Our Stories

Succeeding…with a Little Help from His Friends

Frank McField Zapata finds being among motivated people to be a great motivator

Frank McField Zapata
Investment Banking Analyst, Moelis & Co

Vanderbilt MS Finance 2021

For Frank McField Zapata, the hard part was figuring out where to take his career after earning a degree in economics. “It took trial and error,” he says. As he describes it, once he decided to pursue investment banking, his choices became much easier.

It helped that one of his mentors had pursued an MBA at Vanderbilt, putting Owen on his radar. “Upon looking at the school,” he says, “I noticed that it was well ranked, that it has a great reputation for helping students get jobs in my desired field of work, and that it provided scholarships. Once I got a chance to speak with some of the students, it was truly a no-brainer.”

He has had plenty of opportunities to exercise his brain since arriving, and he credits his fellow students, as well as his professors. “I am on the younger end of the spectrum, and I have gotten a chance to learn from some of my fellow classmates about how they pursue life and the things they’re interested in, which has been extremely refreshing and helpful,” says Frank, who is involved with the Owen Finance Club and the Owen Black Students Association. “I have also gotten exposed to some of the subject matter that I was not familiar with from undergrad, which also has been amazing. One of my most valuable experiences has been fostering friendships with teachers who have personal interest in my success and have helped me with the material—accounting, specifically—that I needed to understand for banking interviews.

“In the MS Finance program, I am in a cohort of 83 of the most driven people I have ever met. Like me, they are interested in doing their best inside and outside of the classroom, and seeing them push themselves also helps me when I don’t feel motivated. This experience has taught me and validated the idea that I am at the right place.”

Fun Fact: Frank, who was born in Honduras and moved to Boston at age eight, is a published author whose work is part of a series of short narratives.

Once I got a chance to speak with some of the students, it was truly a no-brainer.