Leeds Class of 2022 prepares to make an impact in sustainability, finance, property and beyond | Leeds School of Business

Leadership roles and internships prepare students to make a splash in companies in Colorado and beyond.


Business school graduates, from above, sit at a graduation ceremony.

Leeds Class of 2022 graduates will go on to work at companies such as L’Oreal, Disney and Morgan Stanley.

Training in Leeds, Amber Hughes is transitioning from dynasty building to property building.

Hughes (MBA’22) came to Leeds after rising steadily through the ranks of the Chicago Blackhawks’ marketing department and overlapped with finishing the team’s last Stanley Cup championship. But she wanted to try real estate, which led her to Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder.

“The smart people you work with and learn from in Leeds have given me a great network,” she said. “Everyone has different backgrounds and goals beyond the MBA, which makes the program valuable.”

Hughes will join RCLCO Fund Advisors upon taking up his post. She joins a long list of Leeds graduates ready to make a difference in business and society. Here are some of their stories.

Emma Pearson (Fin, EBio’22)

Headshot by Emma PearsonBiology and economics might seem like an odd pair, but Pearson has been a long-time advocate for marine conservation and said her finance degree is about making sure the industry has a seat in one when discussing the grand challenges facing the world table has.

“A business background is so important for finding solutions to big environmental problems,” she said. “It’s something I’ve been excited about early in my career.”

She hopes to achieve this through her role as an associate at The Boston Consulting Group, where she was previously an intern. She had the opportunity to connect with the CEO to learn more about his commitment to sustainability.

“I think I’ve gained a little bit of courageous confidence from my experience at Leeds and from all the mentorship I’ve received,” Pearson said.

Atul Raguveer (Fin’22)

Headshot by Atul RaguveerRaguveer is known on campus as the President of the Leeds Student Government. His work at Global Platinum Securities is rather low-key – but so is the organization, an active investment management experience with only eight university affiliates, including Harvard, Georgetown, MIT and Penn, and Colorado.

“It’s a lot of fun learning how to invest alongside some of the brightest people in the country,” Raguveer said.

It was the perfect training for Raguveer, who will move to Morgan Stanley’s New York offices upon graduation. He will work on the mergers and acquisitions team in the technology department, having taken time to undertake projects with this group during his internship at the bank.

“In addition to the other work I had to do, I was building a fully working merger model between two public companies,” he said. “I’m really proud of that. I am really looking forward to returning.”

Amber Hughes (MBA ’22)

Headshot by Amber HughesAn avid hiker and national park explorer, Hughes relocated to Colorado to pursue her MBA to both explore new trails and work in a red-hot real estate market.

“When you commit to something like a graduate program, you make sure you achieve your goals,” she said. “It’s so easy to say, ‘I’ll take this online course or watch this video,’ but it’s easier to follow through when you’re part of a robust program like the MBA.”

Participating in a structured program also gave her leadership opportunities — she is Treasurer and Vice President of the MBA Association and President of the Graduate Real Estate Association, and was also part of a team that represented CU in winning the national Colvin Case Study Challenge — and prepared her for the challenges she will face as a Real Estate Investment Associate at RCLCO.

“I really want to delve more into commercial real estate finance,” she said. “It’s an important part of the industry and I think that’s my next step.”

Kai Suematsu and Samariddin Meliboev (both InfoMgmt, BA’21)

Headshot of Kai and SamHow did Suematsu and Meliboev manage to both graduate a semester early?

They were both dedicated students but also very active volunteers. After setting up a pantry as students at Denver High School, the two created the Kobu Foundation during the pandemic. Under her leadership, with the help of other student volunteers, the nonprofit organization delivered 150,000 meals and provided more than $15,000 in scholarships.

Her Leeds studies helped make the project a success.

“Business courses taught us how to connect with the community, which helped us get started quickly when the pandemic hit,” Meliboev said.

Meanwhile, Suematsu said he learned to be flexible as they looked for ways to make an impact at a time when the pandemic was changing everything: “Knowing when to turn, which is the big idea and figuring out how to fill a needed role is something we’ve learned a lot from.”

Suematsu (a business and integration analyst at Accenture) and Meliboev (a clinical data analyst at Kaiser Permanente) are already making an impact at work, having stepped in after graduating in December.

Connor Lacey (Mktg, BA’22)

Headshot by Connor LaceyLeeds students are no strangers to high-pressure internships. Still, Lacey could be a special case.

During his internship at L’Oreal, Lacey worked on a new product that challenged him to use diverse disciplinary skills to create an effective marketing strategy.

“I secured a media budget of $11 million – I really could have lost that – but I faced up to the L’Oreal USA representative and she listens to me and asks tough questions that I can answer had, and He challenged me to fight for the work I’m proud of,” he said. “It was so enriching.”

He accepted an offer to work at the company as a trainee in marketing management after graduating. It’s a natural fit for an aspiring leader who has been very involved on campus, including serving as student business chair for the CU World Affairs Conference and as a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi business community.

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