Best and Brightest, Squared

USD students Simon Finnie and Elizabeth Longacre


Elizabeth Augusta Longacre ’20 (BBA) is clearly a force to be reckoned with.

At the age of 22, she’s been to six continents and 35 countries. As a first-year student, she grew USD’s newly founded Student Vegans United club from 12 to more than 120 members. When asked by Poets & Quants to describe herself in 15 words or less, her response was good-humored: “I am to business what Elle Woods was to law; determined and well-dressed.”

Named one of 2020’s Best and Brightest Undergraduate Business Majors by Poets & Quants — which has been described as “a forum and community of experts that share information on business schools around the world” — Longacre hasn’t just been places. She’s  definitely going places.

USD student Elizabeth Augusta Longacre ’20 (BBA).

Elizabeth Augusta Longacre ’20 (BBA)

The international business major credits her undergraduate experience for launching her to the next step: “I’ve had the opportunity to study abroad three times, which has given me a perspective that I could have never have had from staying in the classroom.”

Clinical Professor of International Business Eileen Daspro calls Longacre “an exceptional example of a Changemaker committed to using her business skills and global mindset to make the world a better place.” She says Longacre’s experiences studying abroad in Paris, Buenos Aires and London deepened not just her own learning, but that of fellow students.

“Her cross-cultural awareness and social consciousness greatly contributed to class discussions and even influenced her senior thesis, which is focused on helping leading firms in the global fashion industry become more sustainable,” says Daspro.

On the cusp of graduation, Longacre is ready to begin the next chapter, and is busy networking her contacts and interviewing with a number of companies.         When looking back at her collegiate career, Longacre sees these years as transformative. “I decided to study business because I wanted to make a lot of money. Now, I’m graduating with the desire to change the world for good.”

The other notable School of Business senior being celebrated by Poets & Quants is Simon Finnie ’20 (BBA). Upon his arrival at USD, he was surprised to see how diverse that people who study business here. “A lot of people think it’s only for stuffy people who want to wear a suit to work every day, and if they don’t want to do that, they should find something else.”

Finnie is proof positive that stuffiness is not required. When asked for a fun fact about himself, the Vancouver native says: “Like every other Canadian, I played hockey for 15 years before coming to college, and I love maple syrup and bacon.”

USD student Simon Finnie ’20 (BBA)

Simon Finnie ’20 (BBA)

School of Business Associate Professor and Chair of Finance Marko Svetina is a big advocate: “Taking on two difficult majors (finance and accounting) and maintaining a 4.0 GPA is hard enough, but Simon has achieved equivalent excellence in his extracurricular activities as president of Beta Alpha Psi and through multiple community service events.”

Of his many awards, honors and community work, Finnie is most proud of one.

“Winning the Deloitte FanTaxtic National Competition as a sophomore,” he says. “The competition was all about being able to understand a case and present it to a client. There were 63 teams from all over the nation and we finished in first place.”

Kudos like that are no surprise to Svetina. “Some faculty members have said Simon was the best student they have ever taught, even when the same faculty member has been teaching for over a decade.” He’s not surprised that Finnie has already secured a full-time position with one of the top accounting firms in the country after completing an internship.

Finnie has accepted a position at Deloitte Tax in San Jose, California as an international tax consultant and will be starting work in July 2020.

Both Finnie and Longacre are grateful for the scholarships they received along the way that made a USD education attainable.

“I am so thankful for the opportunity that the scholarships gave me, and the trust that those donating gave me, to effectively succeed on their behalf,” says Finnie.

Longacre concurs. “Being offered a scholarship upon acceptance to USD made me feel so valued,” she recalls. “College is already difficult enough without the concerns associated with accumulating student debt. Scholarships made it possible for me to focus on my education without having to worry about how I would be able to pay off loans in the future.” — Julene Snyder

Learn more about giving back to deserving USD students

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *