The Argyros School of Business and Economic’s Walk Down Wall Street January Interterm course allows students to gain a practical understanding of the finance industry through networking with various professionals. During our January 2019 seven-day trip, we toured the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, completed six company visits, dined with professionals each night, and attended The Lion King on Broadway.
I first learned about this course during my senior year of high school at a seminar during Discover Chapman Day. I have a goal to move to NYC and break into the cutthroat finance industry, so this course was an opportunity to capitalize on the resources and the professional network that Chapman offers. This course ended up being one of the main reasons why I chose to pursue my undergraduate degree from the Argyros School.
For the past three years, I have seen and listened to my friends who have taken this course tell me how their experiences on the trip helped shape their career path. Some of their stories include how the trip helped them land internships and full-time offers. Additionally, professors serve as great resources by putting students in contact with various companies and helping prepare them for interviews.
We flew in Sunday evening and had the night and all of Monday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) to adventure in the city. On Tuesday, we started our morning with a tour of the Federal Reserve Bank and learned about the bank’s history and logistical operations. That afternoon, we met with Chapman alumnus Brett Minarik ’08 at Aksia, a hedge fund research and portfolio advisory firm. Brett discussed the type of research the firm does in addition to how they work with institutional investors to invest in hedge funds in order to decrease their beta. Later that evening, a small group of us had dinner with Charles Nguyen of Neuberger Berman where we were able to learn about his career and life in New York.
On Wednesday, we met with Leo Grohowski, CIO of BNY Mellon. During our meeting with Leo, we discussed his “three P’s,” people, process and performance, as well as the importance of having different perspectives when analyzing the market. Afterwards, we headed over to Deutsche Bank where our hosts discussed their bank and offered advice for landing a job on Wall Street. During this company visit, I volunteered to give my elevator pitch to the room and learned to strengthen my pitch by better conveying how I can be an asset to the organization. After leaving Deutsche Bank, we spent the afternoon walking outside the New York Stock Exchange as well as the Fearless Girl and Charging Bull sculptures.
By Thursday we had acclimated to the city, the culture, and the colder weather. We spent the morning at JPMorgan Chase with Christopher Lee ’08, Vice President and Managing Partner of The Gold Lee Group, where we learned about all of the services the bank offers as well as how to succeed in technical interviews. Later that afternoon we visited Goldman Sachs and learned about their analyst position, received recruiting advice for their company, and were reminded of the importance of being knowledgeable about current events. After a busy day of networking at both banks we went over to Broadway to enjoy The Lion King.
On Friday morning we met with a panel of Chapman alumni at NASDAQ who discussed their path to the company and how their careers are progressing there. We also received advice on how to stand out as an employee in a positive manner. Two examples they offered were sending out meeting notes to everyone after each meeting and performing other simple tasks that people are normally reluctant to complete. On our final evening, a group of students had dinner with Chapman alumnus Ryan Lecznar of PIMCO to network and learn more about the company.
We left the Big Apple on Saturday afternoon. Reflecting on our trip, we felt fortunate to have alumni working and succeeding at each company we visited. We all left with a desire to grow Chapman University and the Argyros School’s prominence. We left feeling more determined to express our grit as well as how the personalized education from the Argyros School produces talented and high achieving graduates and employees. I personally left more motivated to continue learning, growing, and expanding my network so that I can achieve both my professional and personal goals.
Special thanks to Chapman University, the Argyros School of Business and Economics, Professors Yashar Barardehi, Ph.D. and Jörn Kleinhans, Ph.D.; Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Career Services Stacey Moynahan and Argyros School Recruiting Coordinator Jolene Haley and all others that helped make this trip possible.