Terry Case Study: Drew Pinkstaff

Andrew Pinkstaff's interest in the evolving nature of modern market dynamics led him to study finance, economics and international business
Drew Pinkstaff

Drew Pinkstaff
Hometown: Waco, Texas  
High School: Midway High School Class of 2021
Majoring in Finance, Economics and International Business

Drew Pinkstaff, a third-year finance and international business major, grew up in Waco, Texas surrounded by a family working in medicine. He thought about following in their footsteps but was drawn to Terry College because of the dynamic nature of working in finance. 

1. What drew you to UGA?

I consider myself to be a pretty adventurous person, so I always knew that I would likely go to school out of state. There were a variety of factors that I considered when making my college decision, but the most important thing that I was searching for was balance. Compared to other schools across the country that I considered, I felt that UGA had the best balance between strong academics across a variety of areas and an enjoyable four-year experience. I was also naturally drawn to the nature of a college town, southern hospitality and the football atmosphere that exists here at UGA.

2. Why did you decide to major in finance?

It’s I grew up in a family that’s very involved in medicine, and always kind of thought that was what I wanted to do. But I just have this natural interest in finance and in the markets for a very long time. I spent my first year taking pre-med classes, but I learned after that first semester that my interest was in finance. Finance is very quantitative, but with a career in finance. You also must be personable and a good communicator. I feel like it really draws on a whole array of important skills in life. And then the nature of the work, I just find interesting. I find it very dynamic.

3. How long have you been watching the markets? Do you remember when you first thought about trading or the stock market?

I really didn’t start following the markets closely until my freshman year here. Once I recognized how much I enjoyed studying finance, I found myself learning about the stock market and researching different securities very frequently. Now, it feels like part of my normal routine to stay aware of trends in both the equity and fixed income markets. I also owe some credit to my freshman year roommate, who actively managed his own portfolio. I think his interest and knowledge influenced me quite a bit.

4. If you had to name your dream position for your dream company, what would that be?

It’s tough to answer since the landscape in finance is always changing, but I think it would be very interesting to manage my own hedge fund. I find the tradeoff between risk and reward in the hedge fund industry to be interesting. It’s also very fast-paced and thought-provoking, and I think it would take a lot of knowledge and experience to be successful given how competitive hedge funds have gotten over time.

5. Being able to speak Spanish and studying an international business degree sets you apart from a lot of finance majors. How does that fit into you plans?

I don’t know if I ever see myself living abroad, but I don’t want to like rule that out as a possibility. Ultimately, like, I am going to be working this summer for like a very global bank where I will hopefully work on deals across different countries. I think that familiarizing myself with the international economy would be interesting and hopefully beneficial.

6. You’ve been able to get a lot of hands-on experience through Corsair, the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) and other campus groups? What’s the most impactful lesson you’ve taken from working with these clubs?

I have definitely developed many skills through my involvement in these organizations. For that, I am very grateful, but I think the most important takeaway for me is the value of giving back to future students. I am very appreciative of everyone who helped me out along the way, and I think that my involvement in leadership positions has been the most rewarding part of my experience. I appreciate the opportunity to be influential in the lives of future leaders, just as others have been for me. I think that’s how we all grow and succeed.

7. Can you tell me about the class or professor who has had the biggest impact on your time at Terry?

I think there are a lot of right answers to this question, but I think the professor who has impacted me the most is Dr. (Johannes) Kohler. His experience in the financial services industry is similar to what I want my career to look like, and he is always willing to offer advice or discuss the markets with me. He is an incredible professor, but it has been great to get to know him outside of the classroom as well since he is our advisor for both Corsair and SMIF.

8. Imagine yourself 30 years after graduation. What to do you hope you’ve accomplished?

Hopefully a lot of things. For me, faith and family always come first, so I hope that I can find happiness and my own success in those two areas of life. Career wise, I hope that I can truly become an expert in whichever area of finance I become the most passionate about. I hope that I can one day reach a level where the decisions that I make are impactful to the firm I work at and where I can teach and mentor others based on my successes.