Patrick Finney traveled to roughly 15 different countries on three different continents during his time at George Mason University.
That included studying at Kedge Grande École in Marseille, attending two business conferences in London and supervising market research in Bangkok.
The 23-year-old finance major has clearly made the most of his time at George Mason.
“When I got to campus, I really hit the ground running and started honing in on what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be,” Finney said. “Yeah, you learn in class. But it’s so much about social skills and so about being able to collaborate with people in a diverse setting. This is something that I’m especially thankful to George Mason for.”
Finney, who also studied graphic design, has a job awaiting him as a business technology analyst for Deloitte, an international professional services team. But his plans could change if he’s chosen in January as a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English and business communication at a university in Poland.
It didn’t take long after his arrival on campus for those at Mason to see the qualities that make Finney special. The former assistant director of academic services for the School of Business who oversaw overseas study, Meggan C. Ford, was immediately impressed by the smarts, drive, humility and charisma she saw in the freshman. Ford, now the director of undergraduate programs for the Business School, said Finney wasted no time becoming heavily involved in his new community.
Finney said finding time for everything was never a problem.
“If you want it,” he said, “you make it happen. Balance and time management come as a side effect of passion.”
Finney was one of just 860 American undergraduates from 332 colleges to receive the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and spent the spring 2015 semester studying abroad in France.
It was while overseas that he vastly improved his French while living with native speakers. He also first met brothers of the Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity there, which he ultimately joined. Originally a marketing major because of his creative passions and affinity for business, Finney was inspired by his fraternity brothers and changed his major to finance with a concentration in international business strategy. He specialized further by taking a minor in graphic design with a concentration in corporate identity and user experience.
“That experience abroad showed me the scale of the world,” Finney said, “and how far-reaching business is as a component of humanity. At that point, I saw that I was interested in many more detailed aspects of business.”
Upon his return to Mason, Finney landed summer internships with a diverse group of companies while continuing to coordinate many events while on campus the following semesters. He credited Patricia Mathison, the director of Social Action and Integrative Learning, for a well-rounded college experience based on community engagement.
“He really knew from the beginning that he wanted to make the most of his time here,” Ford said, “and he really did.”
Finney said that was the plan all along.
“It’s been an incredible time at Mason,” he said. “I’m so thankful and so excited.”