It’s not every day that a student arrives at Georgia Tech with a clear picture of what he wants to do and where he wants to go, as well as the determination and drive to get there on his own. But Luke Snider wasn’t like many students.
After earning his degree in management in 2009—he graduated in three years, with honors, and also lettered in football—Luke went to work in Atlanta as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch, where he works closely with his father, a 35-year company veteran, as well as his younger brother. This was the realization of a lifelong ambition.
“I’ve always been a math and finance person,” he said. “I always assumed I would work at Merrill Lynch with my dad. I didn’t really know what stock investment was until I went to Georgia Tech and learned about it. As I’ve gotten into it more, I’ve found I enjoy working with people, with families, to figure out how their money can work for them and their future.”
That “people side” of the financial industry is something Luke wasn’t expecting from his work, but it’s something he enjoys.
“A lot of what I do is about sitting down with people and talking about their finances,” he said. “It’s really more about talking about family dynamics—how do they see their money? It’s not just what I call ‘money crunching,’ which is what I thought I would be doing coming out of Georgia Tech.”
Still, it was the strong foundation provided by his finance classes at Georgia Tech that allowed Luke to hit the ground running in the family business and confirmed his conviction that he wishes to remain in the industry for life.
Luke’s experience at Georgia Tech has motivated him to maintain a connection to the school community through his involvement in a number of alumni organizations. He has mentored several students through the Student Alumni Association, served as president of the Georgia Tech Business Network, served two years on the Gold and White Honor Gala Committee and also spent two years on the board of the Georgia Tech North Metro Alumni Network.
As Luke continues to build his career on the skills and lessons he took away from his time at Georgia Tech, he encourages current students to remain focused on their studies.
“When times are hard and you don’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel, just put your head down and keep going,” he said. “Keep working hard, and don’t give up. Keep finding the problem and finding the answer, even if it’s really difficult.”
He also reminds young alumni to live within their means and keep it simple, even after landing their first jobs—and to remember to give back to the Georgia Tech community.
“If you’re not doing any mentoring,” he said, “definitely do that and share some of your experience about what life is like after graduation—and not just what life is like after you get your first job, but what it’s like five years down the line. Pour back into the students at Georgia Tech to better prepare them for the real world. They make our degrees stronger.”