Up until six years ago, when Tufts students wanted to study finance, the resources available to them were limited. Fast forward to today, we are launching more careers in finance than ever before.
Launched officially in May 2013, Tufts Finance Initiative (TFI) had a basic goal: make our students more competitive when seeking careers in the financial services industry. Alumni and university leaders agreed—that meant a larger curriculum, more robust career advising, and stronger, more engaged alumni networks around the globe.
Alumni support in the early days of the program ensured that this was possible. Initial investments of over $1.4 million hired Professor of the Practice Chris Manos and Director of Tufts Finance Initiative Chris Di Fronzo, E96, EG04, and provided expendable funds to develop extracurricular programming.
A New Academic Experience
Students attend 2016 Finance Career Forum.
As a result, Tufts Finance Initiative has profoundly impacted the academic experience we offer our students. By bringing Chris Manos’ industry experience into the classroom, we have changed how our students learn to think about business. And by creating a new degree program, the minor in finance, and expanding the number of related classes available each semester, we have given them a platform on which to build their expertise.
“I came away from Tufts with a well-rounded financial education,” shared Harrison Shapiro, a young alumnus of the Class of 2016, and a member of the second cohort of students to graduate with the finance minor. “The way the minor is structured feels authentic to Tufts, with an emphasis on responsible, ethical leadership that really sets it apart from other programs.”
His peers clearly agree. Enrollment in the Introduction to Finance course has grown by 60% over the last four years, and the interdisciplinary finance minor has become the second most popular minor out of the 51 offered at Tufts. In fact, today, more students are pursuing a minor in finance than over 75% of all undergraduate majors in the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering.
Prof. Chris Manos in the classroom.
A Jumbo Workforce
Over at the Tufts Career Center, Chris Di Fronzo is helping Tufts students take what they have learned in the classroom and translate it into an industry career. From his own expert guidance, to an ever-growing suite of workshops, to a well-cultivated pipeline of alumni employed at banks and consulting firms around the globe, Di Fronzo has ensured that students seeking jobs, from real estate to investment banking, have the resources and the network they need to enter the industry prepared to succeed.
His efforts have been extremely successful. In the past five years, the number of students landing jobs and internships in the industry has grown by well over 300%.
According to a recent survey by Tufts Career Center, 111 students have internships this summer (2018) in financial services, including rising seniors (65%), rising juniors (21%) and rising sophomores (13%). And top financial firms recognize how talented Tufts students with JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Credit-Suisse, and Morgan Stanley as the most popular destinations for our interns.
For the Class of 2018, 101 recent graduates informed Tufts they had secured full-time jobs upon graduation in finance (61%) and consulting (38%). Among them, 53% are male and 47% are female, and most have plans to work in either New York City or Boston. The most popular companies hiring Tufts graduates were Deloitte Consulting, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan.
Positioned for Success
From an industry perspective, TFI has made Tufts competitive with near-peer and aspirational-peer schools alike. At a time when a liberal arts education is no longer perceived as “enough” by the financial services community, Tufts has taken clear and meaningful steps to position our students for success in those careers.
But for the university, Tufts Finance Initiative is about more than the numbers. It is also about the growth of an integrated program that is both sustainable and agile, built to last and to grow in innovative ways.
Opening session of the Finance Career Forum.
And, as Professor of the Practice Chris Manos shares, Tufts students demonstrate daily what a wise investment Tufts Finance Initiative has been. “I’ve had students stop by my office hours to tell me, ‘I’m a history major. I didn’t know anything about finance, but I’ve learned so much, and it has really opened my eyes to a new career,’” smiles Manos. “It’s the most gratifying feeling.”