Learning and networking in the world of finance

This January, the Financial Economics Institute and the Robert Day Scholars Program sponsored the 11th annual New York City Networking Trip. In the final week of winter break, ten juniors and six sophomores traveled to NYC to learn about the wide array of opportunities in the financial services industry, and to connect with various alumni of all ages. This was the fifth year a student organizing committee took the lead in coordinating firm visits and two social events.  They also acted as trip leaders in NYC.  This year, the two-person committee was comprised of Madeleine Bannon ’14 and Julian Buckner ’14.

Day 1

The trip began on the morning of Monday, January 13th with a visit to the restructuring house, Millstein & Co., hosted by CMC alumni Ali Abramovitz ’12 & Lewis Corson ’11.  Students had the opportunity to interact in small groups with both junior and senior bankers, and learn about the roles and responsibilities of an analyst practicing financial restructuring at a boutique firm.

Next on the agenda was the group’s visit to Atalaya Capital Management, where founding partner and Chief Investment Officer, Ivan Zinn ’96, spoke about the converging roles of the hedge fund and private equity industry.  Mr. Zinn also gave guidance to students about the various career paths available, and fielded questions about his experience starting his own firm.  This visit was followed by an hour-long meeting with Jason Goldberg ’95, previously with Och-Ziff, who explained the quantitative modeling performed in his role

In the afternoon, students attended the first-ever visit to Perella Weinberg Partners, hosted in absentia by founding partner Peter Weinberg ’79.  Students were treated to a presentation by Senior Partner and Global Head of Advisory, Chuck Ward, and a panel of analysts and associates spoke candidly about their day-to-day roles at the firm.

Finally, to end the day, students had the opportunity to visit with Daniel Cahir ’05 at Long Light Capital.  Here, students learned about the functions of a family office and asked questions about Mr. Cahir’s transition from consulting to finance, and the value of graduate school.

Day 2

The morning began with a visit with Tim Galbraith ’87 – CIO of Alternative Investments at Transamerica.  Students learned about Mr. Galbraith’s unique path into finance, and were treated to a panel of speakers including a Managing Director in J.P. Morgan’s Wealth Management Division and the author of J.P. Morgan’s Guide to the Markets.

Next, students were hosted for lunch by Alan Delsman ’68, a Managing Director in Credit Risk Management at Deutsche Bank and joined by Richard Ferguson ’81, Chief Risk Officer of the Americas.  This visit provided students with an important overview of the function of risk mitigation in investment banks.

Afterwards, students headed over to Goldman Sachs for a broad overview of the many divisions within the firm.  Our host, Christine Mann ’87, was joined by Andrew Cosentino ’11 for a discussion on Wealth Management and Structured Products, which was followed by panels on Investment Banking with Saumya Lohia ’12, and Sales and Trading with Managing Director David Alvillar ’01, along with Andrew Duckworth ’12 and Patricia Ingrassia ’13.

Students finished the day with a reception at the Princeton Club, where alumni of all ages gathered to reconnect – providing students with the opportunity to network in a social setting.

Day 3

The third day of the trip began at the Bloomberg headquarters where Justin Sheen ’01 arranged a tour of the well-known midtown building.  Students were given an overview of the entry-level positions available to new grads, in addition to learning more specifically about the R&D Department where Justin works as a Head Programmer in the Derivatives Division.

The second visit of the day brought the group to the restructuring shop, Miller Buckfire & Co., for a visit hosted by John McKenna ’01.  Students were given an overview of the restructuring process, as well as advice for a career in both restructuring and in the financial services industry, in general.

The final visit of the day was hosted by Avery Holland ’12 at the boutique advisory investment bank, Greenhill & Co.  In addition to an overview of the firm and the current M&A environment, Avery arranged a panel of first- and second-year analysts to share their experiences, as well as to give advice to students entering the recruiting process for investment banking internships and full-time positions.

The night ended with a Young Alumni dinner at Sarabeth’s Central Park South location.  Students and recent alums working in the greater New York area were able to connect over a three-course meal, providing students with a second opportunity to connect and network with alums.

Day 4

The final day of the trip, Thursday, January 16th, began at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York where Katy Femia ’06 spoke about her role in the Markets Group and both sophomore and junior trip participants were given an extended deadline to apply to the Fed’s internship program.

Next, students visited investment management firm Fred Alger where Kevin Collins spoke about the firm’s history and growth oriented investment strategy.  Students were also treated to a special visit from the firm’s CEO, Dan Chung, who spoke in-depth about markets and leadership in the industry.

Finally, Marisa Walter ’98, Associate Director of Career Services and External Relations at the Robert Day School, organized a career development workshop for the students with SSC Performance Advisors, where students learned the intricacies of self-marketing and best practices in networking and interviews.  Marisa was also instrumental in overseeing numerous aspects of the trip.

The 2014 New York City Networking Trip was a great success. With a full extra day, students visited a record number of twelve firms and gained valuable exposure to the diversity of careers available in financial services. The first-hand experience at the various firms and connections developed during the evening social events will undoubtedly benefit the students as they pursue their future careers.

An expression of thanks needs to be given to the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, CMC’s Alumni and Parent Relations Office, the Alumni Association, the RDS Advisory Board, and many alumni at the hosting firms, for their generous contributions, both monetary and otherwise, that made this trip possible.