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Master of Science in Finance Provides Roadmap to Career Goals

Dahl Finds Flexibility Within Rigorous Curriculum
Master of Science in Finance Provides Roadmap to Career Goals
Allison Dahl of Omaha, Nebraska, enrolled as one of the first students in the Master of Science in Finance program at Nebraska. Offered fully online, the program allowed her to deepen her knowledge, expand her career and connect with professors.

Allison Dahl of Omaha, Nebraska, sought a better understanding of finance for her own personal growth and to expand her career options. She unlocked her potential by being one of the first to enroll in the online Master of Science in Finance program.

“For me, an advanced degree in finance is a matter of personal learning, becoming sharper in my thinking and counsel to my clients,” said Dahl. “However, I recognize that an advanced education in finance will open new pathways.”

Dahl’s career spans more than 10 years in operations, leadership and consulting jobs in financial services and insurance industries. Advisors and mentors in her career guided her to pursue the online master’s program. 

Allison Dahl's Family
Dahl shared how Master of Science in Finance program was challenging, yet flexible as a working professional, wife to Chris and mother to Graham and Knox.

At Nebraska, she met new guides such as Dr. Richard DeFusco, professor of finance and chair of the Department of Finance, who taught Portfolio Management (FINA 863), and Dr. Roberto Stein, assistant professor of practice in finance, who taught Quantitative Methods for Finance (FINA 801). Those became two of Dahl’s favorite courses.

“In Portfolio Management, Dr. DeFusco bridged high-level financial theory with complexities of rigorous investment portfolio management. The contrast was very intriguing. Quantitative Methods was intriguing with the challenge of complex mathematics and analysis,” she said.

Dahl considers DeFusco to be an exceptional advisor helping to contemplate her next steps beyond graduation.

“Throughout the journey, the M.S. Finance faculty and advisors have offered tremendous support within a rigorous set of curricula. In particular, Dr. DeFusco has served as a driving force in learning the depth and complexity of finance, as well as a critical educational advisor,” Dahl said.

DeFusco noted Dahl’s participation in class and her desire to extend financial knowledge to further her career. He sees students like Dahl raise the level of her classmates by sharing experiences from her varied jobs.

“Allison is bright and highly motivated,” said DeFusco. “We teach topics relevant to executives looking to make a greater impact in their organizations by taking finance concepts and connecting them with practical actions that can be applied in their organizations. The principles we teach are not always simple to understand but Allison is one of those students who applies herself until she comprehends the material. It has been a pleasure getting to know her and helping her achieve her goals.” 

As a working professional, Dahl also appreciated the diversity of the faculty, giving a greater perspective to what is happening in the modern world of finance.

Dr. Stas Nikolova is brilliant. She taught the complexities and practical application of Fixed Income Analysis (FINA 802). We need more female voices and diverse representation in finance,” she said. 

The program also resonated with Dahl for being both challenging and flexible. Nebraska made the master's program doable with her other life commitments, such as her husband, Chris, and two children: Graham, 9, and Knox, 6.

“As a working professional, wife, mother of busy kids and someone who prioritizes time for my own health, I needed a program that would offer time flexibility, without compromising the rigorous curriculum of finance. Nebraska has done just that. The program has exceeded my expectations,” said Dahl, who plans to graduate in May of 2021.

Prospective graduate students wanting to accelerate their career objectives can visit the Nebraska Master of Science in Finance webpage at

Published: March 9, 2021