Panther Profiles: Shakon Making Investment In Future On And Off Field
Oct. 18, 2012
Story by Nolan Murphy, Student Assistant
MILWAUKEE - John Shakon faces plenty of pressure on and off the soccer field, and the fifth-year senior handles it all flawlessly.
As the last line of defense as the goalkeeper for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's soccer team, Shakon is charged with keeping a clean sheet every night. Entering a key league match at Cleveland State Saturday night, his play has helped the Panthers to highest victory total since 2006.
Then, as a senior business major with high-end accomplishments in the classroom, Shakon has already spent time on the trading floor at the Chicago Board of Trade and as an intern with a New York investment firm.
"The number one reason we are all here, myself included, is academics, so that comes first," Shakon said. "Then I balance soccer and my preparation."
Shakon, a member and student of the Lubar School of Business Investment Management program, came to Milwaukee knowing he was interested in business. But it wasn't until after his freshman year that he realized his true passion and future career would be in investment finances.
"The summer after my freshman year I had an internship with the Chicago Board of Trade in the corn options pit," Shakon said. "I was down on the floor there, doing running and desk work and that is where I got interested in world of investment finances."
In his second year on campus, Shakon focused his academic concentration on applying for the new Investment Management certification program at UWM and was accepted. Now, three years later, he is a member of the third Investment Management program at Milwaukee along with 13 other students who form the investment team.
Shakon and his team are in charge of managing the program's live portfolio and have the objective to develop an investment process, and theory behind it, before implementing it. He and his fellow student members presented this project to the investment board at a client meeting earlier this month.
"It's exciting to being getting real-world experience in the program," Shakon said. "But it's also nerve-racking knowing you are dealing with real money."
Shakon has added to his investment resume by interning for evaDimensions in New York in the summer of 2011. Then this past summer Shakon took part in an intensive, one-week internship with Robert Barron of Chicago.
"I lived the life for a week as an investment trader," Shakon said of his experience in Chicago. "It was a full immersion into the job and the feedback I got was very positive. Having real work and projects to complete and not just shadowing made it an exciting and great experience."
Clearly, Shakon's success on and off the field has made him a leader on his team and on campus. The team captain, who has made 47 career starts in net, says the experience he has gained leading his soccer team has helped him immensely in the classroom.
"To be honest we are all leaders in the investment program, and everyone is actively working together to achieve our goals," Shakon said. "I don't have an edge on any one person, but my experience in competition and being a leader in the soccer team adds to the investment program."
Shakon has succeeded in meeting the grueling challenge of being a student-athlete, complete with in-depth work in an investment program and high-powered internships and opportunities. He wouldn't have it any other way.
"With school and soccer, sometimes my social life takes a back seat," Shakon said. "But you just learn to balance your work load to accommodate during the busy fall soccer season, and utilize time off during the other semesters."
As his team chases its first conference title since 2005 and Shakon winds down his final season as goaltender for the Panthers the future looks bright for this leader not only on the field but also in the classroom. Shakon said his plan is to finish up his degree and graduate in May and be employed sometime after that in investment finances, hopefully as a trader.
"I would ideally like to work in Chicago, New York or Milwaukee, but I'm not going to restrict myself as people are looking for anyone with experience," Shakon said. "I think this program, the internships and being a member of soccer team will hopefully give me a leg up on the rest of competition."