Last semester, Geneseo junior men's lacrosse defenseman Augie Holekamp traveled to New York City to with some of his fellow School of Business classmates to meet and connect with alumni working at some of the world's biggest financial firms. He summarized his experience, below.
Each fall, Geneseo's School of Business, led by Dean Zuckerman alongside Professors Harry Howe and Bob Boyd, gives Accounting and Finance students the opportunity to travel to New York City and visit various firms to make connections with alumni and learn more about career opportunities in their fields. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to join the group this year and experience the true extent of Geneseo's alumni network in the world of Finance.
3:45 p.m. – I rushed out of class and down to the parking lot of the Merritt Athletic Complex to get my suitcase from my car to the charter bus. We promptly left the school and began the 5-hour trek to New York. About halfway through the drive, we stopped in Pennsylvania for a wholesome McDonald's dinner before arriving at a hotel in Jersey City around 9:00 where my roommates and I watched football and promptly fell asleep in preparation for an early morning.
4:45 a.m. – My alarm rang earlier than it has in years, as my roommates and I showered, shaved, and dressed to impress in our navy suits. After a couple of cups of coffee in the hotel lobby, we loaded the bus again and headed to Manhattan.
8:30 a.m. – After dropping our bags at the Westin Hotel in Times Square, we arrived at KPMG where we were served a much-needed breakfast. KPMG is one of the "Big 4" accounting and advisory firms and is full of Geneseo alumni. We listened to a prepared presentation about the different lines of business that KPMG participates in and were then given 30 minutes to mingle with alumni and scramble for business cards.
11:00 a.m. – When we left KPMG, the group split into two tracks, accounting and finance. I plan to pursue a career in finance and traveled downtown to the financial district with others that have similar aspirations. When we arrived at the headquarters of Goldman Sachs, we were taken back by the size and elegance of the world's largest investment bank. We met an alumnus that works in relationship management who showed us to a conference room on the 37th floor overlooking the Statue of Liberty. Here we spoke for over an hour about what Goldman Sachs has to offer and how to pursue careers at the prestigious company.
1:30 p.m. – From Goldman Sachs we hurried a couple blocks over to CitiGroup. Here we met with a panel of recent Geneseo graduates as well as managing directors that had graduated from Geneseo in the past. Our discussion focused on the roles of sales and trading as well as investment banking and the internship opportunities that are available for each job description.
3:00 p.m. – As we left CitiGroup, we stopped for a hot dog from a street vendor and hustled to our last stop of the day at JPMorgan Asset Management. Here we met with a handful of alumni that ranged from entry level research associates to Vice Presidents. They gave us an overview of their roles and how they got to their current positions, adding in advice throughout the conversation as to how to differentiate ourselves as candidates for jobs and internships.
6:00 p.m. – After a long day of touring the city and meeting many successful alumni, we attended a networking event where we were able to further the relationships we made throughout the day and finally take our ties off. When we left the networking event, we spent the night exploring Times Square and enjoying a bit of what New York City has to offer.
Saturday was a free day to do as we pleased. I was able to meet with a connection that I had made on Friday for coffee before I traveled back down to the financial district to have brunch with my sister who lives in the area. Around 4:00 p.m. we loaded the bus up and headed to back to Geneseo.
This trip provided me with countless connections and relationships that I plan to maintain for years to come. It also led to multiple interview opportunities with the companies that we visited. The alumni base at Geneseo is very connected and more helpful than I had ever imagined. This New York City trip is priceless exposure to the competitive landscape of finance and differentiates Geneseo's School of Business from many other schools.