SWS: Not all paths to jobs are conventional ones

by Farzana Ali (GSB ’15)

You want a finance internship. Did the idea of randomly walking into Wall Street offices uninvited ever occur to you?

It did to Sihien Goh (GSB ’13). He sat down with Smart Woman Securities before break to share his results, as part of SWS’s corporate and investment banking panel discussion.

“I didn’t get to meet any portfolio managers,” Sihien recalled. Armed with a list of 4,000 firms from Fordham’s Career Services database, he had gone door to door along Wall Street trying to find a finance internship. “I got to meet the receptionist,” he said.

The lead that landed him an internship? A receptionist who had a connection. Sihien became a summer analyst at Lazard.

Fellow panelist Bryan Matis (GSB ’12), a business analyst within the credit portfolio group technology projects team at JPMorgan Chase, echoed this life lesson of actively searching for opportunities. After interviewing extensively and exhaustively, searching for the best-fit job, Bryan decided to try his luck and e-mail a program manager at JPM whom he’d worked with two years before. That e-mail got passed around the firm, and a recent hire who had worked with Bryan in a Fordham student organization vouched for him, proving true the saying: “Your network is your net worth.”

Fordham was a common thread for most of the panelists, who were alumni or current seniors. They found that Fordham prepared them to work very hard, take ownership of all tasks assigned to them, strive for excellence in quality, work ethically and think critically.

 

Here is some finance-specific advice from the panelists:

  • Growing divisions of finance include investment banking risk, credit risk, and risk technology.
  • Expertise in economics, mathematics, statistics and software development are also in demand
  • There is great room for mobility at JPMorgan Chase. One panelist worked there for 15 years but only had the same role for two to three at a time.
  • Keep up to date with regulations that impact the financial landscape: Basel II, Basel III (liquidity coverage ratios), Dodd–Frank Wall Street reform and the Consumer Protection Act, and the Volcker Rule.
  • In the finance industry, the only thing constant is change.

 

 

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