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Abby Kleespie


Abby Kleespie secured full-time employment before senior year

The Heider College of Business graduate joined FTI’s Denver office after making the most of her last year at Creighton, a place where she found success and life-long friends.  

For most students, senior year is a time of exploration, discernment about the future, researching, applying and interviewing for full-time employment.

But in August 2021, Abby Kleespie, BSBA’22, knew where she would be in nine months. The FinTech and business intelligence and analytics (BIA) double major walked into her senior year having already accepted a corporate finance consultant position with FTI Consulting’s Telecom, Media and Technology division. Kleespie relocated to Denver after graduation.

“The best companies like to capture the most talented undergraduates the summer before senior year,” says Keith Olson, DBA, associate professor of practice in the Heider College of Business’ Department of Economics and Finance and mentor to Kleespie.

With a double major, multiple internships and numerous extracurricular activities to her CV, Kleespie certainly has talent.

She had just completed a summer internship with the Denver firm when she received the offer. In Kleespie’s current role at FTI, her duties primarily include financial analysis and modeling, slide deck and pitch materials creation and research and project management. This kind of variety is one of the most appealing aspects of her job, and her chosen field.

“No two days are the same, as every project or client request is unique,” she says. “The role provides endless opportunities to learn.”

Pairing FinTech with Business Intelligence and Analytics

Abby Kleespie in cap and gown at commencement

The deeper Kleespie dove into her academic career, the more she realized she wanted a professional career that remains current with rapidly changing technological advances. But being agile enough to follow the trends would not suffice.  No, she needed the know-how to be part of the disruptions themselves, not just respond to them.

FinTech was the answer.

Kleespie was first introduced to FinTech as a discipline after taking a finance course from Lee Dunham, PhD, professor of finance. Dunham was just rolling out the Heider College of Business’ newest major, FinTech. Other universities offered the odd FinTech course, but Creighton was one of the first universities in the nation to offer a FinTech major. Kleespie was one of the first students to sign up.

“I appreciated how new technologies are becoming disruptive to the finance industry as a whole. I added BIA as my second major because I felt it was the best continuation of FinTech. The background understanding of computer-based information processing and completion of a few coding courses helped me to better comprehend the function of the technologies used in FinTech,” the Wichita, Kansas, native says.

Her FinTech-BIA combination provided foundational knowledge in the discipline’s core pillars, she maintains, while developing her research abilities and understanding of emerging innovations.

To me, a Creighton education is a well-rounded experience of growing intellectual and social abilities. A Creighton education provides the community necessary to succeed and receive support from peers.
— Abby Kleespie

Creighton Calls

Abby Kleespie at Creighton basketball game with friends.

Not surprisingly, Kleespie describes herself as an analytical person. Yet, heart more than head guided her decision to become a Bluejay. “After touring Creighton, I had a gut feeling that it was the place where I was meant to be,” she says.

Creighton ticked all the boxes. It was small but packed a mighty opportunity punch. The 11:1 faculty-student ratio increased the likelihood of developing relationships with professors who cared for their students’ wellbeing. Curriculum was innovative and relevant; internships, plentiful. The sense of community was strong.  Further, the opportunity to engage in extracurricular activities, hone leadership skills and just have fun were numerous.

Kleespie certainly made the most of this opportunity. She formed a mentorship with Olson and took advantage of the Heider College of Business’ newly created FinTech major. She worked multiple internships, holding such positions as investment services intern with TD Ameritrade, service group intern with Orion Advisor Solutions and corporate finance consultant intern with FTI.

She also served as financial vice president for both Gamma Phi Beta social sorority and the BIA Association and co-leader of the Financial Management Association; was a member of the Management Consulting Club, Beta Gamma Sigma business fraternity and Creighton’s Presidential Scholars program; traveled to the DR as a Practicum in International Development student; and participated in Encounter retreats with campus ministry.

But perhaps some of her happiest Creighton memories are the “unscripted” moments of fun – the pink-out basketball games, “Mula Mondays,” ice cream runs, rooftop grill-outs or the “Around the World” progressive party hosted by students in the Gifford Park neighborhood on the last day of class before summer break.

These moments, alongside academic pursuits, are what Creighton is all about for Kleespie. “To me, a Creighton education is a well-rounded experience of growing intellectual and social abilities,” she says. “A Creighton education provides the community necessary to succeed and receive support from peers.”

Abby Kleespie at commencement with fellow graduates