The Reason Behind Risk-Taking

PROVO, Utah – Dec 03, 2021 – Taking risks may be a challenge for many, but for Saira Aslam risk-taking comes naturally. A 2015 finance graduate, Aslam’s journey to success began when she moved more than 7,500 miles to study at the BYU Marriott School of Business. After graduating and working in several corporate finance positions, she has learned that the secret to success, both in life and in finance, is found through navigating opportunities that possess potential risk.  

Born and raised in Pakistan, Aslam received her first bachelor’s degree, in journalism, from the University of the Punjab in 2008. After returning home from serving a mission at Temple Square in Salt Lake City for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she decided to again leave Pakistan and return to Utah to study finance at BYU Marriott. 

Aslam recalls the challenges she faced as a new student in a different country. “As an international student, I realized I needed to work harder than my peers because English is not my first language,” says Aslam. “I’m grateful for my experiences that forced me to learn how to navigate American culture as a college student because I discovered the value of hard work and the importance of resilience in overcoming difficulties.” 

While Aslam grew from conquering challenges during her time as a student, she also took advantage of several internship opportunities provided by BYU Marriott. “The pathway to success for me as a student was using the resources the school had to offer,” Aslam says. “I would counsel students to take advantage of those resources and seek out as many internships as possible, because those opportunities help students build relationships with individuals who will mentor and prepare them for success. I am where I am because of the opportunities I received from BYU Marriott.” 

Aslam’s first internship was as an equity research analyst intern with the Whitmore Global Business Center (GBC) at BYU Marriott, where she was able to apply what she was learning in her finance classes. While at the GBC, she studied financial ratios and metrics to complete industry and company analyses.  

Aslam also completed an internship as a corporate bond analyst with the Beneficial Financial Group in Salt Lake City, where she assessed firm-specific financial risk through capital structure analysis. While at Beneficial Financial, she composed more than 25 reports and presented those reports to investment committees overseeing assets worth more than $3.1 billion. 

Though her first two internships were crucial in building her skill set, Aslam’s most memorable internship was working as a financial analyst intern with Wells Fargo, where she learned the skills needed to conduct credit risk analysis and identify key risks through credit reports. It was during her time at Wells Fargo that Aslam discovered her aptitude for assessing risk both in the financial sphere and in her own life. 

“An important concept in finance is the relationship between risk and return. The bigger risk someone takes, the more potential there is for return,” says Aslam. “This concept is the same in our lives. The bigger risk we take in life, the more potential there is for success.” 

Currently Aslam lives in Lehi, Utah, where she works as the senior finance manager for American Construction & Remodeling LLC, a privately owned construction company. In her role, she assesses financial risks, oversees corporate budgeting, and evaluates the results of financial operations within the company. 

What began as an uncertain risk to leave her home and study at BYU Marriott has led Aslam to further her career as a senior finance manager. “I’ve learned to not be afraid of failure,” Aslam says. “While setbacks come, I believe that when we work hard and learn from our experiences, the risks we take will have a positive return.” 

Finance alum Saira Aslam. Photo courtesy of Saira Aslam.
Finance alum Saira Aslam. Photo courtesy of Saira Aslam.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kaylee Hepburn