My name is Alisa Ogranovich and I am a Senior Business Administration major with an emphasis in Finance and a minor in Economics. This past Interterm, I was fortunate to participate in Chapman University’s Finance 400 elective, A Walk Down Wall Street, in which 26 undergraduate students traveled to New York City and truly got the chance to “walk down Wall Street.” The day I heard about this program in my Freshman year Academic Advising appointment I was determined to qualify for this course. The program consisted of two weeks in the classroom learning about Wall Street itself, various investment theories, the 2008 Financial Crisis and then one week of meeting with financial corporations across New York City. While in New York, our packed schedule consisted of visiting the Federal Reserve, the NASDAQ MarketSite, four financial institutions, attending a dinner with a professional financial analyst and seeing a Broadway show.
The first day we visited the Federal Reserve, where we first learned about the Fed’s role in overseeing economic stability and then got to see the over 6,100 tons of gold stored in their vault. A little fun fact we were told is that if someone attempted to rob any of the gold, security would know two to three months in advance simply due to the drilling noise of attempting to cut through 5 stories of bedrock underground! We then quickly made our way to Neuberger Berman, a mid-sized investment management firm, where we met with Charles Nguyen and learned about various aspects of portfolio management and asset allocation.
The next day we visited the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square, where we met with a panel of Argyros School Alumni analysts. They were in our shoes a few years back doing their own Walk Down Wall Street course, so it was great to see such success stories from our own school. Later that night, a small group of us were scheduled for dinner with alumna Jessica Grima ’19, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. She was extremely helpful answering our questions about what life is really like working on Wall Street, when your job often requires working 80+ hours per week.
Our third day of the course entailed visits at BNY Mellon and Deutsche Bank. BNY Mellon is considered the leading global custodian of assets, so it was an incredible opportunity to meet with Dan Fasciano, the Director of National Portfolio Management, to discuss career advice and what it takes to be successful in the finance industry. Later in the afternoon, we headed to Deutsche Bank to learn about the role of short selling, hear about their employment opportunities and network with current graduate analysts. A special thanks to Chapman Alumna Katie Smith ’19 for setting up such a great meeting and exposing us to all levels of financial careers. Shortly after, the group headed down for a picture with Wall Street’s famous Charging Bull statue.
Time flew by so quickly and on our final day in New York, we visited J.P. Morgan and Broadway. George Gatch, the CEO of Asset Management at J.P. Morgan, welcomed the Chapman community so graciously and informed us of all the moving parts necessary to be a successful asset manager, whether it be from analyzing the macro-environment to running data analytic models, or to just being able to communicate effectively and precisely. In the evening, we got to attend one of two Broadway shows, The Book of Mormon or Dear Evan Hansen, of which I chose the latter and was so moved by the exceptional performance.
I am so thankful for this amazing opportunity as I was able to experience firsthand the realm of finance through educational meetings with executive leaders and Q&A sessions with current financial analysts to get their insight on professional careers in finance. A huge thank you to Professor Lawandy for teaching us about the world of finance and its history, to Dean Turk and Associate Dean Ybarra for flying all the way out to New York with us and for guiding us in our meeting endeavors and to Rita Desjardins for coordinating all of our events with the Chapman Alumni network throughout New York. For all students interested in a career in finance, I highly recommend applying for this program to expand your knowledge. Who knows, maybe you will be the next Financial Analyst to say that they had the opportunity to “Walk Down Wall Street” with the Argyros School. Thank you again, Argyros School of Business and Economics, for this absolutely incredible opportunity and experience!