UCF Grad Invests Political Background in Finance

Todd SchollTodd Scholl, ’97, says his political science degree from UCF has been valuable to his career working in investment banking and corporate finance and dealing with nationalized companies outside of the U.S.

 “Having an understanding of international government’s processes and policies allowed me to speak the same language and appreciate some of the challenges they faced when doing business with a U.S. company,” explained Scholl.

Scholl has been a capital markets and corporate finance professional for nearly 15 years working in investment banking and equity research for various firms including RBC Capital Markets, Raymond James, Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch.

After graduating from UCF with his political science degree, Scholl went on to earn an MBA from the University of Florida, as well as the Charter Financial Analyst designation. Scholl has visited over 30 countries and primarily spent his career focused on oil and gas space working in Houston and London.

Currently, Scholl is the chief financial officer of Knetik, a high-tech firm based in Altamonte Springs Florida, and the chief executive of his own start-up, Trivia Duel.

Todd shared more on his time at UCF and also offered advice to students and alumni.

Why did you choose to attend UCF?

Being a Florida native, I always wanted to attend a Florida school. After doing my due diligence on the in-state school’s political science programs I came away most impressed with the faculty at UCF.

Have you stayed involved with UCF since graduation? If so, how?

UCF students have frequently reached out to me on LinkedIn for career advice, particularly how to get started in a career in investment banking or corporate finance. Additionally, I have attended a number of alumni events and sporting events including attending the UCF-Penn State football game in Dublin last year.

What is your best UCF memory?

I can vividly remember being at Daunte Culpepper’s first game as a Golden Knight. It was a Thursday night at the Citrus Bowl and we beat Eastern Kentucky. I also made the trip with a number of UCF students when the Knights played then number 1 ranked FSU in football. Both of those were great memories.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

I spent a long time working in investment banking and equity research and found both of those jobs challenging and fulfilling. Now as the chief financial officer of Knetik and the chief executive of my own start-up, Trivia Duel, I am on the other side of the table. Every day is a new challenge and ultimately I am more responsible for my own destiny than I was in jobs earlier in my career.

What is your most memorable experience on the job?

 When I was an oil and gas investment banker I travelled to 30 different countries all of which were great experiences. But probably one of the most memorable things I have been able to do was visit a working offshore drilling rig in the middle of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

What piece of advice would you give to current students as well as UCF alumni?

 Don’t look at your career as something static. View your career as dynamic and ever evolving because so many of my most rewarding experiences came when I stepped out of my comfort zone and took a path I had never previously considered.

Scholl responded to the following in our 30 second lightning round of the interview.

What is the last book you read?

 Flash Boys by Michael Lewis.

What is your favorite snack?

I’m always in the mood for fresh guacamole.

How do you manage stress?

 Running and boxing.

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