Inspired at Sea: UNO a Smart Investment for Navy Vet | College of Business Administration

When Jake Hermann graduated from CBA in the spring of 2023 with a bachelor of science in business administration with concentrations in business finance, portfolio management, and banking and investment sciences, it was the culmination of a dream that started several years before that, on a ship in the middle of the sea.

In 2014, Hermann was in the Navy and began reading books to gain as much practical knowledge as possible.

“I decided that I wanted to learn about personal finance and investing. After some research, I finally found a book that sounded interesting. In the belly of an aircraft carrier, somewhere in the middle of the South China Sea, I picked up ‘The Intelligent Investor’ by Benjamin Graham and my life hasn’t been the same since. A passion was sparked and suddenly, I couldn’t get enough finance. It became apparent to me that when I got out of the Navy, I needed to go back to college to pursue this newly found interest,” Hermann said.

Hermann finished his Navy career as a Nuclear Machinist Mate and decided to enroll at UNO’s College of Business Administration to continue learning about finance as a non-traditional student, several years older than the rest of his freshman cohort.

“It was different in the beginning, I was always aware that I was older, we do not speak the same language,” he said, laughing. “But I treated it like a job, I showed up, did the work, and along the way, I became friends with a lot of my classmates.”

Hermann would stay late or come in early to help classmates in study sessions, he became involved in the Maverick Investment Club and went to events with friends from class.

Hermann even made it to the finals of the Capstone Cup, a semester-long competition that is required for every student enrolled in the undergraduate strategy course, Corporate & Business Strategy. Students are placed in the role of a consulting firm and asked to analyze and develop recommendations to a complex business problem. His team placed third.

“I think I have grown tremendously during my time at UNO. I’ve developed skills in communication, teamwork, and computer skills that I expect will serve me for the rest of my life. I now have a lot of knowledge in a variety of subjects, and I’ll likely use much of that knowledge every day in my job. At the very least, it will be the foundation of understanding for new information. My Investment Principals class last semester felt like proof that I had chosen the right path. The class was based around value investing and taught the same principles that I had learned when reading ‘The Intelligent Investor’ years before. I felt a true full-circle moment when I walked out of that final. That was especially true considering that that book was impossible to understand without any background in finance,” Hermann said.

Hermann is considering pursuing his CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) certification and hopes to become a portfolio manager in the future.


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