by Nic Mohadjer
Welcome back for the third and final installment of, “MFE on the Road” where we recap Career Orientation trips and hear from students as they visit some of the most prestigious finance companies in the world. This week we head to The City by the Bay!
MFE Executive Director, Elisa Dunn (center) with several students at Airbnb to kickoff the San Francisco Career Orientation Trip
Two weeks ago, 21 MFE students took the short flight up the coast to explore Northern California and see what the financial landscape is like in a city that is known for its innovation in the technology space. The two-day trip was packed with visits to some of San Francisco’s most prestigious firms. Since it’s only an hour flight, students flew up to SF and had their first visit on the same day. Once they made their way into the city they went straight to Airbnb, one of the most popular and fastest growing companies in recent memory. They were greeted by MFE alum Tan Vachiramon (MFE’13) who works as a data scientist and were treated to a tour of Airbnb’s amazing office. In his presentation, Tan provided great insights into how the MFE program helped him land a coveted position in data science and explained how quantitative finance plays a role in the operations of this global tech company. This was the only company visit of the day and by the time the presentation was over students were ready to grab dinner and explore the city!
Day 2 of the trip started bright and early in the Financial District with students meeting at Duff and Phelps for a company presentation. Current student, Rohan Kajgaonkar, said that meeting Louisa Galbo, a Managing Director at Duff and Phelps, was the highlight of the trip for him as it gave tremendous insight into the world of complex securities. The students also had a meet and greet with 6 alums currently working at Duff and Phelps. After the visit was over, students made the long-trek to MUFG, which is a whole 0.1 miles away from Duff and Phelps. While students weren’t sure they would be able to make the long journey, all of them arrived on time for lunch and a company presentation from the MUFG team. Once the visit was complete, students made their way to Mellon Capital where they heard from professionals in their trading, research and strategies team. They had the opportunity to ask questions in a free-flowing Q&A session. Not only were the people at Mellon Capital amazing, but the views of the city, especially the Bay Bridge, were fantastic (picture below). The day concluded with students attending a networking reception with San Francisco based alums at Waterfront Restaurant, located on the Embarcadero. There were more than 25 alumni who attended the event and shared their experiences with our current MFE students. Elisa Dunn, MFE Program Executive Director, said “It is so rewarding to see that our alums will drive all the way from Mountain View, where they work for Google, and from Berkeley, where they work for MSCI, to come out and support the program and engage with other amazing alums". We appreciate this outpouring of support from our San Francisco alumni and can’t wait to engage with them during our next visit to The Bay.
Needless to say, the two days were packed with activities but the experience the students had was invaluable. Current student, Pratish Balasubramanian, told us that the SF trip gave him an opportunity to connect with employees and alumni working at firms in a variety of career paths including data analytics, valuation consulting, and asset management. These interactions helped him better understand his options and gave some insight into the career path he feels makes the most sense for him. Rohan Kajgaonkar summed up the trip best, “the SF Career Orientation trip exposed me to an array of prospective career paths, companies and their corporate culture – from Airbnb’s ‘Belong anywhere’ style to a more formal ‘Wall street’ atmosphere at Mellon Capital. Visiting companies, getting a feel of the corporate atmosphere and the opportunity to interact with alumni and industry professionals made this trip a truly unique opportunity.”
And with that, we conclude our coverage of this year’s Career Orientation trips and our “MFE on the Road” segment. Thanks again to all the amazing companies who hosted us during our visits! We look forward to visiting again soon. Until next year…and in the meantime, keep an eye out for more MFE blogs about our amazing students and alumni and more features about the student experience!
View of the Bay Bridge from Mellon Capital
Students and alumni eating dinner at Waterfront Restaurant, located on the Embarcadero