It’s become one of Bryant’s best-known annual student-alumni events, combining a student learning day on Wall Street with a networking event organized by Bryant’s Wall Street Council.
A full bus of students made the trek to New York City Oct. 25, where they heard from a variety of speakers and networked with alumni, parents, and friends in the finance industry. Popular with students from finance majors and members of the Smart Women in Finance group and the Archway Investment Fund, the Walk Down Wall Street is organized by the Amica Center for Career Education and sponsored by the Finance Association.
"While you’re climbing the ladder, you climb with one hand and keep the other one behind to pull someone up with you.”
The first event of the day was a panel discussion hosted at US Trust and led by Joseph C. “Joe” Capezza, Jr. ’08, Vice President and Portfolio Manager at US Trust. The panelists, including William Brian Gowen ’13, Financial Analyst and Bank Examiner at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Garrett Hayward '16 MBA, Equity Research Analyst at Douglass Winthrop Advisors; and Samantha Merwin ’12, Vice President at BlackRock, shared stories, offered advice, and answered questions from the students.
The panelists emphasized the importance of hard work and exploration as students begin their careers, as well as how important it is to mentor and help others succeed.
“I’ve always believed in the idea that, while you’re climbing the ladder, you climb with one hand and keep the other one behind to pull someone up with you,” said Merwin. “If you have the opportunity to do so, I think it's really important to bring someone else along.”
The students were invited guests at the Wall Street Council’s evening event, where nearly 90 alumni, parents and friends gathered at the New York Times building for a reception and networking.
The Wall Street Council reception is an annual signature event. Keynote speaker Pat Dorsey, founder of Dorsey Asset Management and former Director of Equity Research for Morningstar, focused on building and assessing competitive advantage, and what students can do to build their analytical skills.
“It’s an amazing advantage to have this alumni network. Everyone here wants to see students succeed.”
He also offered advice on starting a career in finance. “You’re going to need to build a network,” he stressed. “Events like tonight are a great way to do that.”
That message resonated with Finance and Applied Statistics major Maddie McLaughlin ’19, who is Vice President of the Finance Association. “The panelists and the alumni we met at the reception were so personable and willing to help,” she said. “It’s an amazing advantage to have this alumni network. Everyone here wants to see students succeed and then come back to share their success.”
Formed in 2014, the Wall Street Council is an alliance of Bryant alumni, parents, and friends of the University who collaborate to enhance Bryant’s profile in the world’s iconic financial center. They also work to help students launch their finance careers and provide networking opportunities for established professionals.
“The Wall Street Council started off as just an idea among five people,” noted Stephen Tully ’98, Director of Client Services/Head of US Institutions at Cantillon Capital, and a founding Board member for the Council. “The reason it’s grown is because the Bryant community cares about each other. This is about bringing students, alumni, and University faculty and staff together and I’m really excited to be a part of that.”