Finance Major Sally Fridström’s Ambition Drives Her to Succeed

There’s a determination that drives everything Sally Fridström does and it is what leads her professors to believe she’ll succeed no matter what she pursues.

“There’s almost a stubbornness to her determination, but it is in a good way, and it serves her well,” said Parker Woodroof, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UCA College of Business. “She’s bright, she prides herself on her work ethic and she’s good at talking to anyone.”

That drive is just innate in Fridström, a senior finance major and member of the UCA women’s golf team. Whether on the course or in the classroom, she wants to succeed and be the best.

Last summer, Fridström had the opportunity to showcase her abilities at The Accelerator, a 28-day boot camp at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

The camp, offered through Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management, puts college students and recent undergraduates in front of companies, ranging from startups to multi-national firms, to work through real-life business problems and provide consultation.

“I was fortunate to collaborate with two teams of about eight people, which provided more than 160 hours of consulting work for various companies, including Google Fiber,” said Fridström.

“They came with an issue or problem and we tried to solve it,” said Fridström. “We had four or five days to research, formulate a strategy and then present our idea that was judged by C-level executives.”

Participants also took part in MBA-level coursework in branding, design, economics, product development and more. Fridström said the wide variety of business classes she’s had through the College of Business’ foundation and core requirements, which exposes all business majors to many disciplines — including accounting, finance, logistics, information systems and more — helped her settle into her advanced coursework.

“It was good having that overall foundation with me because if I had been fast-tracked in finance, I wouldn’t have had knowledge of the marketing and management side,” said Fridström. “It helped me be an active member of the team during our work.”

Without the requirement to explore different realms of business early in college, Fridström might not have found her niche in finance and marketing. She began as a general business major, but the foundation and core requirements exposed her to fields she enjoyed immensely.

“It makes you well-rounded,” said Fridström. “Throughout those first few years, you’re establishing a foundation of interest with broad knowledge across a spectrum of topics. It helped me find out what I really like and what I didn’t like, which was great.”

Fridström decided to major in finance and discovered an interest in marketing through time in Woodroof’s courses, and ended up choosing it for her minor. Learning the art of persuasion, how to carry yourself and present your brand are all aspects of marketing she enjoys.

“It’s super interesting,” she said.

“Parker is the best professor, he made me more aware of marketing,” said Fridström. “He makes classes more interesting, which makes us all more engaged.”

Once she graduates in May, Fridström is concentrated on getting her master’s in accounting and ultimately becoming a certified public accountant. She was recently accepted to Vanderbilt University’s Master of Accountancy program in the Owen Graduate School.

“Accounting is the language of business,” said Fridström. “If I am able to master it and become a CPA, I’ll have endless opportunities and be able to leverage my background in finance and marketing as well.”

Long-term, Fridström would like to be a financial advisor for athletes. An athlete herself, Fridström sees a clientele she identifies with and can help navigate financial decisions.

“Whatever she decides, she’ll be equipped to do it,” said Woodroof.