There are things that Omar Meson misses about his home in the Dominican Republic, such as his family and fried plantains.
With limited options for a business education in his country, Omar moved to North Carolina to live with his aunt during his junior year in high school as he explored colleges across the United States. As he narrowed down his list of schools, one stood out above all the others: Walton.
While the thought of living away from family was a little unsettling, Omar knew it was time to grow up and start planning his future. Now a senior majoring in both finance and economics, he is reaping the benefits of his Walton education and has served a summer internship in New York with KPMG, a “Big Four” audit, tax and advisory firm.
The internship was a result of Omar’s involvement with ALPFA, a business organization for professionals and students with chapters nationwide. As the vice president of the University of Arkansas chapter, Omar participated in ALPFA’s national convention. It provided many networking opportunities, including a management consulting internship in New York with KPMG, which has since offered him a job after graduation. “The organization really helped me in my career path, and I want it to help those who come after me,” he says of ALPFA.
At KPMG, Omar worked with one of the firm’s largest clients and was assigned a global finance transformation project. His team focused on cutting excessive costs as he helped make the work streams more efficient.
“With finance, you never know what you’re going to get. Every day, it’s a new adventure.”
Any trepidations he may have had about his college decision are long gone. “It was a risk worth taking,” he says.
Now, Omar says he can’t wait to turn his childhood dream of living in New York into a reality. Yet, he says he also sees himself returning to the Dominican Republic at some point, perhaps starting a business there and giving back to the community that helped shape him.
He is already exploring an idea in his New Venture Development Class for a technology-based startup that involves matching students with particular needs as they adapt to college life. But in the meantime, he serves as deputy portfolio manager for his portfolio management class, which oversees an investment fund totaling more than $1 million.
Omar has also served as project leader and director of project partnerships for Enactus’ University of Arkansas chapter, an organization of student, academic and business leaders who use entrepreneurial action toward community projects.
He is a recipient of the Caribbean Tuition Award, a scholarship from the University of Arkansas and has been on both the Chancellor’s and Dean’s lists multiple times.
Omar says he can’t wait to see what’s next.
“With finance, you never know what you’re going to get,” Omar says. “Every day, it’s a new adventure.”