Banking on Experience

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CATEGORY: Civic Engagement, Internships
TYPE: Articles
RELATED PROGRAMS: Economics

Three Macalester students land job offers on Wall Street after completing their internships.

Investment banking in New York—capital markets, leveraged buyouts, mathematical modeling. Course concepts quickly become the realities of daily life when, like three Mac seniors, you are investment banking summer interns in New York.

The interns—Eshita Sethi (New Delhi, India), at Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Diarra Gueye (Dakar, Senegal) at Credit Suisse; and Varini Sharma (New Delhi, India) at UBS all took Introduction to Investment Banking with Joyce Minor ’88, Karl Egge Professor of Economics, and she helped them land the coveted internships.

“I was learning everything from modeling—discounted cash flow analysis, leveraged buy-outs, valuation matrices—to creating pitch books for companies,” says Sharma. “My research skills, quant [quantitative analysis] skills, and PowerPoint skills have all improved drastically. This summer has also made me realize how important Excel and PowerPoint are; just eight weeks in I was three times faster than I used to be. I have the coolest back-pocket tricks too!”

Nowhere else will you learn so much about finance, economics, math, statistics, and the mystical trading lingo

It was Gueye’s second summer with Credit Suisse. “Nowhere else will you learn so much about finance, economics, math, statistics, and the mystical trading lingo.” Her rotation in Counterparty Credit Risk Management in particular helped crystallize her career goals. “I found myself happily realizing the importance of mathematics and statistics in finance, which led me to believe that a math-driven occupation is where I will feel the most fulfilled.”

While it was intense, it wasn’t all work and no play for the three. “I have really enjoyed trying out different restaurants, lounges and bars, and now and then I have been able to catch great art exhibitions,” says Gueye. “I think the girls will agree that our favorite place by far has been Boom, a Spanish/Italian restaurant in the Soho area where the live music is great and the food amazing!”

The women all appreciate the mentoring that helped them get there. “I am truly grateful to my investment banking professors, Brad England and Joyce Minor, and to Professors Karl Egge and Paul Aslanian for their support,” says Sethi. “This internship would not have been possible without all of them.

“My internship has definitely solidified my plans of pursuing a career in investment banking as I greatly enjoy learning from and interacting with very intelligent people, and the unpredictable nature of the work. Investment banking is great and this is what I want to do!”

It looks like the banks were equally impressed. All three women return to Mac for their senior year with offers to join their respective firms full-time upon graduation!

PUBLISHED: 09/01/2010