By Alyson Kay
Even though Perry Bloch, the current vice president of the finance committee for the Student Government Association, was curious about the markets growing up, he did not come to this university expecting to major in economics and finance.
“I’ve always had an interest in the markets. My dad was a finance major when he was in college,” the senior said. “When I grew up, my mom’s side of the family, who I spent a lot of time with, were mostly programmers and tech-focused people – and so when I came to Maryland, I actually declared a major in computer science.”
Bloch quickly realized that although he enjoyed the technology aspect, he did not like coding as much as he thought. He liked being in front of clients, which is rarely offered in computer science jobs.
Bloch decided to switch his focus to the markets.
“I wanted to get back to my roots,” Bloch said.
Bloch applied for, and was accepted to, the dual bachelor’s-master’s program for economics and finance, which will allow him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance as well as a master’s degree in finance.
Bloch has also been working with political implications within the university. He got involved with the SGA as a freshman, filling a lot of roles for the organization before landing his current position as Vice President of Financial Affairs. He has been a member of the legislature in various committees, including serving Computer Mathematical and Natural Sciences College (CMNS).
Getting into the Committee of Financial Affairs is different from getting into any other committee. Because it is the only closed committee, those interested have to already be in the SGA, and then be appointed by the vice president of finance and confirmed by the legislature.
Bloch said serving on the financial committee requires a larger time commitment than the others, but it’s worth it.
“I really enjoyed it,” said Bloch. “I loved every minute of sort of getting to be plugged into all corners of the campus, and to work with other members of the committee allocating the SGA’s budget to the over 400 recognized student groups on campus.”
Katherine Sudbrook, a junior computer science and accounting major, has worked with Bloch since her freshman year at the finance committee. Sudbrook said Bloch is an effective leader of the committee during its busiest times.
“We need someone to keep us on track and get us moving towards a goal, and he does a really good job of of that, and making sure we get stuff done,” Sudbrook said.
But it’s not just Bloch’s leadership skills that Sudbrook enjoys while working on the finance committee with Bloch. They are also friends outside of SGA.
“It’s nice to kind of see a friend and work with him on the finance committee,” Sudbrook said.
Bloch is also active in the Jewish community at this university. He grew up Orthodox. He goes to services on campus, and ate at Hillel on the kosher meal plan before he got an apartment.
Bloch’s father became religious in college after meeting Bloch’s mother. They then raised Bloch and his three siblings in a religiously-observant home.
Bloch feels that being Jewish has given him a built-in sense of community that most students seek out in clubs. The feeling of family that the congregation fosters is important, not just in college.
“The Jewish community really gives you the sense of close-knit friendships and building relationships with people that is important in college and to developing as a person,” Bloch said. “To surround yourself with people who are like minded, who can help you grow as an individual and as a member of the community.”
Bloch also says that being involved in the Jewish community may help him in his future career in finance.
“Finance sometimes has had a bad reputation, that I don’t agree with, of people who can be corrupt and very dishonest – and living a Jewish life, and being in a world that people see [you] that way, really helps you to stay true to your values and stay honest,” said Bloch.
Bloch will work as an investment banking intern at Goldman Sachs in Boston during the summer after completing his bachelor’s degree. He plans to go back to Goldman Sachs after completing his master’s degree next year.