Summary of the SU Finance Studentsí 2015 Trip to NYC

by E. Tylor Claggett

The Financial Management Association (FMA) group departed the Perdue Hall parking lot for New York City (NYC) aboard a chartered bus at about 6 a.m. on Thursday, April 9. All students (30) expected to be on the trip were present. Two faculty members, Nicholas Busko and I, both from the Perdue School’s Economics and Finance Department, accompanied the students.

We arrived at the Fairfield Inn and Suites at 325 West 33rd Street in Manhattan at about 10:45 a.m. After checking in and changing into more appropriate attire, the 30 students and both faculty members took the E Line of the NYC subway system to the Wells Fargo Offices at 375 Park Avenue. At Wells Fargo, our host Chris Tracy (SU ’06) met us and escorted the group to a conference room next to the bond-trading desk. There, Mr. Tracy and three Wells Fargo colleagues explained many details associated with trading bonds and how the appropriate research is conducted to lead to successful bond trading. This site visit lasted about two hours and included a full discussion of the career paths taken by our four hosts and what type of education is best suited for a career in trading.

On Friday morning (April 10), we all walked again to the E Line of the NYC subway system. This time, we traveled to the offices of Citi Bank at 153 East 53rd Street and met our host, Michael DiSciullo of the firm’s Compliance Project Strategy Office. We arrived a little before 8 a.m. During that site visit, we heard much about the current state of the credit card industry from Citi Bank Director of the Branded Cards Finance Team Michael Caruso. Next, there was a panel discussion of career paths from three other Citi Bank executives.

On Friday afternoon, we traveled to J.P. Morgan at 277 Park Ave for a 2 p.m. appointment. Our regular annual host, Ronald (Ron) G. McGann (SU ’88), managing director of JP Morgan The Private Bank, met us on the 11th floor. From there, he directed us to a spacious conference room with refreshments provided. He had arranged three different sessions. The first was with his senior investment officer (a senior vice president), then with two middle-level executives (associates) and finally with three junior-level colleagues (analysts). Each session was intended to give students an idea of how a career at JP Morgan progresses (opportunities, responsibilities, etc.). Everyone received several tangible and significant pieces of advice for searching for the first job and what the screening process is like at many top tier financial institutions. Our meeting ended after almost four hours, and the lively question and answer sessions continued after that. A little after 6 p.m., we left the building and proceeded to find suitable dinner arrangements.

Saturday was free time for the students with respect to site visits. At 10:50 a.m., our group departed the hotel and we arrived at SU’s Perdue Hall parking lot about 4:15 p.m.

SU Finance Students' Trip to NYC

Note: It is important to note that all three hosting organizations (Wells, Citi and JPM) devoted significant time, resources and effort to make our visits most worthwhile. All total, no less than 16 professional employees spent several hours each presenting and conversing with our students. This is in addition to their preparation time and that of others within their respective organizations. This was time away from their normal duties, and it represents a substantial commitment to SU and its PSB students. Besides the commitment from our hosts, the efforts of the officers and members of the SU Student Chapter of the FMA cannot go unmentioned. Throughout the 2014-15 academic year, they organized and executed fundraisers, planned the trip in detail, and otherwise brought the trip to reality. Finally, the two faculty advisors of the FMA Student Chapter, Drs. Kashi Khazeh and Ani Mathers, are recognized for their leadership and counsel during the planning, fundraising and organizing of the trip. They also served to keep the process on schedule, to collect the funds and to provide the student leaders with advice when necessary.