Chicago Finance Week an Eye-Opener for Students and Industry Execs

October 2012

The best way to learn about a career field is from people who are already in that field. The best place to learn is in the actual job setting. Six years ago, that train of thought led Finance chair Steve Wyatt to create an annual Chicago Finance Week.

Two dozen Farmer School Finance students just returned from their trip of a lifetime. A week in Chicago talking with executives from private equity firms, portfolio and asset managers, corporate and investment bankers, M&A specialists and underwriters; many of them Miami alum. The trip included an on-site meeting on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, during active trading hours.

The students were selected through a competitive process. They were eager and well-prepared for the trip. They discovered that the reality was even better than the dream.

"It was an incredible learning and networking opportunity, gave me a lot of insight into the world of finance, and was invaluable in learning about internship and job opportunities." Drew Sandbo, Junior

"I got a much better understanding about jobs in the industry and gained insight into the world of finance. The best part was receiving advice from these men and women and learning the best ways to advance a career in the industry." Jake Myron, Senior

"The speakers genuinely cared about our questions and taking the time to talk to us in a way that we could relate to the experiences they were sharing with us." Chris Ford, Sophomore

"The biggest surprise was hearing about the wide variety of careers available in the financial industry." Ryan Coffee, Junior

There were as many corporate participants as there were Miami students. Many of them initially participated as a way to "give back" to their alma mater or to support the next generation. They, too, got more than they expected.

"This could lead to our firm recruiting at Miami down the road and continuing to establish a relationship with the Farmer school." Samuel Barden - Duff & Phelps

"Participation in this program helped us identify and meet students who we think could be strong analyst/intern candidates. They are more technically prepared to sit down and start producing quality work on Day 1 of the job compared to students from other universities which need to be given time to fully "ramp up". Nick Petruska -CHS Capital

"I have spoken a number of times for MBA students at the University of Chicago. The Miami undergrad students are more poised, thoughtful and eager to learn." Mike Oleshansky -PSP Capital Partners

We know our students are special, but it's always gratifying to have that opinion validated. As Patrick Driscoll, Managing Examiner, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, emphatically stated, "NO other university or student group is allowed onto the trading floor during active trading hours."