Student Spotlight - Chris Megraw
Updated: Dec 9, 2019
Written by: Rodvie Barnachea
Photogrpahy by: Renee Yu
As seen in the October 2017 issue.
“Time” is something that Chris Megraw has made his own. He’s an individual that doesn't wait for things to happen, and acts when he believes there is a need for something to be done. He’s a busy co-op student with a major in finance and minor in accounting—his course selection essentially warrants a double major. Chris is a member of eCLUB, the ICA, and co-founder and co-chair of the Alberta Student Consulting Group.
This month, Lazy Faire had the opportunity to interview Chris before he chose his next endeavour.
At what point did you decide to be a finance major and why?
In eleventh and twelfth grade, we had a stock market competition in high school. I fell in love with the market and realized finance was the way to get involved. Over the next couple of years, I looked at it and saw things like portfolio management financial advisor, financial planning, and investment banking—I loved the ability to better follow the markets because finance is what makes the world go around. Everything revolves around money, whether people like it or not. To be able to understand how that works, and be a prominent member in the finance community, is important to me.
Which specific industries within finance are you most interested in?
I was looking at investment banking, but it’s a big commitment. I’m interested in mergers and acquisitions, and I always keep up to date with which company is acquiring whom, who’s merging, etc. Private equity and venture capitalism is my primary focus in finance, and it’s where I want to end up. Private equity involves anywhere from the acquisition of an entire company to consulting, managing, and scaling the operations of the company that they buy.
You’re very engaged with the idea of innovation, most notably as being a member of eCLUB and your project with professors to create an entrepreneurship course. What has your involvement taught you about planning for the future?
Innovation is about being open to change consistently, and looking at newer and better ways of doing things. In terms of planning for the future, I was going to be an investment banker and take “this” route and do “that” and that is how I’m going to get “this.” Having a plan is great, but I believe people must be open to change and to suggestions. I’ve already switched [from my previous path] to wanting to get my CPA after graduation. I’ve looked into more entrepreneurial aspects. I’ve never thought about going into an incubator or working at all through eHUB or entrepreneurship while I was at school, and just wanted to focus on the accounting side of things. But now, things have changed.
Aside from being a finance major, some of your interests seem to be leaning towards consulting and entrepreneurship. Where do you see the overlap?
With venture capitalism and private equity, those are two very quick growing financial fields that both directly deal with consulting, strategy and implementation, and entrepreneurship. Venture capitalists work closely with startups to help them expand by funding them. Private equity firms often consult the businesses that they buy.
But I don't think people should only understand the finance or only the strategy. It’s a lot better to know about at least a little about every aspect. Finance is a lot harder to understand outside of school because it’s so technical. I chose finance and accounting in school, and everything else can be practiced through soft skills and extracurriculars.
For the rest of Chris's interview, find his section in the complete magazine!
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