School of Management Newsletter
“On October 29, 2014, three cohorts of Marist students traveled to New York City (for the inaugural School of Management Undergraduate New York Career Trek) to visit potential employers for a meet and greet, to learn about the internship process, and to network with Marist alumni and friends,” said Brian Haughey, assistant professor of Finance and director of the Investment Center at Marist College.
“The event, the brainchild of Dean Lawrence Singleton, was organized by Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs Dr. Joanne Gavin,” explained Haughey. “Each of the groups was led by a Marist School of Management Ambassador, who was tasked with helping Dr. Gavin with the logistics of the event and with leading their fellow students throughout the day. On the Finance track, which was led by Senior Brian Luciani, I accompanied the students as we visited JP Morgan, Barclays, and Goldman Sachs.”
JPMorgan Chase was founded in 1799 and is now a global leader that delivers strategic advice and solutions to corporations, institutions and governments. The organization is also a leader in investment management, creating a strategic advantage for institutions by globally connecting clients with J.P. Morgan investment professionals. They also offer private banking, wealth management and brokerage, and commercial banking services.
Barclays traces its roots back to 1690, when bankers John Freame and Thomas Gould started trading in London's Lombard Street. Today, the organization is a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London. Barclays’ operations also include ventures into retail, wholesale, and investment banking, as well as wealth management, mortgage lending, and credit cards.
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a global investment banking, security and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world.
The Accounting/Finance track included the following companies:
Voya Financial is a financial, retirement, investment, and insurance company based in New York City. On May 2, 2013, ING U.S. began trading as a public company on the NYSE under the ticker symbol VOYA, which represents its new brand identity, Voya Financial.
Founded on October 1, 1981, Bloomberg L.P. is a privately-held financial software, data and media company headquartered in New York City. The organization offers professional services (including data, news, analysis, and brokerage services), enterprise solutions, integration strategies within industries, as well as news and media properties.
Ernst & Young (EY) traces its history back to the 19th century. EY is a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. The organization operates as a network of member firms (separate legal entities in individual countries). It provides assurance (including financial audit), tax, consulting, and advisory services to companies.
Finally, the Integrated Discipline track included the following companies:
AOL Inc. (previously known as America Online) is a multinational mass media corporation based in New York City which develops, grows, and invests in brands as well as websites. The company's business includes digital distribution of content, products, and services which are all offered to consumers, publishers and advertisers. Major acquisitions include the purchases of the technology news blog, TechCrunch in September 2010 as well as The Huffington Post on February 7, 2011.
Ogilvy & Mather is an international advertising, marketing, and public relations agency based in Manhattan. Founded in 1948 by David Ogilvy, the company has helped to build some of the most recognizable brands in the world including American Express, Sears, Ford, Shell, Barbie, Pond's, Dove, and Maxwell House. More recently, the organization has worked with IBM and Kodak.
The International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is a multinational technology and consulting corporation, with headquarters in Armonk, New York. IBM manufactures and markets computer hardware and software while also offering infrastructure, hosting, and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology. Notable inventions by IBM include the automated teller machine (ATM), the floppy disk, the hard disk drive, the magnetic stripe card, the relational database, the Universal Product Code (UPC), the financial swap, the RDBMS and SQL, SABRE airline reservation system, DRAM and Watson artificial intelligence.
“Our first School of Management Undergraduate New York Career Trek was a remarkable success,” said Gavin, who was the faculty point of contact on the Integrated Discipline track along with SOM Ambassador Corinne Bruckenthal. “The students had an opportunity to learn a great deal from the people who we met at each of the organizations, and we were pleased to have the support of so many Marist College School of Management alumni, who helped make this day positive and influential for these undergraduates. Next year, we hope to grow the career trek and include a fourth track to accommodate even more students.”
Haughey gave a detailed account of his experiences with the students on the Finance track: “Even the start of the event was a success,” he said, “as each of the students managed to make it to the train station in plenty of time for our 6:00 a.m. rendezvous, with no complaints about the ungodly hour. This was good practice for careers on a Wall Street trading desk! In fact, rather than being subdued, the students were eager to get to the city, and there was a palpable air of anticipation and excitement.
“Our first port of call was J.P. Morgan, where we were greeted by Mr. Tom Cassin, the co-head of Investment Grade Finance, and a Marist alumnus. Indeed, Marist was well represented among the ranks of the bank, with a half-dozen alumni able to meet us, and we were also joined by Mr. Harvey Felman, head of Emerging Market Debt and the father of a current sophomore at Marist.
“Tom and Harvey spoke about their respective roles as senior bankers at J.P. Morgan, and in particular about the importance of the internship process. They confirmed for us the importance of internships, and how they are, in effect, a protracted interview. Tom pointed out how vital it is for those students who aspire to a career in Investment Banking to secure an internship even in their sophomore year; in recent years, perhaps 90% of full-time positions are offered to students who interned in the firm. There was a spirited and lively question and answer session, but all too soon we had to leave for our next meeting.
“At Barclays, we were greeted by two Marist alumni: Mr. Brian Wade, head of Private Placements, and Ms. Kat Keegan, a 2014 graduate, along with several analysts. Brian gave a very informative overview of the structure of a typical investment bank, and where his role fits in. He, too, emphasized the importance of internships, and what a great opportunity Marist students had to come to these types of events. It is very difficult to obtain an internship, he continued, relating his experience recruiting at Georgetown, one of Barclay’s target schools, where 150 students applied and ultimately about eight offers were extended. The successful candidates were all in leadership positions in their school, and had excellent GPAs – no lower than 3.5 and on average 3.8. The most critical attributes they shared were an intellectual curiosity, excellent communication skills, playing well in teams, and a "can do” attitude, being always willing to go the extra mile. The students again asked numerous questions about the role of an intern, the opportunities for development and the career track. Mobility was a common theme both at J.P. Morgan and Barclays, and several of the questions related to this topic. Kat Keegan pointed out to the group how well Marist prepared her for her position at Barclays, and reemphasized the importance of securing an internship.
“After our all-too-brief trip to Barclays, we had a break for lunch where the discussion revolved almost entirely around investment banking and the culture in both firms.
“Our next port of call was Goldman Sachs, near the World Financial Center downtown. There we were greeted by Mr. James McNamara, who heads the firm’s Mutual Fund business, and one of his analysts. Jim, the father of a Marist student, introduced us to the different businesses in the firm, and his own career trek. He repeated the common theme, that any student can obtain an internship in an investment bank such as Goldman Sachs, but because it is such a competitive industry only exceptional students will succeed. He reminded the group that to be selected, a student must demonstrate leadership experience and excellent academic results. To succeed as an intern, students need to demonstrate a desire to learn, a willingness to work hard, and loyalty to both the customer and the firm. Continuous learning is emphasized at Goldman Sachs, with a regular schedule of invited speakers and ‘Goldman U,’ an internal training department always ready to educate employees on financial subjects. We were surprised to learn that, at Goldman Sachs, while the majority of their analyst hires are drawn from the intern pool, up to 75% of their interns do not come from the firm’s target schools. Once again, our visit included a question and answer session in which the students asked about the culture, and directed many of their questions to the analyst who spoke of her roles, first as an intern and later as an analyst who supervised interns. She spoke of how she was tasked with a large degree of responsibility and autonomy, and the importance of being able to display initiative.
“Upon leaving Goldman, we headed to the Federal Reserve Bank for an alumni reception. In the magnificent vaulted reception room, located above the vaults that store one quarter of the world’s supply of gold, the various student groups mingled with alumni and faculty, sharing details and highlights of the day’s events.”
“The 2014 Career Trek was a great start to what I have no doubt will be a very successful annual event. On behalf of the students I’d like to offer a sincere thank you to the alumni and friends who so generously welcomed us to their firms,” Haughey said.
Student reactions from the 2014 Marist College School of Management Undergraduate New York Career Trek
“From a student’s perspective, the first New York Career Trek was a chance for juniors and seniors in the School of Management to understand how a Marist education not only provides you opportunities, but also creates a broad network. Students were able to visit prestigious companies around New York City to gain a better perspective on Corporate America. Additionally, through a networking event with alumni of all years, students were able to learn about the different types of opportunities taken by specific individuals. Some students have a perception that your emphasis defines your abilities in Corporate America; however, through the advice from alumni and other faculty, they were able to learn about different possibilities. The New York Career Trek was an incredible experience that should be a part of every business major’s education at Marist. The opportunities it provided for students not only gave them the ability to expand their network but also increase their opportunities as future Marist grads.” , Madeline Kachou, Class of 2015, School of Management Ambassador, Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance.
"In my opinion, the most rewarding part of the first annual Marist School of Management Undergraduate New York Career Trek was experiencing, first hand, the value a Marist education has beyond four years of college. Throughout the day, we met with numerous Marist alumni. Every single alumnus that we encountered seemed incredibly thankful for his or her experience at Marist, immensely satisfied with his or her career, and very eager to help current Marist students succeed in the workplace. Some offered to personally review our resumes, and others insisted on giving us a tour of their office so we can experience the company culture first hand. It was truly inspiring and heart-warming to realize that our tight-knit Marist community extends well beyond our Poughkeepsie campus. I can only hope that by the time my 10th year or 25th year reunion arrives, I will be as successful and happy as the alumni we met.",
Jenna Snyder, Class of 2015, School of Management Ambassador, Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance.
“The New York City Career Trek Day has opened my eyes, ignited my passion and exposed the unlimited possibilities for a future related to business—all thanks to the School of Management and most importantly, the Marist Alumni who granted us access to essential insight to the industries they work in. I was able to see distinctive corporate cultures, receive vital advice for succeeding in the respective companies’ industries and gained insight into winning in the job search. The alumni networking session at the Federal Reserve was an incredible opportunity that I enjoyed most. Connecting with fellow Red Foxes and receiving their words of wisdom was invaluable to me.”, Samantha DeVito, Class of 2015, School of Management Ambassador, Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business.
“The first School of Management Career Trek was a great success! The group of 12 juniors who attended the event were given exposure to some of the world's top financial firms: JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays, and Goldman Sachs. Marist truly put their best foot forward in organizing a fun day on which students traveled via train to New York City, were able to experience a commuter's day in Manhattan, and met some truly extraordinary people. For me, a senior and School of Management Ambassador who chaperoned the Finance Trek with Professor Haughey, it was incredible to be able to feel and experience the breadth of the Marist network. Whether people graduated in 2013, 2003, or 1973, employees at the world's largest banks filled board rooms and city sidewalks for the opportunity to share their Marist College experiences with today's undergraduates.
“At JPMorgan Chase, they packed the board room with former Marist grads, as well as anyone seemingly ever affiliated with Marist. Lots of good conversation came with limited follow up if people didn't have business cards to exchange or even take the ones they were being offered.
“Barclays was one of the most inviting group of the day. Very kind people shared their stories about their day to day jobs, as well as a recruitment video. All of the speakers offered their business cards. Barclays also had a strong presence at the Alumni dinner at the Fed.
“Goldman Sachs had the most formal presentation, complete with a PowerPoint overview of the company, two analyst-level speakers, and a myriad of refreshments. They were the most question-focused company.
“A huge thank you needs to be shared with Dr. Joanne Gavin and her student assistant, Maddie Kachou, without whom the day would have been a logistical nightmare. All of the directions were predetermined, corporate and federal security measures met, and teams well assembled to put what I truly believe was Marists best foot forward.
“This experience is something that will not be soon forgotten by the students elected to participate by their teachers, peers, and on and off campus employers. In the true spirit Marist College, alums shared lessons learned, best practices and other business tips to help you get that first internship that so often grows into your first job. However, the true value of the Marist College education was also present, in the perseverance of our graduated classes and their core values of care for their communities. Students learned on the first New York Career Trek that maintaining a respect and desire to learn from each other, across all ages and walks of life, every single day, is a learned attribute at Marist College that has been proven to breed success.”, Brian Luciani, Class of 2015, School of Management Ambassador, Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing.
“The day started with an early train trip right into Grand Central Terminal. Grand Central is always a beautiful sight, and an appropriate way to start out the long day ahead of us. The track I was a member of was composed of juniors and seniors, both finance and accounting majors. Senior finance majors (including myself), were the majority hopeful to gain some employment help and/or advice. The three companies we were fortunate enough to visit were Voya Investment Management, Bloomberg LP, and Ernst & Young.
“Our first company was scheduled for 9:30am, Voya Investment Management, which was conveniently a few blocks away from Grand Central. My fellow students and I were placed inside one of their main boardrooms and went around to introduce ourselves. Michael Pratt, an alumni of Marist College, is the director of Human Resources and was kind enough to host us for roughly two hours. He went through a few videos and a power point presentation introducing us to Voya and the opportunities available. After the presentations, Mr. Pratt opened the floor to questions and many students engaged in hopes to learn more. To close the meeting, Mr. Pratt gave us a quick tour of the office and brought us to the trading floor where we met with three of Voya’s senior equity traders. They were kind enough to take a half hour out of their busy day to explain their roles and their career experiences. It was cool to be on a trading floor during market hours to see how these individuals operate. At the conclusion of our time, the people we met with handed out business cards in case they could be of any assistance to us going forward.
“After Voya, we walked to the subway to trek to 59th street to the famed Bloomberg building. Upon walking in the neon-clad building, we were greeted by three gentlemen and a much needed lunch. While eating lunch (which was delicious), we spoke to a number of different employees who had very impressive finance roles. We learned of their respective roles and career paths, learning that career trajectory is almost never a straight path. After our lunch meeting we went on a brief tour of the building, looking at the progression of the different Bloomberg terminals and the history of Bloomberg in general. We got a chance to go up to the 29th floor, which was an observation deck/cafeteria with a great view of Central Park West. It was very helpful to have Maddie Kachou along with us, who interned at Bloomberg and will be returning full-time. She was able to give us an inside look at Bloomberg that we would otherwise not have been able to experience.
“Our final company stop was the accounting powerhouse Ernst & Young right in the heart of Times Square. This company was obviously geared more towards the accounting majors, but we finance majors still gained a great deal of knowledge from attending. We were taken up the 6th floor and greeted by a number of Marist alumni. They put out snacks and drinks for us, as they went through a brief presentation about Ernst & Young and the opportunities available. Then the alumni went to the front of the room to tell us about their experiences and particular roles within the company and how Marist had prepared them to succeed in such an influential company. A number of students asked different questions to get a better feel for the company, and more specifically what kind of roles were available (especially for finance majors). While Ernst & Young is an accounting firm they made a point to mention that there were plenty of roles for those interested in finance.
“Finally, we took a trip downtown to meet with the other two groups of students at the Federal Reserve to network with a number of different alumni representing their respective companies. A nice dinner buffet was set out for everyone in a beautifully designed room that used to serve as the place where investors would buy bonds before everything went digital. It was a great experience to be in a room with so much history with a lot of impressive people. Dean Singleton gave a great speech thanking everyone for participating and outlining the business school’s continued effort to improve in every way. My friends and I spent time talking to a few different alumni hoping to get any glimpse of career advice, or just learning from their experiences. In my personal opinion, the reception at the Fed was the most rewarding experience of the whole day. Seeing how successful many of Marist alumni have become after graduation gave me a newfound appreciation and pride for being a member of this school and finance program. I am looking forward to attending this reception again next year as an alumnus, hoping to help future students who are in a similar position as me.”, Sean Sullivan, Class of 2015, Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance.
“We got an inside look as to what each workplace was like and what a typical day would consist of for some positions within the firm – it was nice to actually see a work station because it would allow for comparisons to other places if the person has visited any, or, in my case, see what it is for the first time.
“The students got a taste of each companies’culture, from the few people we spoke and interacted to we were able to see type of atmosphere the employees work in during a typical day (relaxed, more professional).
“We had the opportunity to make great connections with former Marist alumni or other people within the firm, and were able to see the diversity of paths each alumni has taken to get to where they are, somewhere more unique than others (for example, one of the Bloomberg hosts actually had a major in history or psychology but ended up being part of the financial aspect of Bloomberg) – this gives students more confidence is their future career since the path they are currently taking is not the ‘typical’ path that many others have taken in their respective fields.
“Regarding networking, it was awesome that all the alumni were helpful in any way they could be during their interactions with the students. The cocktail hour at the Federal Reserve had many alumni who were easy to talk to and provided insight that other representatives in the company with the same position would not necessarily be willing to give (for example, give a legitimate idea what a typical week could be like). All of them gave out business cards and encouraged future interactions of questions of any sort relating to finding internships/jobs, interviewing and resumes. Michael Pratt from Voya Investment actually sent a follow up email to everyone, Ralph Volpe, Class of 2015, Accounting.
“I participated in the inaugural School of Management Undergraduate New York Career Trek. I was a part of the finance track that included JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and Goldman Sachs. This day was a great experience and I was able to make some great connections. I learned about what investment banks do, how they operate, and what services they offer. I think investment banking would be a great fit for me. All of the host companies did an excellent job of making this day a successful experience. The dinner at the Federal Reserve was the best part of the entire day. At this event, I was able to network with other alumni in a one-on-one interaction. I was able to ask alumni specific questions about their company, what they do, and how they got to where they are today. The alumni also gave me useful advice that I will be able to use in my career.
New York City Career Track Day Positives:
- Useful networking with alumni
- Able to learn more about your area of study
- Able to learn what companies fit your personality and your strengthens
- Gain valuable advice for your future
- Able to see where in the city companies are located therefore, you estimate commute times
- Able to ask specific questions to companies and alumni
- Break from classes
- Potential internship opportunities
- Learn about the application process for each company”
Arthur Revellese, Class of 2016, Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance.
“As we boarded the train to make our way to The Big Apple, there was a sense of nervousness and excitement among my fellow Red Foxes. As a member of the Finance group we were set to explore the financial capital of the world and visit three prestigious companies: JP Morgan, Barclays, and Goldman Sachs. Our meetings with all three companies provided us with fantastic insight to the daily responsibilities and tasks their jobs require. The most valuable information, however, came from the Marist Alumni and the advice they gave us regarding the entire process of applying, interviewing and working at these companies. Ambition was the one word consistently used by almost everyone I spoke to. At the end of the day, all of the SOM students gathered at the Federal Reserve for a networking event with Marist Alumni, which gave us the opportunity to start building relationships with fellow Red Foxes who sent us off with a better sense of everything we need to do to be successful in the future. Overall, City Trek made me understand the importance of being ambitious, outgoing and how to start building a network for my future career in the financial industry.”, Andrew Rokoszak, Class of 2016, Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing.
“Participating in the Career Trek was great exposure to the variety of jobs available in marketing as well a great event for networking. The opportunity to spend time in each company's office helped me to better understand their corporate cultures and to decide what kind of work environment would be the best fit for me. Meeting and connecting with Marist alumni further enhanced the experience by getting individualized advice and building my professional network. Overall, I would highly recommend that business students take advantage of the Career Trek.”, Sara K. Costello, Class of 2015, Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing.
“The 1st Annual Marist College School of Management Career Trek served as an excellent opportunity for students to explore and learn about world renowned companies in their respective fields of study from experienced executives. The finance track included visits to three of the top investment firms including JP Morgan, Barclays, and Goldman Sachs. While these organizations focus on similar business goals, each company had its own distinct personality and corporate culture. Some of the most beneficial advice I heard during the day was to take steps to make yourself stand out in today’s competitive job market. An overarching theme throughout the day was to take advantage of networking opportunities while pursuing internships and jobs. I was struck by the number of Marist alumni and parents who were willing to take the time to meet with students and appreciated the valuable perspectives and unique experiences they were able to share with us. The networking event at the Federal Reserve was a great way to cap off the day as it enabled students to continue conversation with Marist alums met at each of the investment firms and allowed us to develop relationships with other successful alums. The day proved to be an outstanding learning experience and we were provided with great advice and information that will benefit us as we begin to navigate through the process of securing internships and jobs in the finance industry. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the Career Trek and was honored to represent the School of Management at some of the best investment firms in the world.” Ben Delgiorno, Class of 2015, School of Management Ambassador, Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance.
- Potential undergraduate “trekkers” who would like to be included on future career treks should present themselves as candid, enthusiastic students who are ready and interested in acquiring gainful employment at a major firm in New York City.
- Once you are a part of the New York Career Trek, prepare questions in advance to ask of the business people presenting to your group from each organization.
- Have business cards printed with your name and contact information (including phone number and e-mail); you will want to be able to leave your information with potential employers.
- It is important to take ownership of your own career, including the need to network and self-promote yourself for internships and employment.
- Recognize that no job is “beneath” you – most investment banks have great job mobility internally.
- Consider all job opportunities before settling into one. Pick a career that you will enjoy doing on a daily basis. Do not just settle for the first opportunity that comes along. If you do, you may find yourself unhappy in that career.
“Career Trek was a great opportunity for current business students to interact with professionals in the workplace, hearing first-hand what a career in the business world entails,” said Glenn H. Shapiro, class of 2012, who currently works in Financial Services at Ernst & Young. “EY employees from various levels and service lines, ranging from partners down to new hires, were able to share their experiences and offer advice to students. The diverse set of roles and experience levels of EY employees served as a dynamic combination, providing unique perspectives on the transition from college into the workplace.”
Shapiro had the following advice for the Marist College undergraduates. “I would emphasize that when interviewing for entry level positions, employers are not looking for, nor expect candidates to know how to perform the job at hand. Rather, employers are looking for energetic and hungry minds that have the proper skill sets that make them primed to learn, adapt and apply what they are taught on the job,” he explained. “Students and recent graduates applying for internships and entry level positions tend to get caught up on the idea that they should portray to recruiters and interviewers that they already know how to perform the duties of the job, rather than focusing on how their experiences and skills acquired over the last four-to-six years make them ideal to learn how to perform the job at hand. So I would recommend students emphasize that their experiences throughout college (classes, case studies, internships, prior jobs) have prepared them to learn rather than to do. In most cases, especially at entry-level positions, employers would prefer someone who has the ability to learn and apply what they are taught, over someone with experience. Obviously this is not a blanket statement and there are exceptions—especially when it comes to experienced candidates applying to their second or third job. The same notion applies to those applying to smaller firms and companies. However, if a student’s goal is to work for a large company such as EY (or any of the other companies students visited on the Career Trek) that has large structured training programs and on-the-job coaching, demonstrating the students’ ability to learn and apply forward what they already know will give them a leg up on the competition.
“The reception at the Federal Reserve was an incredible opportunity to network and engage with students, faculty, and other alumni,” Shapiro commented. “I was very pleased at how receptive and welcoming the School of Management faculty was to all alumni who attended. I enjoyed answering questions from students and providing details about the path I took that led to where I am today. Events such as the Career Trek are exceptional opportunities for business students that add value as a learning experience as well as a prime forum for recruitment.”
On October 31, eight teams of select sophomores, juniors and seniors from the School of Management participated in the 7th annual IBM Business Simulation.
This prestigious competition provides students with an unique and exciting opportunity to compete against their School of Management peers in a business competition run by IBM Corporation. The Business Simulation encourages students to utilize their training from various finance, marketing, human resources, economics and accounting courses in a challenging business setting.
The four teams competed to sell their products to some rather challenging customers, while ensuring that their firm met its financial and business strategy objectives. As participants in the simulation, students had an opportunity to showcase their business and interpersonal skills in front of IBM executives and recruiters.
"Participating in the IBM Case Competition was an enormous learning experience. Not only did I learn a lot about working with a team through business simulations, I learned a lot about myself and about my reactions to the unknown. It served as a great way to challenge myself and apply all that I have learned in my accounting and business courses thus far. I am thankful for have being nominated to participate in the competition and for all of the new connections I have made. I wish I could participate again!", Alexis Christian ’15.
The event was coordinated by Dr. Joanne Gavin, Professor Ken Coletti and Professor John Finnegan.
The winning teams for this year’s Business Simulation (pictured below, from left to right) were Anthony Graci ‘15, Corinne Bruckenthal ‘15, Kerrianne Stewart ‘16, and Sam Greene ‘17 in “Team 2”, and Brandon Heard ‘17, Zachary Klar ‘17, Margaret Grussing ‘17, and Jenna Snyder ‘15 in “Team 8”.
Getting to know: Brian Haughey, assistant professor of finance and director of the Investment Center at Marist College
Mr. Haughey traveled with Dean Lawrence Singleton, Dr. Joanne Gavin and more than 40 students to New York City for the first New York Career Trek on October 29. He took a few minutes to share some of his favorite things, including movies and his daredevil bike trips through Europe!
Q: How many years have you been at Marist?
A: I’m now in my fifth year at Marist. Most days I feel as if I’ve been here just a year, but then time flies when you’re having fun. And it has been fun – tremendous fun.
Q: What is your favorite class to teach and why?
A: The classes that I most enjoy teaching are the two associated with the Greystone Funds, Marist’s student-managed investment funds. And it’s not just because I make the students wear suits to class!
In BUS 426 (Investment Fund – Equities), selected Juniors and Seniors get to manage a portion of the College endowment. Over the course of the semester each student chooses stocks as potential investments, and prepares in-depth analyses for the class who then vote on the recommendations. We spend a lot of time discussing not just stocks, but also politics, economics, and world affairs, because ultimately the fate of each company depends on the macro environment. In a nutshell, I try to teach students to ask questions, think outside the box, and to be able to make decisions with incomplete information. Incidentally, the students have been doing a fairly good job – the Greystone Equity Fund has grown from $100,000 to $140,000 since inception three years ago.
An allied class, BUS 427 (Investment Fund – Fixed Income), is rewarding, but for a different reason. It focuses on the bond market in detail, and the experience the students gain in this class truly provides them with a competitive advantage relative to students from many other colleges. In fact, graduates repeatedly tell me that the class that really helped them land their first job was the fixed income class.
And by the way, I believe the students enjoy these classes, too. Why else would you find them in the Investment Center on weekends and during the holidays?
Q: What was your role in preparing for the New York Career Trek?
A: My role in the Career Trek was quite limited. Dean Singleton and Dr. Gavin did a stellar job in organizing the event; I just got to accompany the students, learn more about the recruitment process for both internships and permanent positions, and enjoy the wonderful reception at the stunning Federal Reserve Building in lower Manhattan.
Q: What do you think students who went on the Career Trek got out of the experience?
A: The Career Trek was a tremendous experience for the group who traveled to the city. On the Finance track, we visited JP Morgan, Barclays and Goldman Sachs, and were welcomed warmly at each institution, by alumni and friends. The students learned about the different functional areas in the banks, and, perhaps more importantly, about the attributes of those who succeed as interns and ultimately as employees. They learned that the ideal candidate is one who demonstrates leadership skills, even as a student; is intellectually curious; is driven; strives for excellence; and takes responsibility for their career.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: My favorite movie? I can’t pick just one, since I love so many, particularly classic films. I can narrow it to three – “The Searchers,” a John Wayne classic; “Les Enfants du Paradis,” (aka “Children of the Gods”) a wonderful French movie filmed in Paris during World War II, and of course “Casablanca.”
Q: What is the best advice you've ever been given?
A: The best advice? “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well”. And my favorite quotation is “He was born with a gift of laughter, and a sense that the world was mad”.
The picture below was taken a year ago, while I was on a cycling trip from Vienna through Switzerland down to the French Riviera. It was a fantastic trip, and I loved being back in the Alps for the first time in almost 15 years. The photo shows me at the summit of the Col de l’Iseran, at over 9,000 feet it’s the highest paved mountain pass in the French Alps. Call me a glutton for punishment, but I can’t wait for next summer, and a return trip!
Meet Nick Fierro, Senior Associate - Risk Management/Independence with Ernst & Young LLP. He kindly answered some questions about his time at Marist and what life is like as a young professional.
Q: What year did you graduate from Marist College? What was your major/emphasis?
A: May 2011. Business Administration – Finance & Marketing
Q: From where are you originally from and where do you live now?
A: Pequannock, NJ (Hometown). Hoboken, NJ (Current city).
Q: What attracted you to Marist?
A: There were a few factors, but largely the campus and culture. I was a transfer student who visited Marist on several occasions and just felt comfortable there.
Q: What was (one of) your favorite classes at Marist? (Because, of course, I know you loved them ALL!)
A: Capping with Dr. Rothberg, hands down!
Q: Did any professor give you advice that you've continued to use?
A: Dr. Rothberg – Her entire capping class was one big piece of advice. The skills and knowledge I gained from taking capping with her are a big part of why I am in the position I am today. I may not have realized it at the time, but I certainly do now.
Q: Did you have an internship? What was your experience?
A: Unfortunately no. Since I transferred and switched majors, I was playing catch up most of the time in order to graduate on time. However, I was selected to participate in the IBM Business Case Simulation which was a rewarding experience and provided a lot of insight as to how the day to day business world operates.
Q: Did you plan on working for EY early on? How did you come to interview for them?
A: Being a Finance/Marketing major, I was not looking much at the Big 4; however, I knew I wanted to work for a firm with the reputation and qualities that EY has. Shortly after graduation, there was a two year position that opened up on the team a friend of mine (also a Marist alum) was working for. Although it was a temp position, I knew it would be an opportunity to gain some valuable experience.
Q: How long have you been working at EY?
A: This past August was three years. About six months in, I was offered a full-time position and was promoted to Senior Associate last October.
Q: What attracted you to EY? Why have you stayed?
A: EY is consistently ranked on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” which is something I always valued and wanted in my future employer. It’s also a quality that is truly reflected in the EY culture. This summer I did some traveling with the firm, giving presentations to several firms we were acquiring, and the one question the employees of the other companies would always asked is what I liked about EY. Without hesitation, my response was always that I get to work with my friends, which is a true statement. Being surrounded by a great team, and working for a firm that supports my career goals and ambitions is something I am fortunate to have.
Q: What is your day-to-day role like?
A: Given that EY is a public accounting firm, our client serving professional are required be independent of our audit clients in accordance with SEC, PCAOB, AICPA and other regulatory policies. I work with Partner/Principals and Executive Directors who are transitioning into EY in order to ensure that their personal financial relationships are compliant with said policies prior to their first day at EY. Once they join EY, I am their point of contact for any personal independence related matters. In addition, when EY acquires or merges with another firm, I travel to that firm to give presentations and meet with their employees to discuss the independence compliance requirements expected of our client serving professionals. I am also responsible for training and managing several recent new hires on our team, along with working on the team responsible for the development and testing of a new global compliance audit tool.
Q: Were there any tools, lessons, ideas that you learned while at Marist that you find yourself using on a regular basis?
A: Of course, truthfully too many to list. Marist does an excellent job of preparing students for what is going to be expected of them in the real world. Whether it was a team oriented project, business case simulation, or a networking event, each provided a valuable experience or skill. I was talking with a partner the other day who told me that Marist students “just get it” when it comes to what is expected of them, a quality that management can appreciate.
Q: Do you feel like you are working along a five- or 10-year plan?
A: Both – you need to have short, medium and long-term goals that align with one another in order to be successful. Currently, I am working to go back to school to pursue my masters in accounting in order to ultimately further my career.
Q: What would be your biggest piece of advice for a student just entering Marist? What about for a student getting ready to graduate?
A: To the freshman - take advantage of every opportunity over the next four years; you can sleep later on. And if you get the opportunity to study abroad, take it! To the seniors – just keep doing what you’re doing and success will follow; you’ve all got yourselves this far. Congratulations in advance to the Class of 2015.
Q: When you aren't working, what do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
A: Well, Friday happy hours are always great after a long week, but I also enjoy working out and spending time with my friends and family as well. I like to stay active so besides going to the gym, I play softball in NYC with a bunch of Marist guys and recently joined a dart league in Hoboken. I also enjoy being outside, whether it’s at the beach or going fishing somewhere. I’m a huge Giants/Knicks/Yankees fan so I try to get to a few games each season as well.