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Alumni Highlight - Billy Wang


Billy Wang grew up in Utah and attended the University of Utah in 2001. He got a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and an honors Bachelor’s degree in Finance, both in 2005. After he got his degrees he moved to New York City and did a couple of years doing investing at Goldman Sachs. After working at Goldman Sachs for two years, he went and got his MBA from UCLA to further his business career. He now lives in Dallas and works for MicroFocus, the Enterprise software company.

Wang loved his time at the U, especially at the chemistry department. He originally went in as a pre-med major, which has quite a bit of overlap with chemistry, ultimately making him change his major to chemistry. His most memorable class from his time at the U was his honors organic chemistry course with Cynthia J. Burrows, a Distinguished Professor and Thatcher Presidential Endowed Chair of Biological Chemistry. Organic chemistry is known to be one of the hardest courses you can take at a University, but Wang has a positive memory of it. This is mostly because of Burrows, “she was just so passionate about what she did and it really showed in her teaching.”

Before Wang chose his profession in finance, he was interested in pharmaceutical chemistry and believed he could have done something amazing in that field. However, he struggled quite a bit throughout his chemistry courses saying how challenging and tedious the major was for him. This was a big reason as to why he chose to pursue finance instead. Although he works in the finance field now, Wang believes that “science in general provides a lot of the foundational knowledge” and hopes that when his sons go to college they choose to pursue the science route.

Wang really highlights the overlap between science and other professions, especially between the natural laws of chemistry and the theoretical rules within finance. He believes that they are both connected, “I remember walking between the two campuses and thinking ‘this rule is not that different from the law I learned in chemistry.” Wang’s unique background in chemistry and finance has allowed him to excel in his current profession. His advice for future graduates today is to not give up on your path to success. His struggle throughout his time as a chemistry major better prepared him for the future. Struggle is good, and that is why Wang is where he is today.

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Last Updated: 6/14/23