Even as I attend UW-Madison, I often forget the size of our alumni network. Two weeks ago, however, I was able to see the extent of our network as I connected with many of our alumni working in the financial field in New York City through the Badgers in Finance Trek. This three day trek, put on by the College of Letters and Science Career Services, focused on exposing 14 underclassmen, like myself, to many different aspects of the financial field. This exposure came from various networking events and visits to five different firms in the city. The first night in New York, I attended an alumni event held at the New York Stock Exchange; while there I was able to network with Wisconsin graduates on the floor on the Stock Exchange before attending a program put on by Jeffrey Sprecher, the Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange and a graduate of the College of Engineering at Madison, and Chancellor Rebecca Blank. Throughout the next two days we visited with 6 firms: TD Securities, GF Capital Management & Advisors, TAG Associates, BNP Paribas, FTI Consulting, and Goldman Sachs—each of which specialize in different areas of the financial field from wealth management to restructuring to sales and trading. At each of these firms, a UW-Madison alumni met with us and discussed their position at their company, as well as how to prepare for internships with their companies.
I applied for this trip to learn more about the financial field as I am still undecided on my major. This trip exposed me to many different areas of this field, both through the networking events and the firm visits. I also gained a better understanding for the career path that I would travel if I were to enter into the financial field. Overall, this trip was an amazing experience that helped me discover the variety of positions available in the financial field, as well as allowing me to meet many alumni who can help me at every step of my journey.
-Marie Aguirre, LS undeclared student