A wealth of opportunities

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A short and simple word has made all the difference for Daniel Zimmerman.

“I think that by saying ‘yes,’ I’ve really opened myself up to a lot of opportunities in Schreyer,” he said.

Zimmerman, a double major in finance and economics who just completed his junior year at Penn State, holds several leadership positions on campus. He is the incoming vice president of the Schreyer Honors College Student Council and a previous vice president of the Penn State International Business Association. A member of Penn State Investment Association and a graduate of the Wall Street Boot Camp program, Zimmerman also joined the new club Leverage Lion Capital, where he was in the opening analyst class.

He is a summer analyst for JPMorgan Chase, doing asset management for the company’s private bank.

“I like asset/wealth management more than investment banking or sales and trading,” he said. “I think it’s a little bit more personal and I think it’s the value of helping people that I’m about. I can see the tangible impact of what I’m doing on somebody else’s life.”

Zimmerman, a native of New Providence, New Jersey, took an early interest in Penn State’s Smeal College of Business but initially had trouble deciding between finance and supply chain. He found himself gravitating toward upperclassmen majoring in finance.

“I wanted to follow what they were doing,” he said.

Saying yes also helped Zimmerman expand his world view. He spent part of the summer of 2015 at the International Studies Institute in Florence, Italy, an experience that allowed him to pursue a minor in international business. And saying yes to a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program with the economics department opened his eyes, too.

“I would never have done that if I didn’t get the vibe that research is something that is really desired in the Honors College,” he said. “I don’t think I would have valued research the same way that I do right now. Doing that has really helped me advance on my thesis.”

Zimmerman is conducting his thesis on the recent Volkswagen emissions scandal, using statistical analysis to determine the value of the brand before and after it was revealed that the German automaker had programmed diesel engines in some of its vehicles to activate emissions controls only during testing.

“Should people accept a $200 or a $2,000 reduction on the value of their car?” Zimmerman asked.

An avid fan of Penn State sports, Zimmerman has season tickets for football and ice hockey. He has found no shortage of activities on campus. He said it is the people around him, though, who have inspired him to pursue and excel in opportunities he might not have considered otherwise.

“I was just put into a community of really hard-working, driven individuals,” Zimmerman said. “And I think sitting next to my friend who’s putting in the hours and working hard, really motivating me to do the best that I can, that it really brought out the best in me.”

Last Updated May 18, 2017