I want to start by saying that I had a fantastic time on the New York City Business road trip and I truly appreciate the opportunity it offers to the students. The latest road trip was my fourth time accompanying my classmates and our wonderful chaperones. I can also say with the highest level of certainty that you cannot get the same experience outside of the Hinds hall in any other school here at Syracuse, let alone for around $80.00 a student. Before going on this trip, I can remember pondering about when the iSchool was going to have a consulting road trip? As there is a large consulting focus for many undergraduate students. Not only did the trip provide a personal insight form many of the largest consulting firms, it also accompanied a strong financial focus. Personally, this trip was a huge home run as I am now in my junior year in the iSchool and still deciding which of these two avenues to venture down. I recently began a year round internship with the brokerage firm Scottrade, yet also found Enterprise Consulting (IST 400) to be a phenomenal career path.
Visiting Fidelity Investments hit very close to home, as I was given the opportunity to join them as a mainframe intern in the New Jersey office last summer. Now working at Scottrade and visiting the firm completely did a one hundred and eighty degree flip. It was nothing like I had imagined and seemed to lack energy and passion for working with people. I did not completely understand that Fidelity Investments is not one of the normal online brokerage firms, instead they want your mother and father to roll over their 401k or open up an account to start saving for their child’s college fund. I asked our tour guide if he knew if Fidelity was a self-clearing firm, meaning did they clear the orders themselves or send it out to a third party service. His response was “I don’t know, don’t you want to third party it”. I do not agree that you would want to third party it, but mainly found his response to set the tone for the entire New York City Fidelity office. Overall it was a wonderful visit and was amazed at all the different opportunities that they offer student to join their investment firm. I appreciated the opportunity to join them last summer but now gained the insight that it does not directly fit with who I am.
J.P Morgan chase was a very welcoming visit and showed how extensive the love is for Syracuse University and its potential future employees. Each of these visits have the opportunity to light a spark in one or many of the students that accompany the trip. If even a single student, like my new freshman buddy James decides that he has a burning passion to begin his career at J P Morgan chase, I believe that you could not ask for a more successful result of the iSchool road trips. To directly impact a college student’s choice after graduation, helping him or her network with alumni that will help them get where they want to be is an incredible and successful result of these trips. I believe that my curiosity about the J.P Morgan Chase that everyone has been talking about for the past 3 years while at Syracuse is now settled, understanding how it was not a direct fit with who I am.
The Lubbin house and KPMG was fantastic, but the next visit I would like to talk about is Ernst & Young. I would like to start with saying that you can truly feel the different cultures and atmospheres of these companies almost immediately after walking in the front door. I felt that EY really gave off the impression of being the biggest and best, while they had the young students in the room drinking the cool aid. They want to almost double the size of their consulting presence in the upcoming 5 years, and need the well trained and equipped iSchool students to do so. It was an unbelievable experience to have a high up stakeholder join the discussion and show her passion for the company. I believe that the presentation alone will strongly influence many of the potential young consultants to choose the elite Ernst & Young. Personally, after understanding the direction the firm is taking, I also learned that Ernst and Young is not for me. With over 50,000 consultants, you are competing internally to develop a footprint and move up in the career latter. For someone who would devote 15-20 years at a single firm to become a partner, I do not see a potential to reach that goal at EY. I am not saying it would be impossible, I am just find it highly unlikely. In addition I want to develop lifelong coworkers who become close friends. With a firm of 250,000 you might not have that possibility. On a side note, before entering EY I purchased 30 JC Penny call options @.35 each while on the bus. While sitting in the presentation for EY, I had a limit order to sell the call options @.55 each AON. The limit order went off like clockwork for a 57.1 % gain (Thank you EY & JC Penny’s).
For this trip, I personally got the most out of my visits to Bank of America and Goldman Saks. I can honestly say that those names were not on my radar before this trip. I was impressed with how down to earth and welcoming Bank of America was and what their brand represents to me. I had a wonderful conversation about my interests with Erica and she pointed me toward an investment banking internship. After reading the story about how one of the Investment Banking interns sadly committed suicide after being over worked last year (do not remember which banking firm he worked at) Bank of America did not seem like it would be anywhere near extreme regardless of how hard it might push its interns. From top leadership down to its associates, the idea of wanting us to work there was really pushed home. I cannot stress enough how these road trips open up completely new avenues for all of the students.
Lastly, I cannot believe that Goldman Saks and an internship in internal audit is now on my radar. After talking with the recruiter, joining Goldman Saks would allow me to learn about the entire securities process from placing an order to getting the shares in your account. Joining the company would allow me to first understand the entire process from start to finish, and then go and do anything in the securities field. It would be a perfect starting point, however I am sure it is an extremely competitive position.
I joined this trip thinking I would like more of a career in consulting, and left wanting to apply for positions at Goldman Saks and Bank of America. These trips are essential to students, I cannot really give a better example of how successful these trip are and I am just one out of 44! I did not take the time to write this much on my Ancient Greece essay (although everyone already understands why Sparta was so unique?). I care about these road trips and I hope they continue for generations of iSchoolers to come! It was a wonderful time and a wonderful experience.