Monday, October 5, 2009

On Campus: Ready to Seize Opportunity

Mid-October approaches for Consortium finance students. For many, that means mid-term exams (final exams for some at Dartmouth, e.g.). It means, too, getting immersed and possibly getting exhausted by the demanding recruiting process.

For some campuses, it means a trip to New York for annual Wall Street visits, where students get a chance to network, meet new contacts, plan information interviews, secure full-time offers for next spring, connect with Consortium alumni, and learn something directly from bankers, traders, and investors of all kinds.
The week enhances what they study in class. On the one hand, students want to make contacts, ask questions about opportunities for next summer for full-time slots, and schedule information interviews.
On the other, they may want to test theories they learn in class: For example, "How relevant are computations of weighted-average-cost-of-capital?" "What are the real-life lessons of having endured the financial crisis?"
In the weeks to come, CFN will select and share students' impressions and experiences--especially a post-crisis view of Wall Street. To date, students say companies are cautious, but the doors are not as closed as they were a year ago.

NYU-Stern doesn't have classes on Fridays, permitting students to spend a whole day on recruiting activities, if they wish. This year, first-year students are paired with second-year students with similar interests, where second-years get to pass on wisdom of how to get the right internship, how to make a resume' look good or how to handle both mid-terms and recruiting at the same time.

Stern's Consortium students in finance agreed to get together to practice interviewing, fine-tune the "30-second pitch," and trade stories about networking and reaching contacts.

At Michigan-Ross, CFN students acknowledged how well prepared they are, as banks have begun to make presentations and network among students. They see the advantages of having had the Consortium experience at the Orientation Program or having taken advantage of contacts, guidance and information from CFN.

Yale's finance club has scheduled a "Day on Wall Street" in mid-November. Consortium CFN students will be involved. Yale students will get to network at JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley.
At Dartmouth, Tuck finance students spend their "Week on Wall Street" this week. Tuck has done this for years and sees the benefit of students slipping away to Manhattan once first-quarter exams are done. Students comb through financial circles in New York to connect with other Tuck alumni and learn as much as they can about finance opportunities and specific financial businesses. This is the week that really helps students decide what they want to--trading, banking, asset managing, investing, etc.

CFN students at Tuck recently met to discuss recruiting strategies. They expressed interest in investment banking and venture capital. Many of those interested in banking, but without banking experience, will attend the week on Wall Street.
Tuck CFN students are creating a database to permit them to share finance contacts with each other and other general, useful information.
Later this month, an investment-banking class from Indiana will be in New York with a non-stop schedule of meetings, sessions, and interviews with alumni, bankers and other finance professionals.
For all, students appear to be hopeful and confident, ready to pounce on opportunities they find--fortunate that the dismal aftermath of last year's market collapse is receding.
Tracy Williams

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