On Saturday, April 14th, Marquette University's Applied Investment Management program and the Finance Alumni Network sponsored the fifth annual "Ins and Outs of Wall Street.” 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 presentation for students interested in careers on Wall Street. Through this year’s event we have had over 60 Marquette alumni participate to some degree with the first five Ins and Outs events.
This annual event provides an opportunity for our finance alumni to share their personal experiences, including the best ways to prepare for "Wall Street" interviews and how to grow a career in the current competitive financial environment. Alumni from companies such as R.W. Baird, Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Gates Foundation and Wells Capital Management participated in the event.
This year there were 32 Marquette alumni on campus to participate in the Ins and Outs event, which included nearly 100 Marquette students and faculty – bringing the total to almost 400 students that have experienced the Ins and Outs of Wall Street event over the past five years.
Dr. David Krause, AIM program director said, "This has grown into an important event for the freshmen and sophomores that are majoring in finance at Marquette. Our alumni from the major national and regional financial institutions offer valuable insights into the recruiting process. During their visit to campus, the alumni also provide an important networking opportunity for our undergraduates. This is an outstanding event and one that all finance students should take full advantage. The Ins and Outs of Wall Street has probably grown to become our most important annual event on the Marquette campus for finance majors.”
The agenda was set up to provide information on 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; breakout sessions with alumni in the various functional areas; interviewing tips; and networking skills. Dr. Krause, who along with Marquette’s Advancement Office and alumni organized the event said, “The day was again a huge success. We are truly thankful for the support and participation of our alumni. The Ins and Outs of Wall Street is a unique opportunity for our students to understand what it will take, beyond their classroom learning, to succeed in the world of high finance. This event gets better and better each year.”
Dr. Krause continued, “We had over 80 students arrive for the event by 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning in April, which I believe goes to show how our students realize the importance of the Ins and Outs. I also think that the students were highly impressed with the alumni presenters – who serve as important role models. We have recent Marquette alumni working within 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 shows that Marquette finance undergrads can go from campus 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 functional areas were broken down as follows (with the alumni presenters):
- Investment Banking (Brandon Giles, Amy Klemme, Adam Bordner, Katie Kasper, Brian Finnie, Luke Darkow, Sarah Clasing, and Victoria Fox)
- Sales & Trading (Mike Rice, Mark Davino, Herwin Yip, Ray Lefebvre, and Christina Starkey)
- Wealth Management (Bill Fritz, Mary Kowarick, Dan Williams, Pamela Lucina, and Tiffany Roberts)
- Investment Research & Asset Management (Tim Kellen, Mike Signore, David Zakutansky, Armintas Sinkevicius, and Kyle Zabel)
- Alternative Investments - Private Equity & Hedge Funds (Gavin Kaparis, Barrett Willich, Greg Rawls, Phil Bronsteatter, Chris Williams, and Joel Grebenick)
Following lunch the students were given advice on the ‘soft skills’ needed to succeed in landing an internship or their 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 Bill Fritz and Armintas Sinkevicius. Their “do's and don’ts” advice about resume writing, 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 professional business apparel and how to dress for an interview was spearheaded by Amy Klemme, Sarah Clasing, Herwin Yip, and Joel Grebenick. 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 full consideration for a position if they show up in inappropriate 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. Katie Kasper conducted a telephone interview with Brian Finnie for a finance research internship and Dan Williams and David Zakutansky conducted a mock in-person interview with Joel Grebenick for a full-time investment banking position. The students made considerable comments and asked many questions about the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of interviewing.
Dr. Krause observed, “I think this section of the day might have been the most important for our sophomores and juniors in attendance. They now 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 of Wall Street 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 five of our Ins and Outs events) and all of the other Marquette alumni and our people in the Advancement Office, 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 our students learn more and more tips about how they can improve their understanding of 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. Thanks to everyone involved in the planning and implementation of the Ins and Outs.”