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The Current Market Environment: Have we gone too far too fast?

On May 26, 2010, the Tufts Financial Network held its inaugural event in Boston at the Ritz-Carlton. Guests enjoyed a luncheon and panel discussion entitled “The Current Market Environment: Have We Gone Too Far, Too Fast?”

Moderated by Peter Kamin, A84, partner, ValueAct Capital, the panel included Sam Byrne, A87, managing partner, CrossHarbor Capital Partners; A. Dana Callow Jr., A74, managing general partner, Boston Millennia Partners; and Michael Gordon, A87, partner, Vinik Asset Management. Trustee Brian Kavoogian, A84, was also on hand to welcome attendees.

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2010 Wall Street Crash Course

2010 Wall Street Crash Course Faculty (from left to right) Rob Walker, A04; Max Bernstein, A03; Rob Stricker, E69; Pierre Maman, A86; Michael Karsch, A90, F91; Joseph Rosano, A10; Jeff Moslow, A86; Bill Ortner, A89; Jonathan Trott, A10; Karen Kulvin, J92; Jerome Shapiro, A03; Peter Vogelsang, A84; Craig Goldberg, E76; Daniel Landers Silva, A10. Missing from Photo: Doug Atkin, A84; Greg Randolph, A81; Anthony Scaramucci, A86, A14P; Scott Schaevitz, A85; Federico De Giorgis, A84

President of Tufts Financial Group, which manages an equity portfolio funded by Tufts alumni, Lilly Bogis, A11, says, “Finance isn’t in the Tufts culture as much as other schools. It’s hard to find an outlet for that enthusiasm.” From the outset, there was no shortage of student interest in the WSCC—just three days after advertisement, every seat was spoken for. On the morning of Saturday, October 16, the more than 80 participating undergraduate students were prompt and fully prepared to meet with the diverse alumni faculty—most of whom had traveled from New York to lend their unique voices.

The day opened with a video address by Stern. Moslow and Bogis also welcomed attendees and invited them to speak candidly throughout the day via microphones stationed at the front of the room, which allowed for organic dialogue and well-rounded participation.

The first paneled session tackled the capital market life cycle and was moderated by Moslow, with panelists Michael Karsch, A90, F91; Karen Kulvin, J92; Gregory Randolph, A81; Anthony Scaramucci, A86; and Scott Schaevitz, A85. Next on the agenda: Preparing for the Interview, presented by Pierre Maman, A86, managing director at JPMorgan Chase & Company, who traveled from London especially for the course. Maman dissected the interview process from interviewing skills to marketing individuality, to summer internships, to preparing for a career while still in college. A subsequent question and answer session was moderated by Douglas Atkin, A84, and paneled by younger faculty fresh from the Hill: Max Bernstein, A03; Daniel Landers, A10; Jerome Shapiro, A03; Jonathan Trott, A10; and Robert Walker, A04.

Moslow says a lot of valuable advice naturally arose from the Q&A session: building upon Maman’s earlier interviewing advice, Karsch, of Karsch Capital Management, spoke adamantly about creating a unique, memorable persona to differentiate one applicant from hundreds.

Following the Q&A session and a brown bag lunch that included mock interviews, students and faculty divided into break-out sessions that allowed senior-, mid-, and entry-level faculty to describe and discuss different careers in the finance world: asset management and hedge funds, private equity and leverage, and investment banking.

Additional alumni faculty included: Federico De Giorgis, A84; Craig Goldberg, E76; Roger Krakoff, A81, F83; William Ortner, A89; Joseph Rosano, A10; and Rob Stricker, E69.

The entire day was incredible, says Bogis, who noted that most helpful were the personal stories alumni told of their journeys to the Street. “I started Tufts as premed,” says Moslow, “and lasted one month in biology.” After a quick shift to economics and classics, Moslow adds that he later decided to pursue a career on Wall Street. “Well, that was the good news,” he says. “The bad news was I couldn’t get a job. I thought about business schools, but you needed work experience—so it was a ‘catch-22′. I liked school, and thought that maybe if I got into a really good law school, I’d have the opportunity to interview. Eventually I moved from law school to Wall Street, but there were a lot of rough patches along the way.”

Greg Randolph, A81, managing director of Greenhill & Co., says he saw a lot of himself in the attentive students at the course. “I told them, I was lucky,” he says. “When I was at Tufts, I had an uncle who managed to get me a summer internship after my sophomore year and that may well have changed my life—just to have some experience. Even if it’s in an area you may not exactly want to be in, getting 10-12 weeks of experience on the Street, talking to people, and gaining a better idea of what a banker or trader or research analyst does for a living is extremely valuable for someone coming right out of school who hasn’t had a financial job.”

According to Randolph and Moslow, attendees took that advice to heart—both have already heard from multiple students and connected beyond the course.

“The response was stunning,” says Moslow. “While the primary goal of this was to equip and educate students, I think as important of a benefit that manifested itself was the engagement of 20 alumni in time and effort, and creating more of an affinity towards the university post-Tufts. And I can’t tell you how many alumni came up to me afterwards and told me what an amazing experience it was to be up there.”

Moslow recalls that the closest he ever came to a true finance course at Tufts was Corporate Finance with Professor Fortune. “An ironic name,” he adds, “but he was great.” He hopes the Wall Street Crash Course will be institutionalized and occur annually, and not only add to the growing population of Tufts alumni on Wall Street, but also provide an outlet for students like he was—like Bogis—who are eager for knowledge of the financial world and the inside scoop on what’s in store for them on the Street.

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Real Estate in New York: An Evening with President Bacow and Jody Durst

President Bacow and Jody Durst, E78, A12P

On Monday, November 8, 2010 the Tufts Financial Network, Tufts Alumni New York, and Tufts Alumni Shared Interest Groups sponsored Real Estate in New York: an Evening with President Bacow and Jody Durst, E78, A12P at the Sofitel Hotel. Durst, president of the Durst Organization, shared his insights to working as a developer in New York and the current real estate market. Over 150 alumni, parents and friends attended the discussion and enjoyed a networking reception prior to the event.

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