In October, the Investments Club visited alumni in NYC to help juniors secure highly coveted internships at banks on Wall Street. This is the first of two posts highlighting the trip.
Written by: Lior Schinagel, a junior majoring in Finance and MIS
As a Finance student who has been interested in pursuing a career on Wall Street since my senior year of High School, I went into my junior at Eller with the pivotal goal of securing a summer internship at an Investment Bank in New York at the top of my to-do list. After networking with several Eller alums via informational interviews, I gathered that the best way of achieving this was through the Wall Street Trip put on by the Investments Club on a yearly basis. I applied for the trip, and was fortunate to be selected to join 12 other students, led by Jeff Welter of the PDC, in New York City, October 27th-30th.
The weeks leading up to the trip were spent in preparation. With the guidance of Jeff and Investments Club Seniors Marie Archibald and Martin Quintanar (both of whom went on the trip last year, had summer internships on Wall Street, and secured full-time offers), the group perfected its “boardroom pitches,” learned the ins and outs of the banks we were going to be visiting, sharpened the technical skills needed for the particular industries we were individually interested in pursuing an opportunity in, and coordinated all of the trip logistics.
We departed Tucson at the crack of dawn on Tuesday, the 27th, and arrived in New York that afternoon. The networking began within minutes of checking into our hotel, as we met Kevin Chai and Melissa Rose (Eller, class of 15’) for a dinner in Midtown Manhattan. Both Kevin and Melissa had been on the trip their junior year, and had leveraged the experience to land internships and full time offers at UBS and Goldman Sachs, respectively. The dinner was a great way to kick-off the trip, as the two of them shared much of their valuable advice on how to make the most of our few hectic days in New York.
I should note that our bank visits were generally each geared toward one of two industries of interest: Investment Banking and Sales and Trading. Most of the students on the trip had one particular industry they were targeting, which was nice in that it allowed those specific students to stand out at the specific visits for their industry of interest.
Wednesday, our first “real day,” was entirely focused on Investment Banking. We started off with an elegant breakfast on the top floor of the Deutsche Bank building—one of the few banks whose HQ still remains on the physical ‘Wall Street.’ The breakfast was led by Vinny, who now sits as the head of the FIG Investment Banking Industry Group at DB. Vinny was accompanied by Grecia, who is an analyst in the group. The breakfast consisted of sagely pieces of advice, stories of individual success and failure, and a valuable question and answer session. Separately, later that afternoon, all of the students pursuing investment banking returned to DB for a first round interview. The day continued at Bank of America Tower, where we met with ASU alum Michael Trejo, who has helped several Eller students find their way onto Wall Street. Mr. Trejo is an Investment Banking Associate, and aside from personally speaking to us, brought a stellar line-up of bankers from a range of groups to speak to us about their specific roles, as well as give us their personal advice, and the opportunity to ask them any questions we had. Following Bank of America Merrill Lynch, we made our way to Citigroup to meet with Brian Carlstead, who is a Director in the Non-Profit Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Citi. Mr. Carlstead shared his fascinating story with us, and gave some of the most candid advice we heard in all of the trip—I feel I speak for the group in saying his visit was among the many highlights to the experience. After our visit at Citi, we visited Clearbrook Investments, a boutique asset management firm started by Elliot Wislar. He was extremely an extremely gracious host, and offered his advice, as well as the opportunity to interview for a summer role at his firm. We ended Wednesday with a memorable dinner at the prestigious New York Athletic Club hosted by Cody Myers. Mr. Myers shared his great advice with the group, and finished off the night by giving us a tour of the fantastic club.
Thursday started off bright and early, as we headed to Credit Suisse at 6:30 am to sit in on their morning call, an info session where the firm’s traders get important new information pertaining to their particular coverage to use as talking points through the day. We were hosted by Tom who works as a VP (Group) Trading. Following Credit Suisse, we made our way over to Perella Weinberg Partners — one of the most reputable Boutique Investment Banks in New York. There we met with Eric Brady, who is an Investment Banking Analyst, and Ezra. Eric pulled together an impressive duo to talk to our group about PWP that consisted of another analyst, and a Partner, both of whom were in Investment Banking as well. After Perella, we headed over to the Bloomberg HQ, one of the most impressive offices we saw all trip, for our last formal visit of the day. We were given an incredible tour of the facilities, and met with several Alumni who shared their advice with us, and gave us key information on how to best apply for a summer position with Bloomberg. That night we made our way to a bar by Union Square for the trip’s famous alumni mixer. The evening was notably the highlight of the trip for most students, as we had the opportunity to network in a more casual setting with over 60 UA alums, all of who work in New York in some Finance or Consulting capacity.
Friday, our last non-traveling day of the trip, was reserved exclusively for Sales and Trading. The day kicked off at UBS, where Kevin Chai, whom we had met earlier in the week at our Tuesday dinner, set up an all star line up of Traders, Salespeople, and HR representatives who each shared their unique stories and insight with the group. Following UBS, we headed over to Citigroup again, but this time to meet with Mark Blitzer (Class of 2012), a Trading Associate who notably started the Investments Club New York Trip when he was Club President in 2011. Mark gave our group his 10 best pieces of advice for succeeding as a Summer Intern and, in result, securing a full-time offer. After Citi, we headed to Goldman Sachs, for our last, and perhaps most anticipated bank visit of the trip. Keith Zusi and Stuart Kasdin, both of whom are VPs in Fixed Income Sales and Trading, hosted our group at GS. Mr. Zusi and Mr. Kasdin led us on a tour of Goldman’s impressive HQ, showing us everything from the sky lobby, to the company gym, to the beautiful conference center on the 47th floor of the skyscraper. The visit was concluded by an informative session led by Mr. Zusi and Mr. Kasdin, along with Melissa Rose and Juan Peraza (Class of 2014), who are both analysts in Fixed Income S&T. The session covered everything from career advice, to current economic market talk, to Goldman specific stories and insight. We were lucky to have an economist, a research analyst, and two HR representatives speak to us in addition to the four mentioned alums. The visit was fantastic, and an adequate ‘cherry on top’ of an overall incredible trip.
Aside from the incredible advice and connections I took away from the experience, I walked away with a final round interview at one of the banks we visited. My advice to students who have an interest in Finance is two-fold: First, the earlier you identify you may want to work on Wall Street after college, the earlier you can get to preparing; believe me when I say that time is of the essence. Second, once you decide that this is what you want to pursue, seek out to leverage every resource you have here at school. Maybe you have personal connections—and that will definitely help you tremendously—but the absolute best advantage you can give yourself is going to be achieved by finding out who the people are at school that have done it before, reaching out to them, and expressing your interest and a hunger to learn. Pair that with drive and commitment, and you’ll be pleased with where you find yourself a few months, years, etc. down the road.