This panel event focused on careers in the finance industry, from both a male and female perspective. The panel consisted of 6 members of the BlackRock Team, who discussed their experiences at the company and within the financial services industry in general. Three Duke alumni on the panel represented a breadth of experience ranging from 2 – 13 years in the industry and they focused on areas from client management to investment banking. Despite the fact that the event was jointly hosted by 3 campus women’s groups, both men and women attended – a true reflection of the way in which Fuqua and Duke create an atmosphere in which students are encouraged to support one another’s interests and initiatives.
A key theme of the event was the importance of self-development and self-promotion within the corporate world. In order to succeed, it’s important for us, especially coming from the academic world, to learn to speak up for ourselves and have our achievements recognized in order to grow professionally. As one of the panelists Shawana correctly pointed out, “the closed mouth does not get fed.” To succeed it’s important as students, and in particular as women, to be vocal in terms of contributing ideas and exploring areas of interest.
Another strong point of the evening’s discussion is the fact that firms like BlackRock are making a concerted effort to support women in the workplace through internal partnerships and mentoring both within and outside of the firm. During a time when many students worry about the prospects of employment after graduation, the panel provided a source of encouragement, advice and general enlightenment on the world of finance.