The Duke MBA Finance Club put on its annual Finance Symposium, titled RESHAPING GLOBAL MARKETS: Embarking on a Path of Economic Recovery. All members of the Duke family were invited, and I participated in the event on behalf of the MMS Finance Club.

The keynote speaker was Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., who was the Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 1999 to 2006. Currently, he is President and CEO of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF).

Some of the “heavy-hitters” in attendance were managing directors or chief economists at banks. Nevertheless, Ferguson is a huge name, which is the sole reason why I attended. Personally, I get enough market commentary watching CNBC and as a freelancer in financial media. Seeing Mr. Ferguson in person and hearing him speak about the global markets was a rare opportunity, though.

Already, Fuqua has hosted several C-suite-level executives who are making news every day, including Bob Weber (Senior VP and General Counsel of IBM), Beth Comstock (Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer, General Electric), and several others whose names aren’t coming to my head.

The chance to listen to these business leaders is one of my favorite parts of being at Fuqua. I’m really looking forward to attending as many of these speaker events as I can. Even though I want to work in financial services, every executive has a swagger and can give advice that is applicable to anyone.

Speakers like Ferguson are what make Duke such a great school.