Hobart and William Smith Colleges - Bey ’23 Explores Finance with Citi’s Freshman Discovery Program
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Bey ’23 Explores Finance with Citi’s Freshman Discovery Program

After participating in the NYC Finance Experience hosted by the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education earlier this year, Justus Bey ’23 wanted to learn more about banking and finance. When he heard about the Citi Freshman Discovery Program, he knew he’d found the place to start.

“For me, Citi’s company culture was the biggest standout of all the banks I visited on Wall Street,” Bey says.

The Freshman Discovery Program invites college freshmen from diverse backgrounds to learn about financial services, receive training, and gain experience and network with professionals and recruiters across the firm. The program is typically held at Citi headquarters in New York City but went virtual this year due to COVID-19.

For Bey, one of the most interesting aspects of the experience was the case study, a group assignment he completed with other rising sophomores. “I got to work with students from all across the country, including Ivy league schools, and it really gave me a point of view for improvement on my part,” he says.

A member of the Debate Team, the Investment Club and the public relations committees for the Caribbean Student Association and the 4 the Culture Performing Arts Collective, Bey joined the Freshman Discovery Program not only to learn about the industry side of banking and finance, but to build a robust network at Citi as he looks toward the future. “HR recruiters know me, so a face will always come to mind if my name ever passes through their paperwork,” he says.

Bey credits Career Services and its alum database as valuable resources. “Visit Career Services as soon as you can,” he advises incoming students. “HWS is known for its global network. Networking is just as — if not more — important than the piece of paper you get when you walk the stage.”

As a final word of advice to students, Bey offers: “Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. I’m a Black sophomore with dreadlocks making his way through the finance industry. If I can do it, you can do whatever you dream of. You just have to put in the work.”