Student Spotlight: Rudy Briseno

Rudy Briseno

Faculty Inspire Finance Student to Find His Passion

From a young age, Rudy Andres Briseno has had a knack for numbers and a fascination with investing. The Covina resident has been so eager to join the business world that he graduated from high school in three years and is on track to graduate from Cal Poly Pomona in four with a 3.8 grade point average, all while working part time and leading the Finance Society, a student club in the Finance Real Estate and Law (FRL) Department.

In summer 2011, Rudy received an internship with NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in its business support division where he worked on budgets and helped cut administrative costs. JPL managers were so impressed with his job performance that they asked Rudy to work part time until his 2012 graduation.

Now in his final year at Cal Poly Pomona, Rudy met with Public Information Officer Marisa Demers to reflect on his CBA experiences and how he wants to be an active alumnus who gives back to the college.

Why did you choose to attend Cal Poly Pomona?

Briseno: The fact that I graduated from high school in three years had an affect on my college selection. At the time, I wasn’t prepared to go to school anyplace that wasn’t local because I was so young, so I applied to only local schools. Right out of high school, I actually had a pretty good idea that I wanted a career in finance. Unlike many of the local universities that only offer degrees in economics, Cal Poly Pomona offered much more focused degrees in Business Administration, including finance. I do think ending up here has been a good fortune because FRL has a really strong department with a very strong staff.

Who inspires you at Cal Poly Pomona?

Briseno: I would have to say the professors. In the FRL Department, all of the professors care and there are several professors where you go to their classes and you can feel the passion they have for what they’re teaching and what they’re doing in life. It inspires me to find what I want to do and what I’m going to be passionate about.

Did you have a moment in which you realized that you were meant to be at Cal Poly Pomona?

Briseno: During my junior year, everything started to click. I applied for a few scholarships through the College of Business Administration and the FRL Department and received two. It made me feel that people were recognizing my hard work. Also, around the same time, I was applying for internships and I got an internship with NASA JPL [Jet Propulsion Laboratory] so that was a moment where I kind of knew I’m on the right path. It’s every college student’s goal to graduate and start working in a career that they enjoy and I hope that with the preparation I’m receiving from Cal Poly Pomona and this internship I will be able to do just that.

What is your favorite learn by doing experience?

Briseno: That would have to be the Finance Society. I’ve discovered that being president of a student club is a lot like running a company. We have customers -- which are the members -- who we have to serve. I work with the other leadership members as a management team and we go over issues that many real businesses have to tackle. We talk about the kind of services we want to provide and where we want our club to go. It’s a lot harder than I had ever imagined.

This year, the Finance Society has been trying to provide good speakers for the members. Recently, we had alumnus Jorge Morales who graduated in 2010 and now works for Goldman Sachs. That was a really amazing experience. I hope we can get more alumni like Jorge to come back and help the students here. I really believe in the value of coming back to talk with students and I plan to do that after I graduate and find success.

How can current Cal Poly Pomona students make the most of their time here?

Briseno: The Finance Society is made up of mostly juniors and seniors but really freshmen and sophomores can benefit from the club and there are juniors and seniors in the club who want to provide advice. So really just getting involved early in an organization – be it the Finance Society, a business fraternity or any other club -- is important.

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