Business Alum Rings NASDAQ Opening Bell
Nasdaq (originally an acronym for "National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations”) is a global electronic marketplace for buying and selling securities. Headquartered in New York City’s Times Square, it hosts a seven-stories-tall electronic billboard at Nasdaq Tower. Seton Hill business alumna Nicole Nath, along with other representatives of her company, Abiomed, appeared on this display as they rang the opening bell to begin trading on Feb 1, 2022. A few days later, Nicole sent an email to her former Seton Hill business professor, Roland Warfield:
“During my time at SHU, I was lucky enough to take a few of your finance and accounting classes…Today, I support investor relations and FP&A at Abiomed, a medical device company located right outside of Boston, MA. Our company manufactures the world’s smallest heart pump and in honor of heart month, we had the opportunity to ring the opening bell at Nasdaq. I share this experience with you because, I often find myself thinking back that it was some of your classes that drew my interest towards finance…I hope this note serves as a friendly reminder that your work as a professor has provided me the knowledge and experience for a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
An Honors Program student while at Seton Hill, Nicole earned her bachelor’s in math - actuary science in 2016 and her MBA in accounting the following year. We recently reached out to Nicole to find out more about her Nasdaq experience and position with Abiomed. Here’s what she told us:
I see that you got your bachelor's & master’s at Seton Hill - what was that experience like?
While studying for my bachelor’s I enjoyed the small class sizes. It provided the opportunity to have a more interactive experience vs. large, lecture-style classes. Also, having professors who knew your name and your strengths and weaknesses was beneficial, especially if you felt stuck making an important decision about your education or future career plans. The smaller community also created a close-knit community among classmates and peers.
Were you able to take advantage of the FastForward Program?
Yes - I was able to take advantage of the FastForward Program! What I enjoyed most was the diversity of professional experience of the other students in the program. Students that I had graduate classes with ranged from early stages in their professional career to others that have been in their career for multiple years or were pursuing a degree for a different career. This provided different perspectives in classroom discussions and the ability to learn more than just a textbook and lecture. Also, having my MBA was ALWAYS brought up during the interview process, so I’m really happy that I took advantage of the FastForward program.
"I share this experience with you because, I often find myself thinking back that it was some of your classes that drew my interest towards finance…I hope this note serves as a friendly reminder that your work as a professor has provided me the knowledge and experience for a once in a lifetime opportunity."
Why did you choose Seton Hill after high school?
There were two main reasons why I chose Seton Hill. First, I really wanted to continue my lacrosse career in college. I fell in love with the lacrosse family, the opportunity to be a part of a competitive program, and the ability to be close to home so that my family could still attend most of our games. Second, I came from a small high school so I found the smaller campus and size of Seton Hill really attractive.
What was it like playing lacrosse while earning a degree?
Playing a sport while earning a degree taught me a lot. First, it introduced me to a new level of hard work and discipline. It also gave me amazing teammates who turned into a second family, plus a sense of camaraderie with other student-athletes.
Being a student-athlete has also benefited me tremendously in the real world. I feel that I have a better sense of time management and the ability to work under pressure. I have also been able to translate the work ethic into the corporate world, including the ability to handle feedback and be “coachable,” which I believe I get a lot of respect for.
Tell me a little bit about the journey from MBA grad to Abiomed?
After spending my entire life in the Pittsburgh area, I was really craving the opportunity to experience a new city. I applied to a few jobs in different cities and ultimately landed in Boston. Abiomed was my second job after moving to Boston, but has provided the most opportunity and career advancement. I also really enjoy working for a company that has such a powerful and impactful mission.
What was it like participating in the NASDAQ bell ringing ceremony?
It was a great experience! As 9:30 got close, there was a brief introduction and we all got on stage to start clapping and cheering as our CEO rang the opening bell. Interestingly enough, Abiomed was invited to “kick off” February because it is heart month. Our products help support people who suffer from heart attacks and heart failure by taking over the work of the heart, enabling them to rest and recover. After, we went out to Times Square to see the video and pictures on the large marquees. It was pretty surreal, and I am really lucky that I was able to be a part of it.
What would you like to tell future college students who may be considering an accounting or actuarial science career?
Take full advantage of the liberal arts experience and the opportunity to take a full spectrum of classes. In the “real world,” you need to have experience and strengths outside of your major. For example, even a career in finance requires the ability to analyze, communicate and tell a story to really be successful and you’re not necessarily going to find that in a Calculus textbook.