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O’Pake’s Impact on Graduating Fellows

By: Dane Sabarese , Fellow of communications

As the weather gets warmer, Alvernia University and the O’Pake Institute for Economic Development & Entrepreneurship say goodbye to fourteen of our best and brightest young minds as they prepare to enter the real world and start their professional careers after Commencement. The O’Pake Institute aims to accelerate the maturing process of your average eighteen-year-old undergraduate so that when the time comes that they must walk across the stage and away from the classroom, they are fully equipped with the skills and qualities to be an asset wherever they land.

On May 11th, Alvernia University held its Commencement Ceremony at 1 p.m. at the Santander Arena in downtown Reading, PA. 

Andrew Deschenes, the O’Pake Institute’s Fellow of finance, graduated with an entry-level job as a treasury and pricing financial analyst at Mitsubishi HC Capital Canada, North America’s largest non-bank and non-captive financial institution.

“O’Pake was astonishing as it motivates students to learn practically while balancing academics and sometimes athletics. Another instrumental aspect I took away from O’Pake was the ability to bridge academic concepts and theories to real-life clients,” said Deschenes. One critical piece of the puzzle that is often overlooked with the O’Pake Institute is the fact that it encourages students to apply what they are learning in textbooks to the professional world, and that is all a part of the maturing process in terms of professional development. 

The O’Pake Institute aims to have its Fellows excel in the professional world from day one. “O’Pake was a great way to build my image in my respective field. From navigating research to pitching new financial models, it helped me understand the world of consulting, which is essential for interview preparation.” Deschenes also enrolled in a CFA program, taking the level one exam in August. The uniqueness of the O’Pake Institute and its advanced way of exploring client services through undergraduate students is what makes it possible for students like Deschenes to feel comfortable at graduation. 

So, as our best and brightest have crossed the stage into the professional world, the O’Pake Institute hopes that the work that we have paired with our Fellows and the experiences we have provided them with will have them ready for whatever is thrown their way. Good luck to our graduates; your services and personalities will be missed!

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