College of Business Students Invest in Future on Wall Street
June 6, 2012
Sixteen students from the College of Business Admnistration visited top investment firms and the New York Stock Exchange in May to learn more about landing a job in investment banking.
UTEP News Service
A trip to visit Wall Street in Manhattan, N.Y. was an investment in the future for 16 finance and accounting students from The University of Texas at El Paso’s College of Business Administration (CoBA).
The students had the opportunity to tour and be involved in panel discussions with employees of the New York Stock Exchange, JPMorgan Chase and Co. and Goldman Sachs. They also spoke with a recruiter from Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), a program that helps underserved college students obtain internships and training that can lead to full-time jobs with global companies.
“I used to think of finance as a fine art rather than a pragmatic career path,” said Arturo Valenzuela, a UTEP junior who went on the trip in late May. “After this experience, this career path seems a lot more practical.”
Recent CoBA alumnus Alex Muñoz helped organize the students’ visit to JP Morgan Chase, where he started a full-time job after graduating as a Top Ten Senior in 2011. He set up a panel discussion with investment bankers who are all within the first three years of employment at the company. The students asked questions and learned about the logistics, difficulties and successes of being a first-, second-, and third-year investment banker.
Erica Holland, another CoBA alum in her second year of employment with JP Morgan Chase, provided the students with helpful details on adjusting to life in a different city, guidance on moving from being a student at UTEP to an employee at JP Morgan, and advice about how to best ensure a smooth transition. The panel members spoke freely with the students, answered their questions in detail, and offered their help with the students’ job searches in investment banking.
“The people working at the banks made us feel comfortable and confident about ourselves,” said trip participant Anna Martinez, a UTEP senior. “They reminded us that in the past they were in the same position we are right now and that if we really want it and try, we can work in investment banking as well.”
At Goldman Sachs, the students spoke with three investment bankers working in different sectors – research, sales and training. The employees provided details and examples for the students about the different jobs within the field.
“They were extremely willing to go above and beyond for our students at UTEP, answering questions and providing their personal contact information to foster a connection for the students needing their help in the future,” said Krista Snow, a program coordinator in CoBA who accompanied the students on the trip.
The students also spoke with Erika Dunn, a Goldman Sachs recruiter, who gave them advice on networking and the best things to do when applying for a job with the company. She and other employees attributed their excitement for hiring UTEP students to the previous success of UTEP alumni who had been hired, including 2012 Top Ten Senior Diego Rico, who completed internships acquired through SEO at Goldman Sachs during his junior and senior years and ultimately received a full-time job offer when he graduated.
The last major career-related excursion for the students was a visit to the New York Stock Exchange, and for many, it was the highlight of the trip. They received a tour of the building, saw the main floor of the exchange, and spoke with senior traders who provided them with a detailed description of the day-to-day life of a trader, how they worked their way to their current positions, their successes and failures, and advice for students interested in a job in trading.
For UTEP senior Michelle Diaz De Leon, the trip helped broaden her vision for her career.
“I now know more about investment banking, the opportunities that I have, and what qualifications I need to develop to start a career in the big banks,” she said.