On Friday March 29, I had the pleasure to attend the Forté Foundation College Fast Track to Finance Conference, hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The conference started with opening remarks from Pamela Dyson, Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer, and Head of the Technology Group (TG) at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Ms. Dyson congratulated the women selected to attend the conference and spoke about the beginning of her career. She encouraged all women to believe in their capability to accomplish challenging tasks.
Afterwards, Marjie Terrry, a corporate trainer and former Goldman Sachs recruiter, presented a session on interviewing skills. Ms. Terry discussed “the four career principles” of generosity, initiative, forward momentum, and transparency which ,help advance career goals. She emphasized the importance of networking and discussed some common misconceptions about it.
Later, Kristin Kelly, former Morgan Stanley employee, presented an introduction to the finance services industry. Ms. Kelly explained the different functions of banks and described the meaning of terms such as equities, bonds, sales and trading, capital markets, and investment banking. This vocabulary can help students understand what parts of finance interest them.
In order to gain a deeper understanding of the terms explained, Ms. Kelly then directed the students into an investment banking simulation. She divided the participants into groups, each with a professional coach. My professional coach was Monica Scheid, Policy and Markets Associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The task of each group was to act as an investment banker and decide if a company is ready for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Through the simulation, the other students and I had the opportunity to learn about the multiple variables involved in a bank’s decision to assist a company that undertakes an IPO.
Following the investment banking section, Ms. Kelly conducted a sales and trading simulation. During this simulation, each team had to advise an investor on whether they should buy, sell, or hold IPO stocks and how much cash to keep. After the simulation, Ms. Kelly explained how each team experienced market volatility and market fundamentals through the fluctuations in stock prices. This simulation was an exciting way to learn more about how news influences the market.
Subsequently, students participated in the inside scoop session. The other participants and I had the opportunity to sit with actual recruiters from Wells Fargo, Credit Suisse, Vanguard, Bank of America, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to hear their insights. These recruiters discussed multiple topics such as the structure of finance resumes, internship search, successful interviews, internship expectations, and important finance skills.
Immediately after sitting with the recruiters, participants spent time a networking section that included the companies mentioned previously. Overall, the conference greatly developed my knowledge of the finance industry. I would highly recommend diplomacy students attend a future Forté Foundation conference if they are interested in a private sector career.