2009 New York City Networking Trip

nyc_participants_2009During the week of January 12, 2009, the Financial Economics Institute sponsored the sixth annual New York City Networking Trip which provided an invaluable learning experience for sixteen sophomores, juniors, and seniors who aspire to work in finance after graduation. The students participated in company visits and alumni networking events which enabled them to establish relationships with CMC Alumni while learning more about the various job opportunities available in finance.

During the week, the students visited five firms including: Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, J.P. Morgan, Atalaya Capital, Deloitte Consulting, and Goldman Sachs. They also participated in a Q&A session with a panel of young alumni from the Claremont Colleges.

The week in NYC began with an introductory reception and dinner that was hosted by Julie Spellman Sweet ’89 at Cravath Swaine & Moore. At the reception, students interacted with several FEI Board Members and alumni who graciously answered the students’ questions about life in the world of finance. The dinner was followed by a presentation featuring Prof. Hughson, “Can a Lender of Last Resort Stabilize the Financial Markets?”

On Tuesday morning, the students enjoyed breakfast with Henry Kravis ’67 in the breathtaking boardroom at KKR. Mr. Kravis, cofounder of KKR, discussed the history of his firm and the evolution of KKR from a firm that could barely raise a fund in 1976 to the most successful private equity firm in the world. He also answered numerous questions that students had prepared in order to learn more about private equity and KKR. Mr. Kravis was particularly interested in new technologies available to students and how we are utilizing them today.

Following the visit to KKR, the students attended a young alumni panel featuring Asaf Bernstein HMC ’08, Chris Urban CMC ’07, and Justin Hance CMC ’06. The three provided helpful advice on the interview process, anecdotes about work after CMC, and three unique perspectives. Asaf works for a large investment bank; Chris works for a hedge fund; and Justin works for an asset management firm.

On Tuesday evening, the students attended a CMC Alumni Association reception hosted by Kristen Edgreen ’98 at The Yale Club. The reception drew many members of the CMC community including current students, alumni, parents, and CMC faculty. The evening gave students an excellent opportunity to interact with alumni, establish contacts, and openly ask questions outside of a formal business setting.

On Wednesday, students began their day with a visit to J.P. Morgan. Amanda Wilson ’98, Managing Director of Asset Management, started off the J.P. Morgan visit with an overview of the firm’s private equity group, in particular discussing its strategy and evaluation methods. Next, Chris Scheuermann, a Municipal Bonds Analyst, described his role at J.P. Morgan, while explaining the process of finding valuations for bonds. Finally, Tim Galbraith ’87, a Managing Director, outlined the problems in the current economy, specifically highlighting the Madoff scandal. The visit to J.P. Morgan was especially helpful because it portrayed three distinct careers paths in finance.

The students then traveled to Atalaya Capital where Ivan Zinn ’96, the firm’s President and Founder, hosted the group for lunch and a presentation. He talked about the start of Atalaya as well as their investment strategy and the effects of the current market downturn. Mr. Zinn was very gracious in answering questions related to the current financial crisis and shared suggestions detailing how students should reach out to the CMC network to maintain contacts with alumni. At the conclusion of his presentation, Mr. Zinn had a contest that resulted in some CMC students returning home with some Atalaya gear. After visiting Atalaya, students enjoyed free time to explore New York City on Wednesday evening.

On Thursday, the final day of activities in New York City, students began their day by visiting Deloitte Consulting. Celia Ramos, a Senior Manager, and Randi Brosterman, a Principal, hosted the students at Deloitte. Following a presentation which provided an overview of the consulting industry, students participated in an analyst panel, which featured Rishi Reddy ’07 and provided a great opportunity for students to ask candid questions. The Deloitte presentation provided a great opportunity for the students to learn about the differences between consulting and banking.

The final visit was to Goldman Sachs where David Alvillar ’01, a Vice President in Capital Structure Finance Trading, and Jerry Lin ’07, an Investment Banking Analyst, hosted the students. Mr. Alvillar introduced students to the organization and culture of Goldman Sachs as well as an array of opportunities within the bank. He was joined by Eric Kramer, a Vice President in Fixed Income Sales, who also shared his experiences at Goldman. The visit to Goldman Sachs provided the students with firsthand knowledge of the inner-workings of a large, distinguished investment bank.

Following the visit to Goldman Sachs, the week concluded with Brian Dennis ’97, Assistant Director of the FEI, taking the students to dinner at Luna Piena.

The sixth annual New York City Networking Trip was a great success and provided students with exposure to a variety of financial firms and potential career paths. The students learned about consulting, investment banking, sales and trading, asset management, private equity, and hedge funds. They will undoubtedly benefit from these visits as well as the opportunity to meet extensively with CMC alumni who have established themselves in successful careers in New York. These relationships and this experience will be invaluable for the students as they continue at CMC and after graduation. Ongoing alumni support for the Financial Economics Institute not only reflects the strength of the CMC community and the advantages of a CMC education, but is ultimately responsible for the success of endeavors such as the New York City Networking Trip.