Each year as the first – and notoriously rigorous – term comes to a close, the Career Development Office (CDO), in conjunction with student clubs, organizes multiple Career Treks. The Treks offer a unique opportunity for first-year students to travel as a group, visiting sought after companies and speaking with key employees. So far, over 70% of the Class of 2015 has gone on one of three Career Treks; Marketing, Finance (both in New York), and Consulting (Boston). In the next few weeks, students, as well as the CDO, will share their experiences.
Finance Trek (New York City)
Deirdre O’Donnell spent 24 years of her career at Lehman Brothers in the Fixed Income Division, gaining experience as a trader, salesperson and manager. She became involved in Lehman’s campus recruiting effort at colleges and universities and ultimately became Global Head of Diversity Recruiting for the firm. After leaving Lehman in 2008 she joined the Tuck School of Business as an Associate Director of the Career Development Office, focusing on the financial services industry, including insurance and private equity.
First-year students just completed the annual “Wall Street Trek” to New York. Over three days, 43 students visited BMO, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and UBS. Although each visit was about two hours long, each was structured differently; networking, panel discussions, cocktails, and educational sessions. It was a great way for students to network with Tuck alumni in investment banking, from C-Suite executives to Associates. They returned to Hanover with a greater understanding of the industry and the “culture” of each firm. This month we will be returning to New York with students interested in Private Wealth Management and private banking to visit another division at the banks.
Chris Weber is a T’15 from the Greater New York City area. After graduating from Georgetown University in 2008, he joined a bulge bracket investment bank in New York. Most recently, he worked in real estate private equity in Hong Kong. Chris enjoys travel, squash, cycling, skiing, triathlon, and generally anything outdoorsy – he and his girlfriend, also a T’15, are looking forward to their first ski season back in the Northeast after living in Asia for the past 3 years.
People often think of Tuck as a school that trains consultants and general managers – which it does, and does very well – but often overlooked is the school’s sizable and tight-knit alumni community in financial services. Tuck consistently has a high placement rate in this sector, including investment banks, investment management firms, private equity and venture capital fund managers. The Wall Street trek is one of many ways the school continues to support and develop this network. In early October, just as the trees in Hanover were about to change color, a group of first-year Tuck students embarked on this time-honored tradition.
We had just finished Fall A, the compressed four-week fall term that kicks off the Tuck MBA program, and we were on the job hunt already. Throughout September, bulge bracket investment banks, as well as a number of boutiques and middle market firms, visited campus. In almost all cases, the representatives were Tuck alums themselves, making their trips feel like more of a reunion than a recruiting event. Organized by the Career Development Office (CDO), the Wall Street trek provided an opportunity for students to visit these same firms in New York, continue exploring careers in finance, and meet with additional Tuck alums as well as a broader cross-section of the firms. In the weeks prior to the Wall Street trek, the CDO and second-years were instrumental in preparing us for our meetings – from what to expect, to who we would be meeting, and how we should prepare. The week, although busy in its own way, also provided a much-needed breather after the conclusion of our Fall A exams and as we looked to the Fall B term ahead.
This year, the Wall Street trek brought together a group of students from diverse backgrounds, including international aid workers, engineers, government consultants, as well as former finance professionals. The students also had a broad mix of global experiences pre-MBA – from Hong Kong, to Palestine, to those who had lived in New York and were looking to return. Just hours after finishing our Managerial Economics exam, we made our way to New York by planes, trains, and automobiles. Ahead of us lay a packed schedule – we would visit 8 firms over the course of the next 3 days, and our events would range from panel discussions, to a tour of a trading floor and investment banking bullpen, to more informal drinks and networking events. In one case, we even had an impromptu late-night karaoke session with a firm!
Throughout the trek, I was consistently impressed by the enthusiasm of the Tuck alumni – not only in terms of their willingness to help us understand their own roles and career progression, but also by their genuine interest in helping us make the best decision possible when it comes to recruiting (whether or not it means recruiting for their particular firm). For me personally, the trek cemented the strength of the Tuck alumni community and made me feel like I had people on my “team” in New York. Although I was never really concerned about Tuck’s proximity to New York from a recruiting perspective, the trek removed any lingering doubts. After three days in New York, we returned to Hanover ready to take on Fall B. The Wall Street trek is just the beginning of our recruiting process. Many of us have already planned follow-up visits and will become quite familiar with the I-91 corridor over the coming months. Whatever lies ahead, I know that I will be well-prepared, I will have excellent counselors and advocates in the CDO and the second-year class, and I will be able to rely on the Tuck network for candid feedback and advice.
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