Picking out a career can be a difficult process. It comes with a lot of questions, and even more anxiety. As college students, we have lingering questions about what we will be doing after we graduate: Will we be taking on a new position at a company, or will we be continuing our education? Regardless of where you want to go after undergrad, one of the best resources to help you get wherever you want to go is the faculty. UR faculty and future employers can all help you transition into a post-undergrad environment that makes the most of your skills and fulfills your career aspirations.
The Greene Center has been instrumental in my career progression. Not only have they helped me reach new opportunities, but they’ve also provided me with the confidence and support needed to navigate my desired field. I’m going into finance; being able to 1) land a few investment baking positions early on and 2) feel like I have the proper support to get my foot in the door was invaluable. But regardless of your field, even just the sheer number of resources can be intimidating for some students. So here are a few great areas that the Greene Center assisted me in my own professional development journey.
As with any career field, investment banking requires a lot of networking. Networking allows students to connect with professionals in the field and reach new opportunities that would have otherwise been unknown. While it’s important to be yourself when connecting with professionals, there are also a lot of unwritten protocols of professionalism. What feels like an innocuous comment to you could accidentally be a huge misstep. Whether it’s learning to write a follow-up email, or knowing how to gently broach a subject with an industry professional, the Greene Center helped me flesh out my objectives, and get some practice under my belt.
The Greene Center has also connected me with many professionals that are currently mentors of mine. Throughout the past year, I’ve been able to connect with three investment bankers at three prominent companies: JP Morgan, Barclays, and BTIG. These connections have provided the needed support to expand within the field, and meet new people, which in turn will introduce me to even more finance opportunities. The Greene Center knows that many professionals would like to give back to students currently hoping to break into the field, and they provide that much needed liaison support between the students and the professionals. Checking Handshake often is essential to learning about these opportunities!
Industry Road Trip
Although COVID-19 has halted industry road trips, I still believe that the experience is worth keeping an eye out for when they can safely return. The industry road trip offers a great glimpse into how much the Greene Center can lend itself to students looking to take initiatives. The industry trip was an opportunity for about 20 sophomore students to visit New York City, and speak to professionals and University of Rochester Alumni from major investment banking firms. Even for those outside the industry, the companies were notable: Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, OTC Markets, Guggenheim Partners, and Nomura.
This opportunity made my abstract career goals seem like a tangible reality. Prior to this, I really did not know what I wanted to do in the future. I was not only introduced to the current alumni that have also been instrumental in my career growth, but also to how rewarding invest banking is, and the great growth opportunities that come from it—whether it be the sell-side or buy-side of finance.
The Greene Center is composed of individuals whose job it is to help you grow professionally. But if you hang around anywhere long enough, you’re bound to make personal connections on top of professional. Throughout my time working with the Greene Center, I’ve felt supported both professionally and personally. They have taken the time to reach out, listen to my story, and support me in my goals, whatever they may be. During my industry’s recruitment season, when there were endless interviews and frustration and fear building up, the Greene Center made sure to take time to focus on my mental health, too. Even through a pandemic, even through dozens of other stressed out students, the Greene Center staff is genuinely looking out for the students that come through their doors.