In today’s world, business and networking go hand-in-hand. Then, what’s the best way for students to network, especially with Wall Street finance firms, who cannot directly interact with BU students due to location differences. Of course, you go out to Wall Street itself and meet personally with finance professionals. That’s where MBA Finance Club’s New York Trek comes in handy. With the help of various BU alumni, the MBA Finance club schedules this annual trek to various Wall Street firms where students get an opportunity to interact with alumni as well as other professionals, learn about different areas of finance, and build relationships.
As the VP in charge of Treks for the MBA Finance club, I had the opportunity to organize the this year’s New York trek. The process started in back in February when the current Finance club leadership took the reigns from the outgoing leadership, and we immediately began contacting BU alumni at select firms to gauge their interest and availability for this year’s trek. I received tremendous help from my classmate and Finance club’s co-president Shan Guo (SMG, 2013) in this formidable task. Shan contacted alumni at multiple firms to initiate the conversations and we continued to follow up throughout the spring and summer. In the end, we were able to arrange to meet with five companies on October 18th and 19th, and 22 club members made the trip down to New York to participate in the trek.
|Students and alumni at Goldman Sachs.|
Our first stop was Goldman Sachs where we were joined by five BU alumni from the firm. Students had a very interactive session learning about alumni job profiles as well as current industry trends and news, from Dodd-Frank implications to the presidential election to the fiscal cliff. From there, we moved on to Citigroup. We had an awesome alumni presence there as twelve alumni joined us and discussed their diverse experiences, which included investment banking, corporate banking, sales and trading, and leveraged finance, among others. With such a productive day, students were ready to make more connections while unwinding a little bit in the evening at the Alumni reception, which was co-hosted by the MBA Finance Club and BU SMG Alumni Relations office. Here, we spoke with consultants from Cognizant Consulting about their financial services consulting practice and job requirements. We spent rest of the evening at the reception as networking continued among students and several more alumni from different companies who graciously joined us there and shared their stories.
Day one of the trek was quite successful and we all were very excited for the second day of the trek, which brought exposure to different sets of companies. Students arrived in the morning at Lincolnshire Management, a Private Equity firm, where Mr. Mike Lyons, Senior Managing Director and BU alumnus, shared his experiences and commented on the intricacies and nuances of private equity business. This was definitely a unique experience for students to hear firsthand from such a high profile business leader and to learn more about unexplored areas of private equity. Our next destination was Barclay's Capital, which has regularly hosted BU students and has also recruited from these treks in past years, and students learned more about the world of investment banking from alumni at Barclay's. After such an eventful couple of days, the trek was not over quite yet: We had one more post-lunch stopover at PwC Advisory Services. This again was an interesting experience, as we met with professionals from areas of Asset Management, Insurance, and Banking and Capital Markets. The fact that our alumni contacts brought so many non-alumni professionals for the session is truly a testament to the commitment of our alumni to the BU community.
I consider the trek to be an overwhelming success. Students visited six different companies in areas of Investment Banking, Consulting and Private Equity; networked with more than 45 business professionals in two days; and got exposure to varied specializations within the Finance industry. I myself also learned important lessons in organizing such events from start to finish and will strive to keep improving these treks by including an even more diverse group of companies to enhance students’ experiences. I would like to thank my fellow MBA Finance Club committee members for their help in preparing for the trek,the BU SMG Alumni Relations office for organizing the alumni reception, the Feld Career Center staff for getting us ready and accompanying us on the trek, and most importantly, all of our Alumni who committed so much of their time and energy in meeting with students and sharing their experiences. I look forward to the upcoming trek!
Priyanka Sharma is a 2nd year General MBA student concentrating in Finance and has experience in finance and technology industries. Priyanka was born and raised in India and enjoys learning about different cultures and their cuisines.