A Wall Street Experience – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

A Wall Street Experience

Approximately 20 students from HWS will travel to New York City to take part in the annual Wall Street Experience trip in December. The students will visit some of the most prestigious firms on Wall Street and meet with alums to discuss different aspects of a finance career.

The program begins with an application process in which students explain why they are interested in finance and how they feel this experience will be helpful to them. Students are then selected to participate in the trip and are required to take two “Wall Street boot camp” classes, as Associate Professor of Economics Jo Beth Mertens calls them. The classes provide the students with a basic knowledge of the terms and concepts they will hear and learn more about on the trip. They also must pass an exam to demonstrate that they have mastered the material and are dedicated to the trip.

The trip can be helpful for any students who think he or she might be interested in any career related to finance. According to Mertens, the trip provides students with an “opportunity to begin to understand what the career is actually like through talking to alumni who actually work in that field every day.” This reality can help students clarify where their interests actually lie, or open up to opportunities that they have never considered before.

During the trip, students will meet with alums at many different corporations, including Standard and Poor’s, Brown Brother s Harriman & Co., HSBC Bank USA, Markit, Barclays Capital, DeWitt Stern Group, Inc., Bloomberg, and Citadel Securities. In addition, they will have the opportunity to network with alums from a variety of fields at the annual HWS alum New York City holiday party.

Mertens notes meeting alumni and parents in different sectors of the financial career field is one of the most important opportunities of the trip.

At Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., students will meet with Stephen Bridgman P’10, senior vice president, and at HSBC Bank USA, they will speak with Greg Pierce ‘ 85, executive vice president and treasurer, and Analyst Jason Merritt ’08.

According to Mertens, the most common advice from alumni across the board is to “Develop your writing and communications skills as well as your quantitative analytical skills. Also, grades do matter!”

Other alums who have volunteered their time and will be meeting with students as part of the Wall Street Experience include: Eric Hedman ’94, senior director  and Georgia Jones ’04, copy editor at Standard and Poor’s;  James Mulvey ’83, head of emerging markets at Barclays Capital; Kristin McIver ’06, analytics representative, and Gretchen Sword ’06, west coast director at Bloomberg; Chip Carver ’81 COO of Markit Group, as well as Jennifer Crupnick ’10 account manager; Anna Darmiento ’09, business analyst; and Jessica Hill ’10 broker/trader at Markit; Charles R. Johnson Jr. ’77, president and COO at DeWitt Stern Group, Inc.; and Craig Stine’81, managing director and head of financial institutions group and Trevor Pieri ’08 analyst at Citadel Securities.