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MBA Students Meet with Leading New York Firms

October 23, 2008
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First and second-year MBA students had the opportunity to see the economic crisis firsthand during a weeklong visit to Wall Street in early October. The visit to New York, scheduled before the current market turmoil started, included visits with six major firms, the set of CNBC’s Fast Money and the New York Stock Exchange for the second year MBA students.  The first year MBA student program consisted of visits to seven major banks and the New York Mercantile Exchange.

“We feel that the trip was very successful, despite the economy. We met with the type of companies we want our students to be involved with, and the students found this to be a wonderful experience and they represented the school well,” said Alexander Pons, director of the Ziff Graduate Career Services Center.

The redesigned program was more than just an educational opportunity. Students met and interviewed with major firms including Metropolitan Real Estate Equity Management, Bloomberg, Citi, Deloitte and Unilever to increase their opportunities for job offers and internships.  Five out of the six companies arranged interviews for students.  In addition, students attended a UM alumni mentoring event at the offices of UBS, hosted by Al Marsicano (BBA ’76), senior vice president of investments.  Here, nearly two dozen of the School’s recent graduates who have begun their financial careers in New York, including two alumni who also work at UBS, met with the visiting students to offer advice and answer questions about everything from work and life in the Big Apple to the transition from classroom to office.

“We received a warm reception from each of our host companies, and our visits provided us with information and connections to which we would not otherwise have had access,” said second-year MBA student, Shawn Frost. “I learned to keep an open mind about career possibilities.  In such an intensely competitive job market, I am exploring many opportunities, and the New York trip has broadened my efforts.”

“It was educational for students to have exposure to a vast array of companies, view their culture and their operations and for potential employment. It was also a great week to be in New York educationally for the students to see how the crisis impacts every sector of business and forces them to be more competitive,” said Shivani Joshi, assistant director of the Ziff Center.

The trip was funded by a highly competitive scholarship program organized by the Ziff Center. MBA students interested in pursuing a career in New York and who met the skill set criteria had the opportunity to apply for the program and were evaluated and interviewed by faculty before being chosen. Once accepted, students completed various preparatory workshops, researched each company, and collaborated with peers.

Eight first-year MBA students received the James W. McLamore Graduate Business Fellowship and ten second year MBA students received the Southeastern Banking Corporation Foundation Graduate Business Scholarship making the trip possible. Pons said that due to its success the Ziff Center has plans to continue offering the trip for top applicants.

Frost added, “Perhaps this time next year some of us will be living and working in the New York area to welcome those who make the trip.”

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