Wills Hutras ’20 has always been interested in understanding different cultures and how they work together in a business setting, and the Global Commerce major with its balance of “soft” and “hard” skill development was a “perfect fit.”
The associate with Copley Equity Partners in Boston is responsible for originating and evaluating investment opportunities, and learning about new industries/areas of opportunity every day.
“My experience in Global Commerce certainly prepared me for a lot of the soft skills required for my current role,” he says. “Half of my job is asking questions to business owners and understanding how to decipher their answers as quantifiable information. Anyone can be trained on the hard/analytical skills required, so I am grateful to have asked a lot of my ‘dumb’ questions as a student where I had the opportunity to learn.”
“My favorite class was GC 301, and our final project was around currency investing,” Hutras adds. “Although I was very wrong in choosing the Hungarian Forint over the US Dollar, it was super helpful for me to give somewhat of an ‘investment pitch’ with my research to back it up.”
Internships are a real-world laboratory to practice knowledge and skills. Hutras had three — in separate areas of the financial/economic world. “I learned incredibly different things in all my internships, but they all helped guide me to better understanding the world of finance and where I fit best as an employee,” says Hutras, who interned in in Granville, Greece, and finally Boston (where he is today).
“I am very happy in my current position and know that learning from my classes and internships helped prepare for me what I do today.”
Global Commerce majors choose a geographic area of study, and for Hutras that was Europe. “I was lucky enough to have Brexit going on while I was at Denison, so I was able to have a close-up view on how the EU functions, as well as the roles of some of the European powers within the EU,” he says.
Hutras joined his GC senior classmates for their annual senior capstone trip to London, where they spent a week meeting with professionals from business and industry, including many Denison alumni living and working in London and Europe.
A meeting with Josh Spoerri ’93, the managing director at OpCapita LLP, was an especially impactful connection for Hutras. “I was curious to learn how the financial world in London differs from that in the United States, as well as some of the cultural differences in the workplace. Josh was able to provide some great insight into the global nature of working in London and how Brexit may impact his industry going forward.”
His advice for future participants: “Prepare questions before your visit! It is the least you can do as a visitor when these alumni are taking time out of their day.”