By the numbers

Finance graduate Asia Byrd ’20 is an analyst at Morgan Stanley with a mission to help improve financial literacy.

Asia Byrd

“Loud.”

That’s how Asia Byrd describes being in a family of eight children.

But she also talks about the pressure of being a role model for her seven younger siblings. “They look up to me,” she says. After the coronavirus hit, however, her biggest fear became losing her home WiFi signal. With everyone taking online classes or her brothers playing video games, “I would plead, ‘Please don’t cut off the WiFi when I’m taking a test.’”

But Byrd was more than adept at maneuvering her family’s dynamics. She made the Dean’s List all eight terms, was a member of both Beta Gamma Sigma and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and graduated in the top 5 percent of her class.

From an early age, she knew she wanted to study business. “I loved the stock market and investments,’ she notes.

Rachel Gordon, assistant professor of finance and her adviser, was a great mentor and instrumental in helping narrow her focus to become a finance major. “Dr. Gordon also pushed me to apply for the Traveler’s Scholarship,” Byrd says, which she received in May 2019. “I am grateful to her for that.”

Byrd also juggled her TU classes with a job as a teller for Bank of America. When the pandemic hit chaos ruled, Byrd says. “Some people did not wear masks or adhere to social distancing rules,” she says. Others wanted to withdraw huge sums and “became irate when told the bank did not have that much cash on hand,” she explains.

In August, she became an analyst with Morgan Stanley, reviewing stocks, bonds and derivatives and studying the market so financial advisers have information to make sound investments. “Analysts are in the background, like the engine of a Ferrari,” she explains.

Byrd, whose goal is to become financial adviser, also reveals “a passion for helping others, especially in improving their financial literacy,” she explains. “It is really important to teach others how to build credit, buy a home and be financially literate.”

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