YU Students Map Out Their Career Plans at Wall Street Event

When most college students consider a Wall Street career, they think of investment banking. But what few realize is that Wall St. offers a wealth of different career paths beyond the obvious one. On Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, on the Wilf Campus, close to a 100 students attended “What is Wall Street … Other Than Investment Banking?” to explore the rich and varied professional avenues open to them in the financial industry.

According to Todd Lotcpeich, director of employer and alumni relations at YU’s Career Center, “What is Wall Street” served as the official preview to the summer 2021 recruiting season (yes, it starts this early). “The Career Center prides itself on providing opportunities for current students to interact with successful alumni and this was no exception, “ noted Lotcpeich. “In a highly competitive job market, having the ability to tap into the YU network can provide a tremendous advantage.”

Leveraging the strength of the YU alumni community, the event provided the kind of been-there-done-that advice available from seasoned professionals. Professionals from across all areas of finance were ready to discuss skills, hiring practices and the perils and promises of the recruitment process through Q&A and networking sessions.

Kicking off the evening, Dr. Noam Wasserman, dean of the Sy Syms School of Business, delivered an inspiring keynote that stressed the importance of remaining true to one’s aspirations when making career decisions. His theme—how to lay the right foundation for both a successful and fulfilling professional life—resonated throughout the three-hour program.

Sy Syms Dean Dr. Noam Wasserman during his keynote address

Immediately following the keynote, a roster of professional and YU alumni from the Federal Reserve to TD Securities participated in two lively panel discussions. The first panel featured finance executives  candidly talking about the trajectory of their careers, the specifics of individual jobs and key characteristics recruiters use to identify the right candidate for the right position. Comprised of more recent YU alumni, the second panel offered an insider’s view of how to break into the financial industry. Guidance on résumé-building and making a smooth transition from school to the professional world was provided.

(l-r): Michael Strongin, Director, Delta One Trading, ETF and Index Products, BMO Capital Markets; Steve Kahn, Head of Operations, Talpion; Alex Zarzhevsky ’98SB, Managing Director, The Blackstone Group

In the words of one participating alumnus, “the event was a great opportunity to meet with the next generation of YU students entering the industry. Prior to the panel, we were able to network with current students to learn more about their career aspirations and lend advice and guidance on exploring the endless opportunities within the finance industry.”

Like many of his fellow student attendees, Adam Fhima gained a “more global vision of what majoring in finance really means and learned more about careers I didn’t even know existed.”  His sentiments were shared by Adina Mercer, who walked away with a richer “perspective on the different types of jobs a degree in finance could lead to“ and greater confidence in “navigating the job application process.” Joseph Mehlman attended the event “to gain new perspectives from accomplished professionals that can help me throughout my university experience and beyond. I certainly accomplished that and more and I am very thankful to the Career Center and to everyone who helped put together such an incredible evening.”