Giacomo Bocanegra, a sophomore economics major from Trujillo, Peru, has pursued hands-on entrepreneurship experiences through internships and participation in an investment academy. 

Even before coming to Lawrence, Bocanegra worked to become a successful entrepreneur. He started his first company at 15 and used the money he got from selling it to begin trading airline stocks.

“Entrepreneurship is all about the hunger for success,” Bocanegra said.

Giacomo Bocanegra takes part in the recent Launch LU pitch contest. (Photo by Danny Damiani)
Giacomo Bocanegra takes part in Launch LU, an annual business pitch contest. (Photo by Danny Damiani)

Last summer, Bocanegra worked as an intern with Northwestern Mutual. He loved the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with financial management. He said his personal experience with trading helped him get the position.

“The work I was doing was building retirement portfolios for clients,” Bocanegra said. “If you’re a freshman, and you work for a Fortune 100 company, it’s a huge deal.”

In addition to his work with Northwestern Mutual, Bocanegra was accepted into the Goldman Sachs Investing & Portfolio Management Academy. He was part of the Asset Management Division, beginning in his first year at Lawrence and continuing into his sophomore year. He was assigned a mentor for the duration of the program. The finale was his trip to New York City, where he got to meet his mentor in person and network with other students in the program as they worked on case studies.

Build models and analyze data to understand how people make choices and how economies function

The internship and the Goldman Sachs program have meshed beautifully with his studies at Lawrence.

“The economics program is extremely well-managed,” Bocanegra said of his time at Lawrence. “Mixing the liberal arts education with economics, how they teach, helps a lot. You learn a whole new way to learn, which is extremely helpful in the long term.”

Combine the benefits of a liberal arts education with those of a business major as you prepare for careers in for-profit or non-profit sectors

Even outside of the Economics Department, Bocanegra has been able to apply his studies to his entrepreneurial ambitions. He said he loved his environmental studies coursework last year.

“It taught me a lot about the different approaches companies take toward the environment,” he said.

Bocanegra said the skills he gained through his internships have been integral to his personal work as an entrepreneur. The real-world skills he’s built have helped him form and manage his own hedge fund, Bocanegra Asset Management, which focuses on energy equities.