Steve Humphries is a Weatherhead School of Management Class of 2017 full-time MBA student reporting on Weatherhead's recent trip to New York City.
We started our trek with one-on-one informational interviews with alumni in our fields of interest. This was a great way to start exploring industries in which I have little experience. I was able to better wrap my head around new industries of interest--where to start, what’s required and what’s to be expected. The Career Management Office did a great job facilitating a focused dialogue with alumni who had “been there and done it,” so to speak. In my case, I met with a Weatherhead alum from Ernst & Young. We both shared our stories of how we got to where we are today. He welcomed my questions, gave me an idea of what he’s been working on, and gave quality advice regarding the next steps in my job search.
Later that evening, we traveled through the financial district to Bar Boulud off Broadway for an alumni reception. Getting to experience the city’s financial district culture was a plus. When we arrived, the alumni were excited to meet first and second year students. We met with recent and past graduates who were fully engaged in discussion ranging from career path/aspirations and perspectives on current events to their personal interests and why they live and work in NYC. It was a rewarding experience in that we were able to begin dialogues with successful professionals and learn about different career paths.
On the second day of the event, we were invited to watch the opening bell live on the NYSE floor. I must admit, this was one of the top benefits of the trip. Not often do you turn down an invitation to see the foundation of financial markets up close. We saw an IPO take place, a CNBC show being aired live and were given a tour by Peter Costa who spent more than 30 years on the stock exchange floor. We closed with a Q&A session with Peter, who welcomed a continued dialogue if we had further questions. We were then given two hours to explore the surrounding landscape. I spent the majority of the time around the World Trade Center #1 building in awe of the architecture and memorial a few blocks away.
The next event scheduled was a lunch and alumni panel discussion at Citibank’s headquarters. This was an information session pertaining to mastering the job search. The alumni panel had both Weatherhead grads and other Citibank employees to offer alternative perspectives. All members of the panel were well versed in their fields and have taken different paths to get there. They all welcomed our questions related to both job search as well as networking tips. And just like Peter, they were open to continuing a dialogue with students after the event ended.
Overall, we spent quality time at every event getting to know what it means to work for a company in New York City’s financial district. The alumni were very helpful in answering our questions and providing valuable information that we would need to obtain an internship or full-time job. Tip of the cap to the Career Management Office for facilitating a highly beneficial event for students. I highly recommend that future students attend events like these as they are great ways to start building new networks in different regions.