tons of people who have their own opinion on the world as well as tons of alumni who are willing to talk to you and tell you everything about their profession,” Pritchard said. “Keep an open mind and talk to as many people who have been here as possible. Don’t waste any time.”