Liberal Arts Career Scopes: Q&A with Yuri Punj

A liberal arts education (also known as liberal arts and sciences) is rooted in the interdisciplinary study and application of the natural sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. In this post, we will have an interview with Yuri Punj about the liberal arts career scopes.

Liberal Arts and Sciences Education

All liberal arts students select a major area of focus—or even create their own—to study in-depth, while also taking classes across an array of disciplines to enhance their perspective, make unforeseen connections, and discover new possibilities.

Enrolling in a liberal arts and sciences institution allows you to challenge yourself. It’s about developing an agile mind capable of solving complex problems—and a heart that aspires to do so.

Overall, a liberal arts degree provides students with the skills employers most want from recent graduates, while also preparing them for careers that don’t yet exist. In today’s constantly changing economic landscape, being prepared for a future not yet written is essential. A liberal arts degree ensures graduates will be the ones shaping that future.

Liberal Arts Career Scopes

Q&A with Yuri Punj

About Yuri Punj (Liberal Arts Graduate from Colgate University)

Yuri Punj is the co-founder & President of Stoodnt, Inc. He has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry working for UBS Investment Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Schroders, and M&T Bank.

Yuri has been an equity analyst (Media & Internet sector) for a top-ranked Institutional Investor team. He also worked in sales & trading where he advised top institutional clients on the technology, media & telecom sectors. In addition, he was the Segment Manager for Business Banking at M&T Bank achieving distinction as the most profitable unit of the corporation. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA Summa Cum Laude in Economics and Political Science from Colgate University.

Q. How would you define Liberal Arts education and what are its benefits?

A liberal arts education builds strong communication skills, both in writing and speaking. For example, a liberal arts education builds strong communication skills, both in writing and speaking.  It also provides an

  • An opportunity to pursue a variety of career options. …
  • The skills to hone critical thinking. …
  • Gain a multidisciplinary perspective. …
  • Learn how to think differently.

A liberal arts education intentionally integrates different areas of study, exposing students to a wide range of subjects. Business majors will have classes in the arts, while pre-med majors may get a taste of sociology. This broad education prepares students to succeed in whatever career they choose. People that can view things from multiple perspectives, no matter their field, provide greater value to employers.

Q. Why did you choose Colgate University?

World-class education with a scholarship.  At that time, Colgate was producing as many CEOs as any Ivy League school.  Plus, it is one of the most beautiful campuses in the US.

I had an amazing and enriching experience at Colgate.  Wouldn’t change it for the world and made lifelong friends including professors.

Q. Please tell us a little bit about your work experience and learning after college.

I was a Segment Manager for a regional commercial bank in upstate NY.  I had so much responsibility and exposure at such a young age including presenting to the Board of Directors.  It set me up well to go to Harvard Business School.

Q. Personally, what were the advantages of having a Liberal Arts degree for you in the corporate world?

Communication skills are probably the most important skill you can have but it is often the one most overlooked. A Liberal Arts education facilitates this to a large degree.

I worked at Wall Street (Financial Services, Investment Banking & Finance), and Media & Telecom before co-founding Stoodnt. Being exposed to the best in the world and honing your work ethic (100+ hour workweeks) really makes you realize the caliber of people on Wall Street. It pushes you to be your best.

Q. What are your thoughts on the present scenario of college admissions?

The admissions process has become unbelievably complex and competitive. But I think the number one thing for parents to realize is that the US offers a college for everyone to get a world-class education. Too much focus on rankings and so-called prestige really hurt how you need to approach the process.

Q. What would be your advice for the parents of college-bound high-school students?

It’s funny how we as parents think we know everything and we forget how we were as kids. Let your child find their own path and be there for guidance and comfort. This generation is as smart and savvy as any in history. We tend to forget that.

Q. What are the top 3 mistakes parents make (or ignore) while working on building a profile for their kids?

The biggest mistake is trying to create a profile for what you think the admissions committee will like. The second is pushing your child into something they don’t really like. Finally, pushing the child in too many different directions. More is not necessarily better in this case.

Q. What’s the biggest motivation for you to drive Stoodnt?

To make sure the knowledge we have been granted to transmitted to all who need it. Ajay and I were blessed to have been guided by our parents and family. We want everyone to have the same opportunities.

Q. What should students (and parents) expect from the Liberal Arts Summer Program?

It is an amazing program that you can do sitting at home led by excellent trainers and mentors. The subject matter is so relevant for today’s marketplace as well.

I will be teaching the module on Capital Markets, Stocks, and Economics & Finance. I want kids to get early exposure to investing and see if they want to pursue it further.

Interested in Liberal Arts and Sciences Summer Program?


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