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The Finance Fellowship is a new, full-tuition scholarship for Two-Year Program students committed to making an impact in a finance industry or function, offering specific engagement opportunities with notable finance leaders and mentorship with Kellogg alumni and faculty. Tanner Montgomery (2Y, 2022), one of Kellogg’s Fellows, shares his expertise in finance and how he’s grown through the fellowship program.

Tell us about your path in finance leading up to Kellogg.

I started my career in investment banking at Harris Williams in San Francisco and then joined CIC Partners, a middle market private equity firm in Dallas. The last year before business school, I spent time at a CIC portfolio company, DynaGrid, helping build out their financial and project management processes and evaluating strategic initiatives.

How has this path evolved at Kellogg? Any resources, classes, clubs influenced this trajectory and how you’ve developed?

Coming into business school, I wanted to round out my skillset and focus more on my leadership and teamwork skills. As I progress in my career, interpersonal skills become increasingly important, and Kellogg is the best place for me to develop these skills and get out of my comfort zone. Kellogg’s emphasis on teamwork and collaboration is prevalent throughout classes, clubs and social activities. I encouraged myself to take classes in public speaking, negotiations and marketing. One class, Visualization for Persuasion, taught me to effectively analyze data and use this data to tell a story. This combination is valuable in the business world, and storytelling underpins almost every aspect of a business, including fundraising, recruiting, management, sales and marketing.

Outside of the classroom, I’ve spent the spring, summer and fall interning at Forum Brands, an acquirer and operator of e-commerce brands. While working at a startup, I recognized how important it is to develop expertise across multiple areas and surround myself with people with diverse experiences and perspectives.

How have you leveraged the finance fellowship to develop yourself?

The finance fellowship gave me the confidence to pursue my MBA during a time of uncertainty. Through the fellowship, I’ve had opportunities to engage in intimate, small group discussions with notable alumni across the finance industry, receive direct mentorship from dedicated Kellogg professors such as Professor Mitchell Petersen, and build deep friendships with my cohort of Finance Fellows. These unique conversations and experiences push me to think deeply about what I enjoy doing and what I want to accomplish in my career. I continue to be amazed by the incredible generosity of Kellogg alumni and professors, and I am inspired to give back in the future.

How do you hope to make your impact in finance after Kellogg?

What I love most about investing is sitting down with owners, entrepreneurs and operators and hearing their stories. I enjoy understanding the challenges, successes and goals for their companies. I want to continue working with management teams, building meaningful long-term relationships, sharing in the successes and failures and helping them in their next stage of growth.