As I wrap up my undergraduate degree and spend this semester with Alaska Permanent Capital Management (APCM) as an intern, I reflect on this blessed journey to where I find myself today.
When I graduated from West Anchorage High School four years ago, I had the inclination that I wanted to pursue finance since I was fascinated with capital markets. My fascination developed through fortunate opportunities I had to work with local mentors that had professional experience in the finance industry. I was taught the basics about the differences between and the ability to use equity and debt in a capital structure. I initially honed into equity and began my journey by researching the public equity market.
After high school, I decided to obtain a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). The reason I decided to go to UAF was to be involved in their Student Investment Fund (SIF), a student managed public equity portfolio of about $1.2 million. In the program, students learn the process of investment selection and portfolio management by making all of the investment decisions. My experience with the SIF solidified my passion for capital markets. I took the initiative to become more involved as the President of SIF during my junior year at UAF. During that time, I led teams to participate in global investment competitions and had the opportunity to attend conferences in New York City.
My SIF involvement prepared me for my summer internship at the State of Alaska Department of Revenue (DoR). While at the DoR, I worked with the Portfolio Managers of the Alaska Retirement Management Board. I was tasked with a variety of projects that gave me exposure to asset classes that were outside of my base on public equities. That experience with the DoR was pivotal in my progress towards becoming a professional and understanding the different aspects in investment management.
After concluding the summer internship, I went back to finish up my final year as an undergrad. However, instead of returning to UAF, I decided to attend the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Being in Anchorage for my senior year has served me quite well, as I have been able to explore a new set of finance courses that involve derivatives and the debt market and serve as the President of the Investment Club. As President, I led a group of students to Juneau to attend the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation Board of Trustees meeting and am currently in New York City for a conference focused on global asset management. Additionally, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work alongside the team at APCM, and further define my knowledge regarding institutional and individual wealth management.
Throughout this journey, I have realized that much of my success during the last four years has revolved around the community in Alaska. As I begin the next chapter of my life and enter the early stages of my career, I am determined to become an active part of our local business community. During this transition, I hope to provide guidance to the students that share my passion for capital markets and focus on developing the next generation of finance professionals.
Lutfi “Louie” Lena
Spring Intern 2019