The first place we stopped was Aon Risk Services. John Spath, with Aon out of Boston, helped connect us with his colleagues in New York. His title is Associate Director of Aon Global Risk Consulting. Here they briefly talked about their internships. They focused mostly on the actuary part of the business. They said that their business was about 55% broadly based insurances and about 45% risk consulting. We got to talk to Joe Polzar, Paul Cutler, Gregg Howard, Tom Morris, and Young Cho. They also showed us a tribute to the Aon employees that were in the twin towers during 9/11. It was two building made out of glass. Since many employees were there, they thought it was a good way to remember what those people had done for them. This was an exciting trip to a potential workplace for the ISU business students. This company is looking mostly for actuaries. Most of us were finance, but we did have some accounting majors there. We all really enjoyed listening to the description of these jobs we never before thought were options for us.
Our second stop was at Verizon Communications. Everyone knows what this company does because it is a Fortune 20 company. Here, we got to speak with many important people that make this company successful. They took us into the most amazing board room any of us had seen before to hear them speak. First, Francesca Smith introduced the company and spoke about the building. At Verizon, the building where work is done is also the place where they eat, work out, talk with their friends, and build their relationships. Connia Nelson, the SVP of Human Resources, spoke to us about the Verizon's culture and values. She is also an ISU alumnus of the Scott College of Business! She is also the person that helped make this trip to Verizon happen for ISU. Jacky Wu then talked to us about the finance division. Moises Modesto, Dave Oliver, and Kendra Gil all spoke to us about the internship program and how we could apply for it. There are four main positions for internships: Budget Analysis, Accounting, Investment Manager, and Tax Researcher. The men have the positions that deal directly with the colleges, and Kendra is the Manager of Finance. This was very interesting because on trips prior, we just learned about different companies. None of them spoke of us acutally one day working for them. Now, we have established an identity and certain companies encourage us to apply. We also got to eat lunch with Verizon. They prepared sandwich box lunches for us. We got to ask them our questions over lunch. We were all given the chance to get networking cards before we left for New York. This was a great time to start exchanging them! Many of the students, even myself, never thought of Verizon as a place to do finance. Now, a few ISU finance students have considered submitting their application.
The third stop was Nomura Financial. This is a company that has expanded from Japan. It is the largest Japanese broker dealer which also has operations in Europe. They do investment banking. We got to listen to a few of their top management speak to us. Gary, Ed, Scott, Allan, and Collin all gave their time to let us know about the company. They said that Nomura was hiring people 'like it was going out of style'. They are one of the fastest growing financial companies in the US because they already have an established business in Japan and Europe. They need people in New York to fill positions that they have people doing in their other locations. This was exciting because a few students in our group are still looking for internships. All of the people we spoke to with Nomura were all very well educated, enthusiastic, and ready for growth. We got to ask a bunch of questions and they helped us understand what they are working for. They also told us how to apply and encouraged it. This was most of the groups favorite stop!
At our last stop, we talked with Merrill Lynch and Bank of America. ISU alumnus Joe Evelo of Merrill Lynch in Cincinnati helped secure this visit. Half of us went to Merrill Lynch and the other half went to the Bank of America Building. I was in the group that went to Merrill Lynch. We spoke with Nicholas Frangas. He is the Director of the Portfolio Strategies Desk. He basically talked about what Merrill Lynch has done to remain successful. He mainly interacts with clients and analysts. He shows the clients what would be the best decisions for them. He also shared with us what attitude we should take in getting a job. He told us to remain confident and honest. He gave us some helpful resume and interview hints. He told us to keep something special off of our resume so we would have something to talk about, but not something that would get us into the interview. This was very interesting because most of us were juniors/seniors and are getting ready to go out into the 'real world' and find our dream jobs. The other group listened to Maurty Mauro speak. They all said his talk about Fixed Income was very informational.
The last event we planned for the day was our alumni dinner. We had Matt Minnis, who is the VP of Foreign Exchange Sales at Goldman Sachs, share a meal with us. He let us ask him some questions about his career path. He let us know that if you want to get to New York in your career, you have to be willing to put in more time and effort than most. He still has a good relationship with Professor Ferreira. This is one of the only opportunities throughout the year that they get to see each other. He is also very social with the students as well. This was a fun networking event.
When the day was over, we went back to the hotel. Most of us needed a nap!