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Student discovers his “joie de vivre”

August 7, 2019 Jim Warner
Deron Steinbrecher

Life-changing moments are rarely pointed out to us with bold red letters on our calendar. More often than not, it’s chance and our openness to an opportunity, which leads to the next significant life marker. 

Consider recent UofL graduate Deron Steinbrecher. “Two years ago, while scheduling my fall classes at UofL, I realized I still lacked a humanities credit.” Looking over the course catalog, he decided to fill the requirement with a French class.

“I had always had an interest in the French language and culture but never really believed I’d have the drive to learn it. On a whim, I decided to try my hand at a French course and see what would happen.”

After a few weeks in the class, French became not just a course, but a passion. “I decided that I was no longer going to take this French class to fulfill a humanities credit, but I was going to become fluent in the language. Two years later, I am now embarking on my journey in France, combining both my love for the language and passion for finance.”

 “Don’t let your fear of being uncomfortable or out of your element stop you from pursuing what could be a life-changing opportunity.”

Deron Steinbrecher

As Deron discovered the joie de vivre of connecting passion with career, he began to look for opportunities which lived at these intersections. Enter the MSc in Finance at EM Lyon in France. Deron credits Dr. Imad Elhaj’s mentorship as key in finding his way. “He [Dr. Elhaj] helped me grow tremendously as a student and made me realize what I truly needed to do in order to excel. His passion for teaching students the underlying principles and reasoning behind financial formulas and equations gave me a deeper appreciation for the program.”  

After spending part of the summer working at the Office Public de l’Habitat Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole, Deron will start grad school this fall. He believes that the College of Business has given him all the tools he will need to make a successful transition.

“The finance program [at the UofL College of Business] has laid a solid framework in which I will be able to easily expand upon with my MSc. My courses in corporate finance, investments, international finance, and financial derivatives were all fairly intensive courses that required a firm understanding of the material in order to pass.”

Deron’s advice to future Cardinals is to take risks which encourage the growth beyond your current reach. “Don’t let your fear of being uncomfortable or out of your element stop you from pursuing what could be a life-changing opportunity. I most certainly have some fear about being 3,000 miles away from home, speaking a completely different language, meeting all brand new people, and all the while having to worry about my very demanding course load! But hey, the uncertainty and fear is kind of fun! Makes you feel alive, right?”

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