A&S | Maxwell Students Take Part in Virtual Stocks and Finance Immersion
With a trip to Wall Street disrupted by the pandemic, alumni stepped up to keep the valuable experience alive virtually.
Each fall, students in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs have the unique opportunity to meet alumni working in banking, finance, private equity and hedge funds through the Stocks and Finance Immersion. This career exploration program, organized by the Office of Undergraduate Academic and Career Advising and made possible by Tom Toomey ’95, is one of three annual immersion trips available to A&S | Maxwell undergraduate students. The others include Discover Atlanta, a three-day immersion co-sponsored by A&S and the University’s Atlanta Regional Council, and the Winston Fisher Seminar, a week-long business immersion program in New York City founded by real estate developer Winston Fisher ’96.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Stocks and Finance Immersion transitioned to an online format. But it still offered students a range of incredible opportunities to connect with alumni finance professionals. During the five-day experience, students took part in a kick-off with Toomey; a financial careers alumni panel; a risk and insurance careers alumni panel; a virtual tours event with top financial companies; financial recruiting meetings via Handshake; and a “convocation” with past participants.
“Despite the inability to travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the College of Arts and Sciences and Maxwell advising team was determined to provide our students with a valuable experience and we are grateful that our alumni volunteered their time to make that happen,” says Matt Wheeler, A&S | Maxwell associate director of alumni relations. “Being able to speak with alumni who were once in their shoes, as students at Syracuse University, offered students a vision of how to put the skills they develop at Syracuse to work in order to achieve success in such a competitive industry.”
Julia Thomas ’22, a mathematics and environment major in A&S and Ian McMurry ’23, an economics and philosophy major in A&S, both took part in the virtual immersion and reflected on their experience.
Opening Doors to a Future in Finance
by Julia Thomas
The virtual Stocks and Finance Immersion experience has opened doors to a new possible career path and opened my eyes to a future in the finance industry. During this five-day program, we attended career development workshops, alumni panels, career conversations, virtual company tours and networking programs with industry experts from Bloomberg, Ernst & Young, JP Morgan and other top name finance institutions.
After speaking with multiple company recruiters and alumni, a major takeaway was that it doesn’t necessarily matter what your major is, as long as you have a strong interest in the field, and are innovative and communicative, you can succeed in this industry. Meeting other students in the same position as me was motivating, as you can really learn from each other.
I would highly recommend any A&S | Maxwell undergraduate student interested in a career in finance to apply to this program because it is the best first step you can take.
Becoming the Perfect Candidate
by Ian McMurry
This experience taught me so much about the values of a liberal arts degree and the soft skills associated with it. It also allowed me to meet some wonderful people. Even though I didn’t get to meet the speakers or other students in person, I still learned the necessary information for going into this industry.
I also had the opportunity to virtually visit numerous companies and realize what they are looking for in a perfect candidate. This allows me to know how I can improve myself when I start to apply for internships and show myself as a good candidate.
Students should take advantage of this opportunity because it is a wonderful learning opportunity and a great chance to network with A&S alumni. I would recommend this to anyone that has even the slightest interest in working in finance. I say this because the best way to learn about an industry is to experience it and the virtual immersion allowed me to do that. I now know that this is the industry that I want to work in and that I have the resources necessary for me to succeed.
Find out more on the A&S | Maxwell immersion program.