Mays students are often defined by passion and perseverance, and these two graduates are no different. They are both advancing the world’s prosperity and reflecting the Aggie core values through their commitment to serving others and developing themselves.
Alexander Ishin ’19 learned independence early on
Finance major Alexander Ishin ’18 was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and moved to the United States when he was 2 years old. His family first lived in the Bronx, then in Connecticut, where his family currently lives. Ishin describes his “unconventional” upbringing as beneficial to motivating him for success.
One measure of that success is Ishin’s invitation to speak on behalf of the student body at Texas A&M University’s Dec. 15 graduation ceremony.
“I speak Russian at home, and being multilingual is a huge benefit that I am incredibly grateful for,” Ishin said. “My parents also didn’t have the insights that many American parents have in day-to-day things that seem critical when growing up – such as how high school sports work or college applications. As a result, I learned a lot of independence early on.”
This independence would prove crucial when Ishin decided to leave his Connecticut home at the age of 18 to study finance at Mays Business School and essentially start a new life.
“I had the mentality that any challenges that I faced while at the university paled in comparison to the challenges my parents faced when moving to a new country,” Ishin said. “This has been my greatest motivator. I’m so grateful for every Aggie that offered unconditional help and support to me. I truly believe that Texas A&M has the greatest support network of students of any university in the country.”
When Ishin found his new home in Aggieland, he did not shy away from challenges or involvement. Active in Aggies on Wall Street, Titans of Investing, and Maroon Fund, he was also president of the business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi, where he learned leadership skills and met many of his closest friends. Outside of school, Ishin practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, referees soccer for high-level youth players and adult amateur players, and travels the world. In the next six months, Ishin will be visiting Israel, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Croatia, and Russia.
Surrounded by supporters
When asked if there were any faculty or staff that helped inspire him during his time at Mays, Ishin said there were too many to name.
“Sorin Sorescu is the single most incredible man I’ve met at Texas A&M,” said Ishin of the head of the finance department at Mays. “He has invested in me personally and is what I believe a true leader should be. He is a mentor of mine and somebody I aspire to be like. I spend as much time speaking with him as possible, as every conversation with him teaches me something new.”
Ishin also mentioned faculty and staff members who supported him throughout his time at Mays:
- Lauren Griffin, former academic advisor at Mays who helped him see his own potential and encourage him to not only be a good student, but a good person
- Amy Thompson, former career advisor at Mays, who was his first and greatest supporter and helped make his professional dreams a reality
- Lauren Welford, advisor for Aggies on Wall Street, who took him on as her “project” and taught him critical pieces of social etiquette, and supported his dream of working in New York City in investment banking
- Philippe Hercot, a professor at Mays and the director of the Aggies on Wall Street program, who taught him many of the critical skills necessary to be successful in a New York finance position
“I would like to believe that I have greatly progressed,” Ishin said of his “social education” from Welford – “although you’ll have to ask her about that.”
Ishin will work at J.P. Morgan in New York as an investment banking analyst in their financial institutions division. Although known for its long hours and difficult lifestyle, Ishin is looking forward to this experience.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be working in NYC,” said Ishin. “This is close to my family, and it is the financial capital of the world, both of which I hope will enhance my experience.”
When asked how he will carry out Mays’ vision to advance the world’s prosperity, Ishin mentioned the common misconception that investment bankers are in business for only themselves. Ishin said this could not be further from the truth.
“Investment bankers help the 50-year-old father of four who started his business 25 years ago sell it so he can retire and spend time with his family,” explained Ishin. “They help companies grow and expand and do what’s best for their clients. Personally, I hope to take time to volunteer and give back. I believe that if I act ethically, morally, and without regard to personal gain, then the rest will come in time and the world will be more prosperous as a result for both myself and those around me.”
Ishin said he owes his success to the people who supported him over the last three and a half years at Mays. “I could not have achieved one iota of what I have without the support of my friends, my family, and, most importantly, my mentors,” said Ishin. “There are so many people who have helped me in ways big and small, and I will be eternally grateful to them all.”
- Written by Andrew Barker ‘ 19
Management major Tara DiPasquale took the mantra “Be KIND” literally during her time at Texas A&M. She was a KIND snacks campus representative during her sophomore and junior years, pulling a wagon of her wares across campus.
“I had the opportunity to work with a lot of unlikely people,” DiPasquale said. “When KIND flew me out to Chicago for orientation, I knew that these people really cared.”
She will graduate from Mays Business School in December with a 3.962 GPA, even though she juggled full work and academic schedules. Now she is finalizing acceptance to a healthcare administration graduate program at Trinity University in San Antonio.
She said she enjoyed her time at KIND because “it was very free form” and had a lot of space and opportunities for self-motivation. She enjoyed the varied activities she participated in, saying her experiences were “different every week.” She especially enjoyed promoting the “how KIND of you” mission for the company, where she could demonstrate helpfulness and kindness throughout everyday life.
With respect to balancing her full schedule between her academics and her work, her thoughts were simple: “All you need to do is find the time.” This method has served her well, as her GPA reflects. Her varied work experience has prepared her for a master’s degree in healthcare administration.
With a major in management and a minor in economics, DiPasquale expressed excitement at the prospect of entering the healthcare industry. She cited her father as an inspiration to want to build a career in the industry after her undergraduate studies. After initially deciding to study marketing, she changed her major. “I liked the broader scope of management, so I decided that management was a better fit for me,” she explained. She felt this was a more fitting choice given her desire to enter healthcare administration. Her professional experience in the healthcare industry goes back to when she was a human resources intern at CHI St. Joseph in Bryan during her undergraduate studies.
In the interim between graduation and starting her master’s program, she will likely be volunteering at a local hospital in her hometown of Longview, Texas.
- Written by Anthony Kovash ’19