College of Business & Economics
Although economics is the focus of Mark Preston's degree, he didn't let that hold him back from participating in a variety of interdiciplinary programs and organizations throughout the College of Business and Economics, including the Towson Univeristy Investment Group, The Associate case competition and writing an article for the Baltimore Business Review.
How did you get the opportunity to write for the BBR?
I heard about the internship at the Baltimore CFA Society because I was involved with the Towson University Investment Group. Some club members were approached by Niall O'Malley, president of the Baltimore CFA Society, to take part in producing the Baltimore Business Review. I knew I would learn something new and valuable from the experience...I wrote an article titled "Towson University Index - Towson University Investors Club," and compiled data on major Baltimore-area employers. I also made sure each contributor was on track when it came down to getting their photos taken, articles written and biographies submitted.
What is the Towson University index?
The Towson University index consists of 30 locally incorporated companies and 10 companies incorporated elsewhere that are weighted against the benchmark S&P 500. By comparing the Towson University index to the S&P 500, we are able to gauge the performance of the Baltimore-Towson area against the overall performance of the stock market.
How did the experience benefit you?
If I took anything from it, it was to always remain calm and collected when the amount of work starts to seem insurmountable, knowing that it's only a matter of time before it gets completed. My organizational and time-management skills have improved to a whole new level. Most importantly though, I met and made friends with a lot of people in the professional world and had a chance to collaborate with them while still in college.
The Towson University Investment Group is a student organization that manages the TU Foundation’s equity fund. What is your role with them and how has it benefited you?
I serve as the Director of Communications and the experience has influenced my academic career in ways I never thought possible. I've learned so much about investing and business operations just by being involved in the group.
What are your future plans and career goals?
Ultimately, I would like to own my own business but I want to gain experience in the corporate world first. I know I will end up in a career related to some aspect of investment, but at this point I am keeping my options open - which can be more exciting at times!
How do you think your major in economics will help you reach those goals?
I believe economics is a good degree for any field of business. It teaches how to allocate resources in the most efficient way possible, increasing productivity. My economics courses have taught me to think abstractly about problems. This way of thinking, combined with a background of value investment strategies that I learned through my involvement with the Towson University Investment Group, will prepare me for a career in finance after I graduate.