Finance senior Melissa Rose shares her Eller Experience and how she landed her job on Wall Street.
As soon as I started my college career at the University of Arizona I knew I wanted to be involved. I am financially independent so I wanted to get the most out of my college experience. I joined ELITE, the Eller Leadership and Integrity Training for Excellence Club as a freshman, and also starting working in Eller’s Undergraduate Offices as the Professional Programs Coordinator. The following year, I joined the Eller Leadership Board as well as the Investments Club to stay involved. I have been lucky enough to travel with our business school and my peers to meet Warren Buffett in Omaha, Nebraska as well travel on the Investments Club Networking Trip to New York City. I studied abroad on Eller’s Global Cohort to Brazil, which was an amazing experience. I was able to get my first semester Eller courses done during the week and then travel to Brazil’s beautiful beaches on the weekend.
My junior year I returned from Brazil, knowing I needed to start looking for internships. I wasn’t sure what part of the financial services industry I wanted to get into until I started researching Sales and Trading and Goldman Sachs. Two Eller Alumni, now Goldman Sachs employees, came to campus in September to interview 10 students for an internship on Wall Street. At that time, I had no idea what they did on a day to day basis, but it immediately interested me, and I made it a goal for myself to learn as much as possible, and eventually make it to Wall Street. My name wasn’t on the list to be interviewed, but as soon as I found out they were coming to campus I wanted to get in front of them to show them why I deserved a chance. As a junior, I snuck into an information session the alumni were hosting for freshmen and sophomores with my resume and cover letter in hand. After the information session I ran up to Keith Zusi, the alumni, and asked if he would interview me for the internship. He said no to interviewing me three times but I kept my persistence and he finally agreed. He saw that I was dedicated to learning the material so he gave me a chance. He and Stuart Kasdin, the other alumni, interviewed me the next day and decided to push my resume forward to the next round of interviews in January.
I spent my entire fall semester, about 350 hours worth, studying the industry, mock interviewing with older students and alumni, to prepare myself to compete against students from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. The Professional Development Center was a huge help to me, connecting me with alumni in the Tucson area to give myself some exposure to finance as well as alumni at other Wall Street Banks. I can’t even count the amount of times Jeff Welter mock interviewed me to help, I couldn’t have done it without him.
In January, I went through my full day of interviews with Goldman Sachs and received the internship offer. It was an amazing experience working for the company, but also a very competitive and difficult one. I worked 16-hour days for 10 weeks. I learned an incredible amount of information and put together my own original trade ideas to present to different Partners at the firm. I was able to meet the CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, and he even responded to my follow up email (thank you to Eller’s Business Communications course for preparing me for that). The work was hard and the hours were long but it was all worth it because now I am graduating in May 2015 knowing I have a job offer with Goldman Sachs in New York City.