Patrick Mullen overcame hardships and found new opportunities through CME Scholarship
Patrick Mullen (BBA ’21) didn’t think a college degree would be possible for him. After losing his father during his freshman year, his family struggled to make ends meet.
Mullen sought out opportunities to make the most of his time at Loyola while providing for his family. This fall, he was named to the prestigious CME Group Scholar program, and received a life-changing scholarship. The scholars program supports underrepresented students with a variety of majors in finance and technology. More about this program →
Below, Mullen shares his story.
Why did you choose Quinlan?
I had actually been planning on joining the military right after high school, specifically the Special Forces. But with my family’s situation at the time, we decided it would be better for me to attend college. Loyola’s business program stood out to me. It felt different than the rest.
It’s fast paced and complex. You can do a lot with it. It’s not a straightforward career; there’s a lot of ways to apply it. Finance careers have a lot of interaction with people, too, which I like. And I find analytics to be a challenge in a good way. It forces me to get better and understand something new. I like the challenge of it.
Why did you apply for the CME Group Scholarship?
I was involved with Rambler Investment Fund (RIF), which is Quinlan’s student-managed endowment fund where we’re able to trade and manage financial assets. My friend, Daniel Kim, who’s the president of RIF told me about it. I looked into it and it was such a great opportunity, it would be foolish not to apply for it.
What does this scholarship enable you to do?
It honestly changed the trajectory of my career. I am not exaggerating when I say it enables me to continue and hopefully finish school. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity. I lost my father my freshman year of college, so financial responsibility has fallen on me to support my family. Before I received the scholarship, I was looking at trying to take a gap year to work and save some money to come back to finish my degree, and this allows me to attend Loyola this year.
What was your reaction to the scholarship?
I was at my internship and my mom called to tell me. It was crazy because the day before I had asked to see if I could take a gap year and still work for them. The company wasn’t too happy with that so I was under a ton of stress. It relieved a lot of stress to know I wouldn’t have to do that. I was so happy.
Tell me about your goals.
In the short term, I just want to keep improving. As far as my career, right now I’m interesting in maybe working for a hedge fund. It’s geared toward the interests I’ve found through RIF. In the end though, I just want to make sure my family is fine. They’re going through a tough time right now with everything, and I want to make sure I support them.
What sets Quinlan apart?
Quinlan’s approach. We’re not some prestigious Ivy League school with a strong pull toward these esteemed firms. Quinlan understands that we need to exceed in school and they challenge us. The faculty create opportunities for students to get involved and stand out from the crowd to be successful after – especially Professor Todd and RIF.
What’s been your favorite Quinlan experience?
Definitely RIF. I’ve found a community there. When I started at Loyola I felt like an outsider because I was low income. Each year I’ve struggled with being able to come back for the next semester. My time here has been pretty tough with everything going on with my family. But I’ve created a community here now which has been great. I’ve learned so much about finance and building professional relationships.
It sparked my interest in analytics and challenged me. RIF has also helped me find my career interests. I had two securities I researched added to the fund, which sparked my interest in hedge funds. The research and presentations were really cool experiences. I don’t think many students know about RIF and it’s a really unique opportunity.
Describe Quinlan in 10 words.
Immense opportunities if you seek them out and step up.
Any last thoughts?
I would like to give a huge thank you to Daniel Kim, Professor Todd, and Tobyn Friar for everything they’ve done for me at Loyola. Lastly, I want to say thank you to my family for all that they do and to CME Group for providing this opportunity.