Trip to NYC’s Financial District offers Girard Students the Opportunity to hear from Financial Industry Experts and Network with Merrimack Alums
The Girard School finance students took part in the Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) V Forum on March 19-21 in New York City. Quinnipiac University hosted the G.A.M.E. Forum to connect business school students and faculty with financial industry experts. Over 1200 students from more than 140 colleges participated in the forum. Speakers from firms including Bloomberg, Merrill Lynch, Morningstar, and Goldman Sachs shared industry insights and gave career and professional advice to the students.
The Forum was conducted over three days, comprised of keynote panels, breakout sessions and workshops to discuss the global economy, global markets, alternative assets versus equities, corporate governance and provide a Federal Reserve perspective. The trip, funded by the Mucci Capital Markets Lab Innovation Fund, enabled the Girard School students to hear from Wall Street executives and learn more about career opportunities within the financial services industry.
For many of the Girard School students, the highlight of the Forum was hearing from Tom Keene, editor-at-large at Bloomberg News and host of “Bloomberg Surveillance,” the morning news program. Alex Morsey ’15 says, “I see him on TV all the time in the lab (the Mucci Capital Markets Lab) and always like what he has to say. It was awesome to see him in person. He spoke about some tough topics while also being able to relate to students.”
For Kellen Smith ’16, the Global Economy panel with Tom Keene was the highlight, too. “We had the privilege of listening to prominent folks within the industry discuss hot topics in the global and domestic economy and their impact on the landscape of the markets. The panelists talked about the under-addressed issues they felt will likely cause ‘tectonic-like shifts’ in the economic landscape, including water, wages, and population,” says Smith.
Matthew Chirokas ’15, who represented Merrimack at the Nasdaq closing bell ceremony on Wednesday, March 19th, was surprised to be one of only five students in the audience for a panel on middle-market commercial lending. “I was able to talk closely with the speaker, and he catered portions of his session to private equity given my internships within that sector. I received the speaker’s contact information and look forward to staying in touch,” says Chirokas, putting into action the oft-offered advice to network, network, network.
The students left the Forum with new perspectives on the industry and received lots of valuable advice. For Kristin Maclellan ’16, the most important advice was, “…the greatest things we can take away from college are the relationships we build with our peers. These relationships create an enjoyable overall experience and provide a great network for post-graduation.”
Kellen Smith had two take-aways that he had heard before but they finally resonated with him after hearing them again from the experts at the Forum. “Network as much as humanly possible and read, read, read. Reading builds your knowledge and vocabulary while helping you to formulate your opinion on an array of topics, and network because that is the best way to succeed in finance,” he says.
The students took networking to heart, visiting with three Merrimack alums – Steve Kelly ’81 at Bloomberg LP, Bob Sullivan ’81 at PwC, and Frank DiMarco ’85 at ITG – spending time in each of their NYC offices. For Lauren LoPresti ’15, this was one of the highlights of the trip. “I loved getting the chance to speak with alumni who were once in our shoes. They were able to give us advice and teach us about different opportunities they have for college grads in their companies,” she says.
Alex Morsey agreed, “The alums were extremely generous with their time with us and hopefully I can work my way up in my career to the point where I can have Merrimack students come visit me at my company.”