In the wake of the first finals of our MBA careers, many students scattered and took advantage of the unseasonably warm Carolina weather for a week before Term 2 started. It was a fitting and rewarding way of celebrating a job well done.
However, those seeking careers on Wall Street headed north for a week of meetings with bankers, asset managers, and traders in the Big Apple. Ambitiously developed by first-year Daytime MBA students, Week-On-Wall-Street was, for many, an initial formal introduction to the prestigious world of finance. The trip itself consisted of a series of corporate presentations (by day) and company-sponsored social events (by night), but more importantly, it gave prospective bankers an opportunity to interact, on a personal level, with associates of renowned firms, many of whom are Fuqua alumni.
The company schedule was exhaustive, and represented a virtual Who’s Who of Wall Street juggernauts: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Credit Suisse, among many others. They sent out bankers from all levels to our events to differentiate their firm from their competition. These well attended events gave prospective bankers broad insights into the firms; many high ranking executives took time from their client serving responsibilities to speak about the experiences one could expect in a lengthy career on Wall Street, while ambitious young associates discussed their day-to-day responsibilities and the significance of the work they do. Similarly, HR representatives were frequently on hand to allay concerns about the interviewing process.
Balancing the buttoned up presentations put on by the banks were a series of evening social events at landmark New York establishments, designed to foster a more collegial interaction between bankers and students. Investment banking, for all its perks and prestige, has an enduring reputation as being a 24/7 profession, but these events helped to dispel this notion by providing the opportunity to show a different, more relaxed side of today’s investment banker.
And, for those concerned that these ambitious Fuquans were all work and no play during the Week-on-Wall-Street, remember—there was a weekend built into the schedule as well. On the much needed days off, Fuqua students traded in their leather-bound folders and business cards for theatre tickets and a sampling of the city’s finest cuisine, and many had the good fortune to meet with friends who haven’t had the pleasure of a trip to Durham yet.
All in all, the trip was a remarkable success, and not just for the students: any business school is only as valuable as its brand permits it to be, and the turnout and inquisitiveness of students helped to cement Fuqua’s brand as a formidable player in the investment banking community.