Marrying a passion for teaching with a passion for finance

Monday, October 19, 2020

Amy Lei headshotAmy Lei, BAFM ’17, used her time at SAF to uncover her passion of teaching and to eventually land her dream job at Mink Capital, uniting the two things she loves the most - teaching and finance!

Shortly after graduating from the University of Waterloo, I began my full-time career in the investment banking group at TD Securities. I obtained this opportunity thanks to the University of Waterloo’s fantastic co-op program, which allowed me to intern at TD Securities (and three other prestigious corporations!) while I was still an undergraduate student. I learned so much during my first year and a half in investment banking, where I developed invaluable technical and soft skills, but ultimately moved forward to work with the team at Mink Capital.

Mink Capital is a private equity advisory, consulting, and education firm founded by Steve Balaban, who also teaches the private equity course at the School of Accounting and Finance. I met Steve when I was a student in that very course nearly 4 years ago. Wow, time flies! We got along for many reasons like the fact that we’re both very energetic and could spend days on end talking to new people. What really stood out to me, however, was Steve’s talent for making the educational experience so personal. Steve would remember your name, interests and work experiences even if he was teaching 400 other students that day, and he remembered those details about all of them, too. Steve was really passionate about ensuring his students were successful in his class and in their careers, which was so inspiring to me. When Steve asked me to be his teaching assistant for the first time that following winter, I jumped at the opportunity. I knew I was going to love teaching but at the time, I didn’t understand the magnitude of the fun, excitement, and feelings of fulfillment I was actually going to experience.

That amazing experience of teaching with Steve led to another… and another! Being a teaching assistant became the highlight of my undergraduate career. Yes, even better than the four remarkable co-op opportunities I was lucky to have. I kept in touch with Steve after I began working as an investment banking analyst and we would reminisce about our teaching days. Then Steve asked “We have so much fun teaching private equity and other finance-related courses to the students at the University of Waterloo. What if we could share that fun and teach to the rest of the world?” I replied, “Now that is something I would love to do for the years to come.”

That’s how I found myself at Mink Capital, working with Steve once again! We’re now focused on expanding our educational offerings to share our love of private equity knowledge and to replicate the fun that we had while teaching at the University of Waterloo. I’m very grateful for the opportunities and experiences I had while I was a university student. Thanks to the University, I met Steve, discovered a passion for teaching, and found the inspiration to think outside the box so I can have fun doing what I love, every single day.

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