2nd Annual Economic & Finance Forum

By Redefine Her Street - Swarthmore College Chapter's Executive Team

On Saturday, April 22, students and alumni alike came together for the 2nd Annual Economics and Finance Forum, hosted by Redefine Her Street and Clarus Capital. 

The theme of this year’s forum, “Entering the Trump Economy” was chosen to contribute to a timely discussion about how current social, economic, and political circumstances impact our world. We invited speakers including Sampriti Ganguli (CEO of impact investing firm, Arabella Advisors), Jayson Yost (Director in the Financial Institutions Group at Citi), Chris Murphy (Sales Trader at Susquehanna International Group), and Eleanor Joseph (Founder and CEO of finch company based in Uganda and Boston, Ubuntu Capital) to share their insights on a variety of relevant topics including the implications of Dodd-Frank, divesting away from the fossil fuel industry and into renewable energy, the rise in options trading to hedge against the risk of an increasingly volatile market, the use of fintech in emerging markets, and using financial and philanthropic capital for social good.

We’re living in some of the most interesting times and the forum was in part established to provide a space where students and alumni alike could interact together in a more discussion-based and business-oriented environment. The other goal of this event was to bring alums back on campus to contribute to these sessions and to continue learning from each other, as they once did during their time here at Swarthmore, and as a result, add onto to the community building aspect that makes Swarthmore unique. 

We were proud to see such a strong turnout from students and alumni, from all different years and backgrounds and look forward to what next year’s coordinators will bring to the table.

Michael May Meet & Greet: Insights into Consulting from a Successful Swarthmore Alumni

 

 

By Elle Chen

On March 25th 2017, Swarthmore alum, Michael May, spoke at a Meet & Greet event hosted by Redefine Her Street. Michael May, who graduated with a B.A. in Economics in 2011, currently works as a consultant at a “Big Three” consulting firm. His previous experience included working as a Bank Examiner within the Financial Institution Supervision Group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The event was well-attended by many students from freshman to juniors interested in pursuing a career in consulting.

Discussing his background and growing up with a mother who was a feminist economist, May emphasized the importance of a female presence in consulting and his support for the mission of Redefine Her Street: to create a community and network that encourages women to explore career opportunities in business and share resources with one another and to equip undergraduate women with enough training to succeed during the recruiting process. During the event, May described the life-cycle of an engagement, discussing how a consulting engagement generally progresses and the activities performed by associates in each phase. May broke down the different roles within a team and a typical day-to-day schedule for each of these roles. May then went into detail regarding the work-life balance of consultant and the differences with that of career in finance. Throughout, the event, there was an open dialogue and discussion among the students and May. Questions asked included possible career paths for consultants, work-life balance, and culture, among other questions regarding the work of consultants.

After, May presented a high level overview of consulting firms and the interviewing process. May discussed the typical breakdown of the hiring process: resume submission, first round interviews, and then final round interviews. Further, May gave excellent insights towards the importance of reaching out to alumni from Swarthmore as well as casting a wide net during the job recruitment process. After the event, the members adjourned to the catering and a session where the members had the opportunity to engage and network with Michael May.

There was consensus among the members that the event was incredibly enriching and informative about a career in consulting. Redefine Her Street is incredibly grateful for Michael May’s attendance and encouraged by his willingness to support other Swatties!

1st Annual Economic & Finance Forum: Markets in an Uncertain World

By Christine Y. Kim

The Swarthmore College chapter of Redefine Her Street co-hosted a forum with another group, Clarus Capital, LLC for the first time, inviting Swarthmore College alums back to campus to speak about their perspectives about the market, field, and industry. This idea turned event was planned in a mere month and a half, but the committee for the forum pulled through.

Redefine Her Street - Swarthmore is excited to host this event every year, hoping to expand this event, not only to the institution itself, but also to neighboring universities and colleges. 

Morgan Stanley: You're Invited

By Kimberly Rosa

I was working on a problem set when my phone buzzed, letting me know I had a new email. Thinking it was just another message from the many groups on campus, I casually ignored it waiting until I was done with my assignment before opening it. 

“Congratulations! You have been selected to participate in Morgan Stanley’s Sales & Trading Enrichment Program (STEP).” 

Morgan Stanley? I couldn’t believe it. I forgot I had even applied to the program. I had to reread the message several times to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. Within 15 minutes, I had RSVP’ed and submitted an updated version of my resume. I was heading to New York next Friday!

***

Morgan Stanley’s STEP was a great event in that it gave me an overview of what to expect during the recruiting process. We started our morning by covering the different industries available within the bank and how they work with one another to ensure the success of the firm. We then participated in an activity that gave us insight into the uncertainty of the markets and how to respond accordingly. After our lunch break, we worked on developing a business pitch to present to the group and concluded the program with a networking reception.

Walking out of the Morgan Stanley office that evening, I felt exhausted, but very satisfied with all that I had learned within a day. While my liberal arts background did make me feel unprepared at times – most students at the conference were business majors – it also made me stand out since I was knowledgeable in topics the other students had never even thought about studying. That being said, the conference served as a friendly reminder of all the work and effort that I need to continue if I hope to gain a summer internship with a firm like Morgan Stanley. 

With the help of Redefine Her Street and the confident women who have gone through the process before me, I feel confident taking on the challenge.

(Photo taken from Telegraph) 

(Photo taken from Telegraph) 

5th Annual Undergraduate Stern Women in Business

By Karen Nguyen

On Friday, February 26, 2016, Christine, Kim, and I traveled up to New York to attend the 5th Annual USWIB Conference: Unleash Your Aspirations, held at NYU Stern. The conference was aimed at helping undergraduate women explore potential careers in business, connect with professionals, and learn more about how to break into the industry. 

The conference began with the first keynote speaker, Martha Beard, who currently serves as managing director at JP Morgan. As a woman with an executive position at a bulge bracket firm, Martha gave numerous tips and advice on how to be successful as a woman in a male dominated environment such as not apologizing, being fully present in the moment, and standing your ground when you need to.

After Martha Beard’s inspirational speech, we went to the respective breakout sessions we had signed up for prior to the conference. The first set of breakout sessions were: Faces in Finance, Modern Marketing, The Business of Media, and Pitch Perfect. The second set of breakout sessions were: Consulting Uncovered, Insights from the C-Suite, Future in Fashion, and Entrepreneurship: For Women, By Women.

The session from the first round that I chose to attend was “Pitch Perfect” which was a workshop held by two career consultants, Lauren McGoodwin and Jaime Petkanics. The workshop was aimed at helping attendees develop their own personal, thirty second to one minute elevator pitch as well as curating their personal brand through the strategic use of tools such as LinkedIn, sending networking emails that guarantee a reply back, and writing a successful cover letter.

After Pitch Perfect, I attended the “Entrepreneurship: For Women, By Women” session, which was a panel of three successful women who had started their own firms after recognizing a market gap in a certain industry. The panelist who I found to be most impressive was Cynthia Salim who worked as a consultant at McKinsey before starting her own firm, Citizen’s Mark, which produces beautifully cut and professional suits for women in an ethical manner. She was eloquent, carried herself extremely well, and emphasized the importance of working in either consulting or finance before delving into an entrepreneurship.

Towards the end of the conference was the networking portion, which I saw as the most and crucial aspect. Both bulge-bracket firms like Goldman Sachs and Citi made a presence as well as smaller, elite boutique investment banks such as Guggenheim and There were two sessions: a coffee talk in which you talked to employees at the firm and learned more about the corporate culture, what sort of work you’d expect to receive at the firm, etc. The second portion was a more formal networking process in which firms set up tables in a large conference room and you had a chance to speak to recruiters, put your name down on their mailing lists, and essentially get your name out there. Since firms in the financial services industry don’t come to Swarthmore, it’s difficult to get your name out there to recruiters. As a result, I would highly recommend going to an undergraduate business conference for the networking opportunity alone. It was also an ace opportunity to receive some free swag from firms.

Most of the attendees of the conference were from NYU Stern but I also met undergraduate women from Virginia Tech and the University of Rhode Island. Needless to say, Swarthmore was the only liberal arts college represented at the conference. Compared to Swarthmore students, women at larger institutions with business schools definitely had the upper hand when it comes to networking, technical knowledge about finance, and navigating the recruitment process for internships in finance. However, after attending the conference, I realized that Swarthmore students have just as much of a chance to succeed as women at Stern do if we take advantages of opportunities available to us, like this conference.

All in all, although the conference didn’t focus solely on careers in finance, the other careers in business presented such as entrepreneurship, fashion, and media offered me a chance to be able to explore what other options are available to me should I choose not to leave the financial services industry after working there for a while.