Taking a Measured Risk: IRL with Pam Roxas

Pam Roxas ('17) took a risk that paid off. 

Pam Roxas ('17) took a risk that paid off. 

When Pam Roxas first started at Booth, she wanted to work the management track in her engineering field. Her initial course work helped her secure a promotion at work. However, after settling into the new role, she realized that she was not fully satisfied with the track that she was on. Booth’s coursework and community helped Pam facilitate a change and encourage her to take a risk.

“The spark for me was M&A Strategy with Professor Morrissette. I was so surprised to learn about the types of roles that impacted strategy at the firm wide level. Professor Morrissette does a great job of bringing in practitioners from corporate development, investment banking, private equity and entrepreneurship, who discuss how they apply the class concepts in their actual day to day work. It got me thinking - let’s explore the optionality out there.”

M&A Strategy also helped give Pam direction. “After doing a lot of due diligence, I realized investment banking was the intersection of many things I was looking for in terms of job content, learning opportunities, career progression and a culture of excellence. I don’t know if I would’ve found [this industry] on my own. I am thankful that Professor Morrissette carved out a portion of his class to ask the question: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’”

Booth’s strong women initiatives also made a big impact on Pam and really helped push her to take a risk. After last year’s Booth Women’s Connect conference, Pam chose to quit her job and wholly pursue the transition into investment banking.

“I was really inspired by several speakers who shared their perspective on how they took risk in their careers and how they managed the upside as well as road bumps along the way. It was cool, I had a surge of courage and I thought, ‘I can do this.’”

“The Women’s conference is such a good chance to recharge and focus on what your goals are. It’s easy to get caught up in the grind – I’ve got to do homework, eat dinner, etc., and the Women’s Conference provides a platform for women to evaluate: ‘Where do I want to improve, what do I want to accomplish in X number of years?’”

Catherine Frances Napier (CFN), Class of 2018

Catherine Frances Napier (CFN), Class of 2018

Ten months after the Women’s Connect Conference, Pam completed an internship in investment banking and accepted an offer to return full time after graduation. “The totality of Booth was critical for achieving my goal – the coursework, support from my professors, Career Services, the Banking Club, and my fellow peers all formed an important support system that helped me get [the internship] and the full time offer,” she says.

As she wraps up classes 19, 20 and 21, Pam reflects on her time at Booth. “When I started the program three years ago, I never would’ve guessed this is where I would end up.”

She advises, “My two cents for what it’s worth: Explore a lot, figure out what you like and don’t like so you can work towards creating the career and life you are excited to live, and don’t be afraid of taking risks. Booth is a unique time in your life, where you are afforded many options as well as the tools and support system to explore them and choose what is the best fit for you.”

Catherine Napier works at Northern Trust in wealth management, loves yoga, creating content on www.cfndaily.com, and the peanuts at the Midway.