Photo of Ryan Seymour
Ryan Seymour

Spartan Showcase: Ryan Seymour

Reflecting on the recent growth of Alpha Kappa Psi, Case Western Reserve University’s business fraternity, you’d never know the organization’s president Ryan Seymour had no intention of studying a management-related subject.

He took on leadership of the organization serendipitously a year and a half ago. Since then, Seymour, who will graduate this month, has helped grow the membership base from 19 members to 60 and engaged with a wide-ranging set of employers, such as Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, BlackRock, Amazon, PWC and EY.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to build the group into a cornerstone of the business school, mentoring and shaping the next generation of student leaders and professionals,” he said.

Seymour hopes involvement may help other students realize their academic interests, too In his case, he entered college certain he belonged in the engineering field—but soon realized it wasn’t the match he expected. He then decided to pursue a pre-med track, but about a week in, he knew he still wasn’t in the right field.

Even after deciding to switch to management and marketing at Weatherhead School of Management, Seymour faced a moment of imposter syndrome as a third-year student, finding that he wasn’t engaging with the analytical part of his brain. He realized, however, that finance would allow him to delve back into that method of thinking, all while keeping him in management. 

He rushed to finish his undergraduate credits and started the intensive one-year integrated Master of Science in Finance program. This week, he will graduate with both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, capping off his educational journey at CWRU.

“Now that I have ‘conquered’ nearly every subject matter in the business school, my journey to gather as much knowledge as possible is nearly complete,” Seymour said.

Before Seymour walks across the stage this week, learn more about his involvement at CWRU in the below Q&A.

Answers have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

1. What drew you to Case Western Reserve University?

My college decision was pretty chaotic. I was coming from a first-gen background and I had little idea about what major to declare. I walked in with no expectations and the hope to figure things out soon. The flexibility of the single-door admission policy was really appealing, and I was only an hour from home [in Canton, Ohio] so I could visit my younger siblings during weekends. 

This combination of academic freedom and familial proximity greatly influenced my choice, and I am so happy CWRU has been my home for the past four years!

2. What do you enjoy most about your areas of study?

I love the intersection of strategy and data analysis. Numbers alone are useless; I enjoy finding the best way to interpret and deploy data insights to create business impact.

3. What are your post-graduate plans and aspirations?

After graduation, I will be staying close to campus and working downtown fulltime. In June, I am starting my job at Cohen & Co. as a management consultant. I am thrilled to draw on my diverse educational background and grow alongside the team!

4. Can you tell me about your experience as a ThinkEnergy Fellow?

I took part in ThinkEnergy because of my entrepreneurial interest and desire to expose myself to diverse environments and new challenges. I think I’m the only person from the business school to apply to the program, and I am so happy that I made the leap. I am on the Solar Sprout team, and we are developing an agrivoltaics solar panel solution, solving the growing land supply issue in the U.S. and beyond. I  handle the business areas of the team, helping secure accelerator and financing opportunities. We recently returned from a VentureWell Pioneer E-team accelerator program, and we are attending ARPA-E after graduation, with a strong possibility to present on the main stage!

As a recently recognized Sheldon Greene Distinguished Fellow, I have loved my experience in the program. I was able to realize my entrepreneurial interests, develop close friendships with my team members, and craft a company that has the possibility to develop into something meaningful.

5. Can you also talk about your role with Alpha Kappa Psi?

During my second year, COVID-19 restrictions began to lift, and I was excited to start getting involved on campus. A few of my classmates and friends were planning to rush the co-ed professional business fraternity, and it sounded like a great personal and career opportunity. One week after initiation, I decided to apply for president, and before I knew it, I was the president of a group I’ve been a part of for only a week.

My public speaking skills grew, my network of friends and alumni exploded, and I found a place I felt I belonged. AKPsi gave so many of the close memories I hold from my time at CWRU.

6. Have you had any other experiential opportunities? If so, can you explain what they entailed?

During my past two years on campus, I’ve been working in the Office of Student Activities and Leadership. I started as an intern, and ended up as a graduate operations assistant. We support student leaders and help organize all of the cool large events you see on campus. The staff have been great resources and friends, and we have one of the best offices on campus! Please feel free to stop by if you ever want a chill study spot, or a new CWRU T-shirt at the swag swap.

7. Outside of your studies, do you have any hobbies?

Yes! I have played guitar for the past decade, and during free weekends I often scour flea markets and thrift stores for new vinyl records to collect. I have nearly all of the city architecture Lego sets, and I am an unashamed Disney adult.