Sunday, April 10, 2011

Marquette's 4th annual 'Ins and Outs of Wall Street' a Big Success

The fourth annual ‘Ins & Outs of Wall Street’ program at Marquette University was held on Saturday, April 9. The event has grown significantly since the first forum was held in the spring of 2008, when eight alumni led by Dan Williams prepared a day for students interested in careers on Wall Street.  Through yesterday’s Ins and Outs event we have had over 114 Marquette alumni nationally participate in some degree with the first four programs.

On Saturday 27 alumni were on campus to participate in the Ins and Outs event which included over 100 students – bringing the total to over 300 students that have experienced the Ins and Outs of Wall Street forum over the past four years. 

The day was set up to provide a variety of topics to help students improve their opportunities for interviews and employment with leading financial firms. The elements of the Ins and Outs program included: an overview of the functional areas in finance; interviewing skills; and networking skills. Dr. Krause, AIM program director, who along with Finance Chair Dr. Sarah Peck organized the event, said, “The event was very successful. We are truly thankful for the support and participation of our alumni. The Ins and Outs of Wall Street is an opportunity for students to understand what it will take, beyond the classroom learning, to succeed in the world of high finance. This event gets better and better each year.” 

Dr. Peck stated, “We had over 100 students arrive for the event by 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning in April, I think this goes to show how our students realize the importance of the Ins and Outs forum. I also think that the students were highly impressed with the alumni presenters following their introductions. We have recent Marquette alumni working at almost every major financial firm in the country, in every conceivable functional area of the finance industry, and at all levels of the organization. It showed the Marquette finance undergrads that they can go from the classroom to Wall Street within a few short years.”

The morning was organized with various alumni talking and interacting with students about their respective functional areas of finance. The areas were broken down as follows (with the alumni presenters):

·         Investment Banking (Brandon Giles, Joel Grebenick, Amy Klemme, Ashley Beckner, Adam Bordner, Katie Wycklendt, Brian Finnie, and Ross Michler)
·         Sales & Trading (Billy Flynn, Kevin Gibbons, Mike Rice, Mark Davino, Sean Haggerty, and Peter Rode)
·         Wealth Management (Bill Fritz, Mary Kowarick, Dan Williams)
·         Investment Research & Asset Management (Tim Kellen, Anna Toshach, Mike Signore, Mike Carson, and Mike Klenn)
·         Alternative Investments (Private Equity & Hedge Funds (Gavin Kaparis, Barrett Willich, Peter Merkel, and Greg Rawls)

Following lunch the students were given advice on the ‘soft skills’ needed to succeed in landing an internship or the first job in the finance industry. They received tips and advice from the alumni about how to prepare resumes and successfully interact in various professional settings – including telephone and in-person interviews.

The ‘Preparing for the Interview and Breaking into a Major Finance Firm’ section was conducted by Adam Bordner, Bill Fritz, and Caitlin Gerdes. Their “do's and don’t” advice about resume preparation, networking, and interview preparation was well received by the students. There was considered interaction and many excellent questions were poised about how to handle certain job search and interview situations.

The discussion about appropriate apparel and how to dress for an interview was spearheaded by Billy Flynn and Amy Klemme. Dr. Krause said, “The students received some valuable advice about how to dress for an interview or a social event held by a prospective employer - and the importance of not ‘being an outlier.’ As unfair as it might seem, it is likely that a student with a good resume might not be given consideration for a position if they show up in appropriate attire or with a lack of the basic social skills in a professional setting.”

Before the day concluded and the networking events began, the students were treated to two mock interview sessions. Mike Signore and Barrett Willich conducted a mock telephone interview for an investment research internship and Katie Wycklendt and Brian Finnie conducted a mock in-person interview for a full-time investment banking position. The students made considerable comments and asked many questions about the ‘do’s and don’t’ of interviewing. 

Dr. Peck observed, “I think this section of the day might have been the most important for our sophomores and juniors in attendance. They have a much better understanding about how the interview process works and what employers are looking for…. I’m certain that the past Ins and Outs have led to many of our students obtaining offers that they wouldn’t have otherwise.”

Dr. Krause concluded, “Through the efforts of Dan Williams (who has helped to organize all four of our Ins and Outs events) and all of the other Marquette alumni, the day was an enormous success. I can say categorically that the Ins and Outs event is a game-changer for our students. Every year I learn more and more tips about how we can improve our understanding about the investment and banking workplace and how to make our students more attractive to prospective employers. I have always known that our students can technically and fundamentally compete with the top students from the ‘target schools’  across the country – if just given the opportunity – and this is what the Ins and Outs of Wall Street event is about…. giving our students the opportunity to get the interviews and to make a positive impact. In my mind the day was a huge success and we are indebted to the efforts of our alumni for their contributions.”

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