Study what you enjoy. Network with alumni through Becker Career Center. Get your foot in the door and work hard.
Those were among the bits of advice from three alumni in an April 5 panel discussion of the Union Financial Network, a mentorship program for students interested in careers in finance.
Presenters were Tom Connolly ’89, managing director at Goldman Sachs; Eros Marshall ’96, managing director at Citi; and Sarah Pontius ’04, a real estate consultant. President David R. Harris moderated the discussion.
“I didn’t need an economics degree to survive in finance,” said Marshall, who graduated Union as a biology major. “Union prepared me to think critically. Once I got my foot in the door, that’s when I really learned how to do the job. But from a foundational perspective, Union gave me everything I needed to succeed.”
Pontius, who as a youngster aspired to work and live in New York City, said she found a ready network of alumni who helped her find her way to the Big Apple. “Find those connections to get the job and when you get there, work hard and you’ll be successful,” she said. She also emphasized the importance of finding mentors who have been through up and down times of the market: “You can learn so much from the people who have been through those cycles,” she said.
Connolly urged students to take in the whole Union liberal arts experience. “Enjoy your four years and engage in all that Union has to offer. That will form who you are as a student and as a person. When you get out, a whole new learning experience begins, but the building blocks are there. All the things I did at Union … were all part of developing who I am.”
All three panelists are highly involved at Union. Connolly and Pontius are trustees; Marshall is a member of the President’s Council.
To view the panel discussion, visit here.
The Union Financial Network connects students who are interested in careers in finance with alumni, parents and friends who work in a broad range of associated areas. Student-alumni connections are fostered through mentoring, alumni career panels, speaker series and internships.