Sharnae Lamar brings her talents overseas

Sharnae Lamar brings her talents overseas

Understanding personal finance is a luxury where Sharnae Lamar (Finance and Economics, ’16) grew up. On the east side of Des Moines, Lamar says there aren’t many people who know how to manage money, invest, grow income — so when she had the opportunity to go to college, business was of interest.

“Seeing that around me, the community I’m from, I wanted to be sure I had that knowledge,” Lamar said. “And that my family had it as well. That’s what interested me at a very early age, and it never changed.”

Lamar attended UNI on basketball scholarship. As a guard, she played meaningful minutes as early as her freshman year. On the academic side, with UNI Business, Lamar decided to major in finance. But after taking two economics classes, that piqued her interest. She decided to change her major, but during Lamar’s junior year, an injury forced her to sit out a season. With more time to focus on academics, she picked finance back up as a double major, graduating a year later. 

One of Lamar’s most memorable UNI Business moments was participating in the Undergraduate Research Program, a professional program that provides students with the means to organize and present a research project under faculty guidance. She researched NBA salaries among different draft classes. It was also a chance for Lamar to intertwine two things she loved: sports and business.

“It showed business isn’t just sitting in an office. You can incorporate it with something you love,” Lamar said.

Lamar went on to attend graduate school at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, then take a job with Peter Charles, a consulting firm based in London. Lamar is a business strategist, focusing both internally and externally. She looks at finance functions and management strategies within Peter Charles and on a consulting basis with other companies.

Lamar said her experience with the research project in school helped her immensely with the day-to-day in her industry, particularly writing.

“It’s quite an advantage in this industry to be able to write and write persuasively,” Lamar said. “It’s different than writing an English paper. But it’s important. You’re writing proposals, you’re writing reports quite a bit, and being as short as possible while getting a point across makes a difference.”

Lamar hopes to eventually bring her expertise to the sports world, which is still near and dear to her heart.

“I’d love to continue doing this, but bring it to sports in some way,” Lamar said. “Every team has a front office that does things differently, so it would be ideal if I could end up there.”