Brooklyn Button ’22: CMC fulfills expectations

Portrait of Brooklyn Button ’22

Brooklyn Button ’22

Hometown: Irvine, Calif.
Major: Applied mathematics and economics major, Finance sequence

  • Robert Day Scholar
  • varsity cross country and track teams
  • portfolio manager of the Healthcare and Life Sciences
    team in the CMC Student Investment Fund
  • research assistant with the Financial Economics Institute
  • accounting tutor

After attending several high schools across the globe because of family moves, Brooklyn Button ’22 knew what she wanted in a college. Size topped the list of her priorities. Location was another.

“I value the culture of a small school since I enjoy really getting to know my peers and teachers,” she said. Button also realized soon after moving to California for 12th grade that she wanted to stay.

“From the good weather to the beaches to the mountains to the happy people, I knew I wanted to make Southern California my home for the next four years,” she said.

Claremont McKenna College has more than fulfilled Button’s small-school expectations. Appreciative of the connections and friendships she has been able to make while working with her peers on real-world projects, she said, “I never expected there would be so much collaborative learning.”

The extent to which students engage with professors has also surprised her.

"Small class sizes—typically under 18 students—foster lively and enlightening conversations where professors are genuinely interested in hearing what students have to say,” Button said.

A faculty member who especially impressed her is Mathematics and Humanities Professor Robert J. Valenza. After taking his Linear Algebra class as a first-year student, Button also took his Abstract Algebra class as a sophomore during the pandemic. She fondly recalls how he would give Zoom lectures “using his chalkboard in his classroom on campus, always wearing a collared shirt and never failing to ask for student feedback.”

Button said that Valenza’s enthusiasm for math “is contagious” and that “he makes learning an interactive and engaging experience.”

Button, who was also drawn to CMC because of its “philosophy of thoughtful and responsible leadership,” wants to make a career in the finance sector.

While a student at CMC, Button completed internships with The Riverside Company and Citigroup’s technology team. After graduating, she’ll return to the Los Angeles office of The Riverside Company as a private equity analyst.

“I am excited about a career in finance, eager to continue developing myself,” Button said, adding that she is “open to many paths that life may offer.”

Christina Schweighofer


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