How to Succeed with a Business Degree: Lessons from the Most Innovative Person in Finance

01 June 2021
Exterior of DePaul University in central Chicago. Grand stone building with art deco revolving doors.

When you think of the most innovative people in business within the last 50 years, you might think of Elon Musk of Tesla and Jeff Bezos of Amazon. But there’s another name that you might not recognize: Dr. Richard Sandor. Recently, DePaul University’s Arditti Center for Risk Management hosted a conference for DePaul students, and they got to hear from Dr. Sandor, who was introduced as “the most innovative person in the field of finance in the last 50 years.”

Dr. Gretchen Frickx, director of the DePaul Global Gateway Program, attended the conference to listen to Dr. Sandor. She explained, “This conference was an example of the level of professionals that DePaul students have access to through its programs, centers and institutes.”

So, who is Dr. Sandor? He is the first person to write a futures contract on interest rates in the 1970s. From that one contract the market for interest rate futures has grown to more than $34.7 billion. Then he went on to conceive, develop, and implement two financial exchanges, the Chicago Climate Exchange and the American Finance Exchange and its associated financial index AMERIBOR. These exchanges fundamentally changed the financial markets and help provide significant returns for investors.

Dr. Sandor’s Advice to Pursuing a Business Degree

After an interview with Dr. Thomas Berry, department chair for DePaul’s Finance Department, Dr. Sandor offered this advice for finance students and professionals:

  • Be open minded! It is hard to pick an investment that will be popular in 25 years, be open to new ideas.
  • Learn the fundamentals of a business degree at a great university like DePaul (accounting, economics, finance).
  • Continue to work hard and focus. If you pick a direction, really focus on it.
  • Don’t be afraid to leave a job if you aren’t learning. If you are not getting better every day, you are not in the right job.

You watch Dr. Sandor’s interview here.

“As I sat in a virtual room with so many DePaul students and faculty, it struck me how unique this experience is,” said Dr. Frickx. "The CEO of a major financial index - someone who has made a huge impact in the lives of most, if not all American consumers - is in the same room with me, speaking to our students! This is yet another example of how DePaul’s deep connections in industry provides students with access to some of the most learned, experienced and networked people on the planet!”

Dr. Sandor was an inspirational speaker and provided many reasons to study business during this DePaul conference. If you’d like to pursue a career in finance or another business field and hear from innovative, leading professionals like Dr. Sandor, apply to enroll at DePaul University today.

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