Humboldt State University

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An Interview with Alumni Keenan Pool


Pool graduated from Humboldt State in 2008 with a B.S in Computer Infor-mation Systems. He currently works as a Financial Advisor and Portfolio Man-ager for Morgan Stanley.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what brought you to HSU?

I grew up in Freshwater, California. I enjoy autocross, downhill skiing, camping, and spending time with my family. I have two young daughters and my wife Arianne used to work for HSU doing marketing and communications.

What was it like to be a student at HSU? 

Being a student at HSU was a great experience. I had the opportunity to join a fraternity my first year at HSU (Tau Kappa Epsilon) and it was one of the best deci-sions I made. I met some of my best friends there. I have many fond memories that begin with us meeting at the Library Circle for a pledge event.

Any fond memories of specific courses or professors?

My Computer Science Professor Chip Dixon, was using an overhead pro-jector with fixed width font when most professors had already switched to computers. I also unexpectedly really enjoyed taking a Race, Racism and Philosophy course with Professor Benjamin Shaeffer, which had amazing discussions and essays.

How do you think HSU helped you prepare for your profession?

The emphasis on math, statistics, and problem solving in my coursework at HSU has helped me with the rigorous analysis and decision making 
I do on a daily basis. Working and interacting with fellow students from diverse backgrounds has also helped me connect with clients and col-leagues from all over the country.

Tell me something about your professional life that you want to share with our students.

Listening and asking the right questions are key components of being a Financial Advisor. Finances are a highly personal thing for most people and trust is a key component of relationships. If you think it may be a ca-reer for you, start researching behavioral finance. The two most common educational backgrounds of advisors, in my experience, are Psychology and Business.

Any advice for our current students on profes-sional and personal growth?

My advice is to find things you are passionate about and get involved in them. These may not relate to your career, but the connections and personal reward you get from them will propel you to success in other areas of your life. Pick your goal and work towards it with patience and persistence. Lastly, don’t think you’ll get there alone. Find mentors. Col-laborate with your colleagues, your family, your peers, and your elders. The cumulative impact will get you much further!