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Russ Aiken

Russ Aiken

Vanderbilt MAcc Valuation 2013

Investment Banking Analyst at Barclays

Joining a School of Friends

‘Lipscomb Lifer’ finds his place at Vanderbilt

The new situation of being part of the very first MAcc Valuation class at Owen might seem a little daunting to many people. But Russ Aiken enjoyed a few transition-smoothing advantages.

Although he describes himself as a “Lipscomb lifer” — he attended Nashville’s David Lipscomb School from grades pre-K through 12, then graduated from Lipscomb University — he also had a number of ties to Vanderbilt. His mother works in the medical center, an aunt works on campus, and, most of all, one of his good friends was already enrolled in the more traditional MAcc program.

Through that connection, he says, he was able to meet “this great group of people in the MAcc program, who have only been together for a year but have become the best friends in the world. So I’m really excited.”

In fact, his friend, Bryan Solomon, had a hand in Russ’ presence at Owen. “I had originally planned to go to law school,” Russ says, “but I stumbled across the new Owen Valuation program. I asked Bryan about it, got some more information and then met with the staff. Things just kind of fell into place.”

After completion of the program, the former high school football player, who still coaches a middle school team, had his sights set on bigger pastures for his career. “Valuation is practiced only in bigger cities,” he says. “So my short list was New York, Chicago and Atlanta." Russ accepted a position as a Valuation Experienced Associate with PwC in Atlanta, where he had completed his internship during the program. "It definitely was a change of pace, but something that I really looked forward to diving into.”