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Real-World Experience with Real Data

Opportunities to explore interests leads student to extraordinary career path

Real-World Experience with Real Data

Although it may not draw cheerleaders and adoring crowds of spectators, the skills of Michigan State’s debate team capture trophies and the attention of promising students like Nick Keywork from Dallas, Texas.

“My first encounter with MSU was actually through its Debate Team,” says Keywork. “It's one of the best in the country.”

That was three years ago. Today, Keywork is an Honors College senior, majoring in international relations and finance. He is also one of more than 600 exceptional students who have received an Alumni Distinguished Scholarship.

Alumni Distinguished Scholarships

Each year, more than 1,100 of the brightest high school seniors around the country are invited to campus to compete in Michigan State University’s annual Alumni Distinguished Scholarship (ADS) competition. The scholarships, which are among a select few that cover full tuition, room and board, are considered among the most competitive awards in the country.

“The longstanding tradition of the ADS competition, Michigan State University’s preeminent award program, has helped to bring thousands of exceptional high school students to campus since 1956,” says MSU Honors College Dean Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore. “The scholarship has supported the early careers of many MSU alumni who have since contributed deeply and widely to society in nearly every imaginable field.”

“Being a recipient of the Alumni Distinguished Scholarship has allowed me to study what I want without concern for the cost of the credits I am taking,” he said.

Thanks to the scholarship, Keywork has had the opportunity to explore classes that cover almost all of his interests—enough so he has been able to fill out a schedule and pursue two majors.

 Extraordinary Opportunities

“The opportunities in James Madison College and the Broad College have really helped me narrow down what I want to do.”

And a recent internship in New York City with Renaissance Macro Research thanks to the connections made through the Broad College’s Financial Markets Institute helped Keywork’s take a closer look at his goals and future. He’s seeing a career in research might be just the right one—allowing him to combine all his interests.

“I’ve always been interested in international relations so being in the James Madison College has allowed me to gain a great understanding of the public sector,” he says.

While the course work in finance has been more focused on the private sector, Keywork says the opportunity to explore both disciplines has been interesting, challenging and rewarding.

“I was in a class with someone who works as the senior economist for the central bank of South Korea. We worked on projects together. It was just amazing—someone who is already doing my long term goal.”

Keywork knows that working in research is something he wants to do now and he is already looking forward to his next internship and the opportunities it may bring.

For more information on contributing to the Alumni Distinguished Scholarship Program contact the Honors College Development Office by calling (517) 432-7330.

To support the Eli Broad College of Business, contact the Development Office by calling (517) 355-8504.

To support James Madison College, contact the Development Office by calling (517)432-2117.