Kelli Pederson is a senior mathematics and finance double major from Colleyville, Texas. Growing up near TCU, Pederson never thought she would end up here. However, when she actually came and visited the campus, she was in awe. She said, “TCU was my last college visit, but I was truly taken aback by the generosity and passion of both the students and faculty on this campus.” Though TCU is a small school, Pederson knew she could be successful here because of the resources offered on campus, and the personal nature of the school.
Upon coming to TCU, Pederson was not sold on a major yet. She always knew she loved math, but had never seriously considered pursuing a major in the field. However, the more she thought about it, the more she realized that a mathematics major was the only one that “felt right.” She wanted to continue to pursue the types of courses that she enjoyed, so during her freshman year, Pederson also added a second major in finance because she wanted to be able to apply the knowledge she was gaining in her mathematics courses to real-world scenarios.
While every course at TCU has offered an amazing learning experience, Pederson notes that a few stand out: Interest Theory and Business Statistics. Interest Theory, as a year-long course, provides the opportunity for students to dive deeper and gain a better understanding of the material. Pederson also noted that she enjoyed forming relationships with the other students in the course over the year. Additionally, Business Statistics proved to be particularly interesting to Pederson because it combines aspects of both her mathematics and finance majors. She enjoyed learning how to better apply her mathematics knowledge to business problems.
Throughout her time at TCU, Pederson’s academic experience has been shaped by her coursework and the relationships she has had with professors. Susan Staples, associate professor and actuarial program director in the Department of Mathematics, was not only an incredible teacher, but also showed great passion for her students. Pederson reflects, “While I have already taken four classes with her in the past three years, I wish that I could double that number. Her kindness, accessibility, understanding, and humor make her a one-of-a-kind professor who has had a substantial impact on my experience here. I know that I can always count on her help and support because she continuously goes out of her way to ensure that her students succeed.”
Reflecting on her time at TCU, Pederson is especially proud of her involvement in the Neeley Fellows Program. Students in the prestigious program take classes as a cohort and work closely with the Neeley School of Business’s faculty and staff support. About the experience, she said, “Through this program, I have met many of best friends, traveled across the country, and grown both personally and professionally. The Neeley Fellows Program has been a highlight of my college experience, and I cannot imagine my time here without the people in this program.”
Pederson cannot believe she is already a senior, and she notes that it is incredibly important to enjoy college because it’s truly a privilege. By keeping that perspective in mind, she has been able to make the most of her time here, despite a demanding workload.
After working with various mentors and professors and utilizing resources on campus, Pederson solidified her career choice: investment banking. She said, “Although it is not where I imagined myself when I first started college, I am excited about the opportunity to learn and grow in this role after graduation.” Pederson is excited about the challenges that come with the fast-paced, intellectually stimulating nature of investment banking.