As the largest department in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware, the Department of Finance has a team of faculty and staff who brainstorm and craft the best balance of programming for their students. Combining quality classroom instruction with extracurricular activities is essential.
This group recently gave students another experience with the inaugural Transformational Experiences in Finance (TEF) program. The TEF is one of a series of initiatives that faculty offer students to provide small group experiences that help them feel more engaged in learning finance and building transformational finance careers.
Towards the end of the spring 2022 semester, finance professor Paul Laux and adjunct faculty member Howland Redding escorted a group of 16 students to New York for a day trip to visit an investment bank. , an asset manager, and meet alumni who work in these industries.
“We created the Transformational Experiences in Finance program to help students learn about careers in finance from professionals in the field, and we want them to connect with each other, networking with students, faculty and alumni,” said Laura Field, of the Donald J. Puglisi Professor of Finance, “Our goal is to make the UD experience transformative for our students, not only in the classroom but also beyond, by providing our students with the opportunity to engage with other students, alumni and the external financial community through our various TEF Experiences. Our hope is that our students feel engaged and part of our community.
As part of the trip, the students visited Axonic Capital and had a Q&A session with Chris Hughes, Axonic Chief Operating Officer and 2002 Lerner graduate. Hughes also hosted students for lunch at Axonic . The students then visited Aflac Global Investments, where another UD alumnus, Jaime Rizzo, welcomed them.
Rizzo, now a public credit manager for Aflac Global Investments, graduated from UD in 1994 as an art history major and then moved into business after leaving Delaware. He holds an MBA from UNC Charlotte and a Masters in Accounting from Baruch College. Helping UD students is a form of giving back that he does willingly.
“Opening Lerner programs beyond the classroom provides a great opportunity for students to hear different perspectives on what they can expect as they embark on their professional journey,” Rizzo said. .
“I remember how confused I was after graduating from college as to what career path I should pursue. Over 25 years later, I’m glad I have enough experience to guide students current and alumni, it is a priority for me to see our students succeed. Also, the University is a very special place for me where I have many great memories, so it is important for me to to be able to give back to school.
Lerner Honors student Brielle Glick, expected to graduate in 2023, is a double major in finance and business analysis, with a minor in entrepreneurship. She said meeting alumni and working professionals was the most interesting part of the trip, as they all had different personalities, which didn’t fit the mold she expected.
“Some of them dressed more creatively than others more formal, but they all worked in New York and all had a job that involved finance, whether it was a more economic outlook or more of an accounting one,” said Glick. . She is interning in loan operations at Citibank, said she had a 3.9 GPA and was among the remarkable group of freshmen, sophomores and juniors who participated.
Glick said she learned from speaking with professionals in New York, which was different from going over case studies in class. She said everyone on the panel gave their thoughts on a looming recession, inflation and interest rates, but she needed to see that finance was more than investment banking from a business perspective. simply be a trader.
She said she was surprised to meet an established professional wearing a black T-shirt, jewelry and ripped jeans.
“He mentioned he wouldn’t have done this early in his career, but at some point, once you’ve become known enough for your skills, for what you can actually accomplish and you have the credibility to your name, that stuff doesn’t really matter that much,” Glick said. “I guess in my head, I thought I had to dress up every day for the rest of my life.”
As part of the TEF initiative, the department offered several opportunities for students to engage throughout the school year. The department hosted a movie night, where the students had dinner together and watched a movie about finances, then spoke briefly with the alumni. Students mingled with investment banking professionals who visited campus to chat with them about navigating the job market. At another event, students were invited to a networking breakfast to meet two high-achieving investment bankers who presented a seminar on how to prepare for a job interview in the banking profession. of investment.
The department secured 11 free registrations to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) conference during the spring semester. During the conference, students learned about regulatory issues in finance. Normally the cost to attend the conference is $500.
Glick’s internship with Citibank is a snapshot of the real-world experience Lerner prepared her for in the classroom, with the trip to New York as an added lesson.
“I’m always interested in taking any opportunity that comes my way outside of the classroom where I can just get insight from other people who’ve been through it and see what they’ve learned from their experience of work,” Glick said. , a member of Lerner’s Private Equities Club, who is still trying to decide whether she wants to go into investment banking or entrepreneurship when she graduates.