Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013
HWS students met with senior-level alums working in the financial industry during a New York City careers program. From first-years to seniors, more than 25 students participated on the trip which provided an up-close view of today's top firms, as well as perspectives on how to effectively pursue employment opportunities.
Organized by The Salisbury Center for Career Services and Professional Development, the annual "NYC Finance Experience" included presentations, question and answer sessions, and networking events with alums and parents. Each year, the program gives students the opportunity to take meaningful steps toward seeking a career in the financial industry or related profession.
"Students participating in the program have access to a number of excellent resources," says HWS Trustee Aileen Gleason '85, managing director of Global Wealth Management at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "The students who attend are well prepared and very engaged. I've always enjoyed the experience."
Gleason joined with other alums to host one of the student sessions. The students were accompanied by faculty and staff, including Assistant Professor of Economics Felipe Rezende, Vice President of Enrollment and Dean of Admissions Bob Murphy, and Assistant Directors of Career Services Steph Annear and Kathy Tonkovich.
Gleason, who was awarded the 2011 HWS Career Services Award for her commitment to assisting students, says that over the years a very talented pool of alums have joined the industry's workforce and have been able to excel in various professional environments. She says the Finance Experience provides students with useful career perspectives that can help them to make informed decisions about their futures.
Selected through a competitive application process, the participating students are required to take a short course that Associate Professor of Economics Jo Beth Mertens refers to as "Wall Street Boot Camp," which equips the students with the basic concepts and terms they would hear while on the trip. Mertens has been a faculty mentors on recent Finance Experience trips to New York City.
In addition to learning about careers, students also gained invaluable professional connections during the program thanks to several networking events held with alums.
Cameron Lochhead '82, regional director of Russell Investments, hosted one of the networking sessions. "Career Services has done a great job building bridges with the companies that are hiring," he says. "This kind of program really gets students thinking about entering the business world. In the sessions, they are getting focused feedback and having one-on-one conversations with alums. They're given tips on what it takes to be successful."
Lochhead says it's never too early for students to begin focusing on their career aspirations. "Students can prepare for the future by taking applicable courses and pursuing an internship as soon as possible," he advises.
Eric Richards '16, who attended this year's event, says he was pleased to learn about what's expected in several different professional roles within the finance industry, including sales and trading, investment management, and wealth management, among other areas.
"I believe the NYC Finance Experience is a vital asset to anyone interested in pursuing a career in finance and is an invaluable tool for cultivating and understanding how a career in finance works," Richards says. "This opportunity was one that I definitely plan to use to my advantage in the future, not only when applying for finance internships, but for any sort of job opportunity in general."