As an undergraduate, an MBA was the furthest thing from Mike Rose’s mind; He was focused on earning an economics degree from Butler University, playing football and helping lead the Butler Bulldogs to a division championship, and eventually working in Michigan’s banking industry.
After graduating in 2013, however, he quickly landed a job in Denver as a marketing consultant for a print and interactive marketing company, where he worked on SEO and website creation while he applied for banking positions. After being hired as a commercial credit analyst for Arbor State Bank, he returned to his home state to start his career.
“They were a close-knit group, and I had a strong relationship with the president of the bank,” Rose explained. “I was talking to him about my career goals and how, eventually, I’d love to be the president of a bank. He took on a mentor role and encouraged me to pursue an MBA, saying it wasn’t only about what I’d learn but about the connections I would build.”
Rose applied to MBA programs across the country, attending info sessions and participating in interviews to find a program that aligned with what he was looking for:
- A broad curriculum so he could expand his finance and economics background but also learn more about supply chain management and marketing, and
- A diverse cohort with backgrounds in many different areas of business.
“Those expectations were met from the first day I arrived on campus,” he said. “What I also liked about Michigan State’s Broad Full-Time MBA program was the responsiveness and the relationships I built with the staff. I truly felt like they cared about the students.”
Knowing it would be a financial stretch — and require a 21-month commitment — Rose fully intended to make the most of his experience, including his summer internship. He started applying for positions at the Federal Reserve right away.
“Working at the Federal Reserve would not only allow me to be part of an organization that’s bigger than myself, but also give me insight and background into how our central bank works,” Rose said. “If you’re going to be involved in banking, it’s important to understand that dynamic. They’re not only involved in interest rates, but also inflation, unemployment, regulation of the banking industry, etc.”
When he applied there in September 2019, the internship involved spending the summer in either New York City or Chicago. As the novel coronavirus spread to the United States, however, plans started to change. The Federal Reserve kept in contact with Rose to share updates and decided to move to a virtual program one month ahead of the internship start date.
Although COVID-19 also changed the internship scope of work, Rose is still learning valuable information every day. While much of his work is confidential, he is spending part of his time reaching out to different markets to uncover details about specific challenges amid the pandemic, discussing whether they are trading and performing activities at the same level as prior to the pandemic, and asking questions about the decisions they are making as a result of COVID-19.
“I’m also very impressed with how Federal Reserve team members reach out to me,” he said. “I’m in constant communication with them. Every day, I have different people contact me for one-on-one virtual meetings where they tell me about their job functions or go over different types of economic policies.”
Rose says he also attends regular classes to learn more about the economy and the financial impacts of the pandemic.
“This experience has given me an appreciation for the other side of banking and opened up my eyes to a different type of career,” he said. “I originally thought this internship would give me a solid background to help me excel in banking. I’ve realized that a career at the Federal Reserve is something I’m interested in: being able to work in an organization that directly impacts people’s lives.”