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Investment Banking Workshop Prepares Students for Success

Haley Young
Contributed to HottyToddy.com

UM finance professors Ivonne Liebenberg (left), Andrew Lynch third from left) and Travis Box (right) gather with students who attended the Investment Banking Workshop hosted by School of Business Administration at the Jackson Avenue Center. Photo by Stephen Fier/School of Business Administration

Dozens of business students at the University of Mississippi got career advice, interview tips and a crash course in the direction of the financial industry from professionals in the field at the recent Investment Banking Workshop, hosted by the School of Business Administration.

The two-day event connected students with professionals, who offered advice on how to prepare to land that first job and pointers on how to succeed in the workforce.

“Thanks to the generous donation of one of our sponsors, the Mississippi CFA Society, seven Tupelo students had the privilege of attending the investment banking workshop,” said Ivonne Liebenberg, instructional assistant professor of finance.

“It was an incredible opportunity for them to network, prepare for interviews, review what they have learned in an intensive eight-hour workshop and also get a glimpse of what their careers in the financial industry will look like in the future.”

The event kicked off with a panel discussion and Q&A session with Charles White, executive managing director of Stifel Financial Capital Markets; Britton Wilkins, senior vice president of Vining-Sparks IBG LP; and Sam Haskell, managing member of Colarian LLC.

White discussed changes in the markets since he began investing, emphasizing that “the markets continue to puncture, yet the markets are made of the people.”

“You just need to get your foot in the door,” White said. “Once you are in, that is where the opportunities come up. I wish I would have known that this is a very long race.

“You will always be learning with change and challenge.”

During the Q&A session, a student asked Haskell about the qualities he looks for in an analyst.

“Try to figure out how you will stand out,” Haskell said. “Job hires are looking for how long someone will stick with them before offering the job. Observe people around you and communicate a solid work ethic.”

The workshop included investment banking interview prep sessions where Jeff Schmidt, a financial analyst with extensive industry experience at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. and Raymond James Financial, reviewed basic accounting and helped prepare students for potential interviews. This was an opportunity for students to consider challenging interview questions and formulate responses.

“Over the past few years, the finance department has worked to widen the career pathways for our managerial finance majors,” said Travis Box, assistant professor of finance. “The investment banking workshop as born out of these efforts, and our inaugural event was an overwhelming success.”

Students gave the workshop high marks.

“Being able to meet and network with professionals in the career field I am pursuing helped to alleviate some of the worry I was having about moving forward after graduating,” said Tianna Brand, a senior managerial finance major from Jackson. “With the information learned on Friday, I am much more confident to walk into a job interview.”

“Career development is not focused on as much in college,” said Jonathan Taylor, a junior from Diamondhead who has a double major in managerial finance and economics. “Ole Miss is doing a really great job with facilitating the transition between an educational environment and a work environment.”

“The University of Mississippi offers a variety of beneficial resources on and off campus, but what I experienced at the Wall Street Prep Investment Banking session was leaps and bounds above anything I have participated in thus far as a student,” said Cam Iadeluca, a senior accounting major from North Kingstown, Rhode Island.

“Having gone through recruitment at different investment banks and interning with a few firms this past summer, I know firsthand that technical questions during an interview can make or break your chances of landing a position.”

The workshop, conducted Oct. 4-5, succeeded in helping students bridge the gap between classroom theory and real-world practice, said Andrew Lynch, assistant professor of finance.

“We had 44 students come out to learn how to start a career from several incredibly successful finance professionals,” Lynch said. “The goal was to ensure these students start building their careers on as solid of a foundation as possible.

“By reinforcing concepts learned in the classroom, these students are now better prepared to show potential employers the skills they can bring to their jobs.” 

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