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Trading Insights: Finance student lessons from a NYC networking trip

Maria Weir

Much of what a grad student learns transcends the classroom, which Master’s in Finance students learned during a fall trip to New York City’s financial centers to network with EQT and Morgan Stanley as well as Daniels School of Business alums.

MS Finance students enjoyed a productive visit to Manhattan financial powerhouses.

“The Big Apple is arguably the best city for finance students to observe and understand how the market works,” Linkun Liu reflects. Liu saw mental connections between the “office buildings where analysts type away at their workstations like drones within a hive” to “the buzzing streets filled with vendors selling generic and specialized products, hustlers attracting tourists to give away some of their travel funds with dancing and music. What others see as tourism illustrates to us, the Purdue MSF students, the foundations of finance: supply, demand and greed.” But students came to study more than street sales and tourism. They visited financial firms and networked with Purdue alumni.

To begin their day, seven graduates students visited Morgan Stanley and EQT, two large financial firms, learning the former is focusing on expanding selective services to lower-net-worth individuals and the latter focuses on environmental and social governance (ESG) investing. Talking with industry professionals from such varied organizations connected classroom ideas with risk management, infrastructure investments that come with focusing on sustainability, and environmental future-proofing.

The students heard from Purdue University alumni including Joel Bartlow, executive director, Saleel Joshi, analyst, and Khushboo Jain, risk analyst, from Morgan Stanley, who provided their wisdom on how to gain an edge over other job candidates in the financial industry. From alum Marah Marshall, attendees learned lessons she gleaned while working in a restaurant, how to stand out with an interesting story and by incorporating transferrable skills. Linkun Liu, Yu-Hsin Liu and Siliang Peng share the most memorable insights.

  • Always be learning. If you fear not having all the needed skills when entering the job market, you can pick up what you need as long as you stay open and willing to learn.
  • Include unique skills on your resume – technical, soft skills, personality traits or attributes, or experiences.
  • Prepare an interesting story to catch the attention of interviewers, developing an ear-catching line to be memorable.
  • Explain your transferrable skills.
  • Never let the technical skills listed in the job description become a barrier to applying. If you have at least 70% of them, lean in, one alum told the group.
“The Big Apple is arguably the best city for finance students to observe and understand how the market works.”
Linkun Liu, MS Finance

That evening, the travelers enjoyed a happy hour with other Daniels alumni, adding to their wealth of insights for job hunting and building a strong career. Because the group represented global diversity, for some this provided a chance to hold extended professional conversations in English. Each student left NYC with networking strategies and wider connections, people who invited them to stay in touch, because alumni know that who a person can connect with improves transitions in careers. Liu called it the “the nectar” that answered questions that current students develop as they ready to enter the job market.