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The Tufts Finance Initiative: From First Year to Finance Career

On Thursday, May 3, TFN Chicago hosted a special lunch event featuring a presentation by Chris Manos, Professor of the Practice in Finance, and Chris Di Fronzo, E96, EG04, Director of the Tufts Finance Initiative.

Their presentation, titled “The Tufts Finance Initiative: From First Year to Finance Career,” focused on the ways in which Tufts has revamped undergraduate finance education. From the wildly popular finance minor recently launched in the School of Arts and Sciences, to networking events, boot camps, and mentorship provided by the Career Center, Tufts has taken marked steps to ensure that students interested in a finance career have the means to pursue one.

The event, co-organized by Bill Friend, A85, A18P, and Tony Hoban, A87, welcomed 22 alumni and friends for lunch, networking and conversation.  It was hosted by Hoban at the offices of William Blair, where he is a partner.

Noting the importance of events like these in connecting Tufts alumni with the university, Hoban shared, “we need and want more Tufts graduates to consider building their careers in Chicago. This city offers great companies with some of the most attractive and challenging finance jobs out there. Thanks to the work of Manos and Di Fronzo, Tufts students understand the fundamentals of finance. Now we need to spread the word to the Tufts network in Chicago that Tufts students have those skills and are qualified to compete. It is my hope that this event was a big step in that direction.”


4th Annual TFN Women’s Breakfast

In June, Tufts hosted the 4th annual TFN Women’s Breakfast, designed especially for Tufts alumnae working in the financial services industry. Drawing 18 participants from a variety of different career backgrounds and levels of experience, the event offered ample opportunity for networking and engaging conversation, all before the workday began.

This year, the breakfast featured Tufts’ Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Karen Richardson for a program entitled “Pulling Back the Curtain on College Admissions.” A highly requested topic by alumni across the university, Dean Richardson’s presentation dove into timely questions like: how do we foster diversity at Tufts? How do we allocate financial aid? How does Tufts stack up compared to our peer schools? And, what are the challenges and opportunities facing both applicants and universities today?

The program inspired a spirited question and answer session, and a discussion about the status of Tufts today.  The group appreciated the day’s topic, a pivot from programming that is typically “finance” focused, and the opportunity to interact with Tufts’ Dean of Admissions in an intimate setting.

Debbie Bunder, J89, shared “meeting Karen was like meeting the Wizard from the Wizard of Oz, who is usually behind the curtain. She is very wise and forthcoming, and I am thrilled to have a better understanding of what goes into the decision-making process and how much work Karen and the entire admission team puts forth all year. She added, “it really was an incredible opportunity to start off my day in conversation with Karen and other alums about the challenges of the admissions process. Thank you to the Tufts Financial Network for putting together such a fantastic breakfast, feeding my body and mind!”


9th Annual Finance Career Forum

For the 9th year in a row, the Finance Career Forum continues to thrive as a signature academic and professional experience for Tufts undergraduate and graduate students interested in careers in finance.  Held on Saturday, September 22 and hosted by the Tufts Financial Network and the Tufts Career Center, the 2018 program brought together a record number of students for a day of active engagement, learning, and networking with Tufts alumni.

Jeff Moslow, A85, A16P, A18P, interviews David Puth, A79, CEO of CLS International, at the 9th annual Finance Career Forum.

Enhancing opportunities for alumni-student interaction is an important goal of the Finance Career Forum.  In 2018, alumni and parents volunteering on behalf of the program for the first time represented nearly 60% of the faculty. “It was particularly gratifying to hear about our newest participant’s enthusiasm for the landscape of Tufts and the quality of students attending,” said chief-organizer of the event Jeff Moslow, A86, A16P, A18P. “Even more exciting, though, was witnessing the Forum come full circle as recent alums, who attended the Finance Career Forum as students, returned to participate as panelists and mentors.”

For students, connecting with alumni from many different careers in finance is one of the most valuable parts of the event, said Jillian Kleiner, A20, President of the Tufts Financial Group.  “I found the open panels during lunch very impactful because of its casual and friendly setting.  Witnessing so many alumni come in just for this event to give back and provide advice to students of all years is especially meaningful.”

Saturday’s agenda included seven breakout sessions (from beginner material like Introduction to Finance Careers to more specialized content like Private Wealth Management), lunch and networking opportunities, and speed learning sessions.  The day began with an interview of first-time participant David Puth, A79, CEO, CLS Bank International.  Over lunch, students then networked with alumni and heard remarks from Chief Financial Officer of Morgan Stanley, Jonathan Pruzan, A90.

Jon Pruzan, A90, Chief Financial Officer at Morgan Stanley, offers remarks over lunch at the 9th annual Finance Career Forum.

Over the last nine years, the Finance Career Forum has continued to evolve, enhancing the preparedness of Tufts students for careers in finance, and this work is not unnoticed by the alumni who volunteer on behalf of the program. “I was genuinely impressed with the Finance Career Forum,” said the day’s keynote David Puth.  “Tufts prepares students for a broad range of careers, but what I immediately recognized was a highly intelligent, equally thoughtful group of individuals.  None of this was a surprise, but it was affirming of what I have come to expect when meeting with Tufts students both from the undergraduate and the graduate programs.”

Meera Mayer, Executive Director, Portfolio Manager and Private Wealth Advisor, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, leads a discussion over lunch at the 9th annual Finance Career Forum.

He added, “financial firms today often recruit students who may not follow a traditional course of business study, and programs like the Finance Career Forum expose them to the broad range of professional opportunities available, especially if they have a strong academic background and diverse interests like Tufts students today.”

Alumni investments, whether of time or resources, have played a significant role in the evolution of finance education at Tufts over the last nine years. Because of programs like the Finance Career Forum and academic initiatives emerging from the Tufts Finance Initiative, career and learning opportunities today are stronger, and students are clearly reaping the benefits.

“Tufts today has nearly 250 students employed at the end of each academic year, up from about 50 in 2013.” said Moslow.  He added, “our involvement has ensured Tufts students have the knowledge to be successful in interviews and access to the right networks where they can showcase their talents. As a result, more and more Jumbos are attaining gainful employment in finance and consulting after graduation.  This is something we should all be proud of.”

To view additional pictures from the event, click here.


Fall Speaker Series 2018 with Carol Meyrowitz, Executive Chairman of the Board, TJX Companies, Inc.

Carol Meyrowitz, Executive Chairman of the Board, TJX Companies, Inc., and Bhaskar Chakravorti, Dean of Global Business at the Fletcher School

On October 16, 2018, the Tufts Financial Network and the Institute for Business in the Global Context hosted Carol Meyrowitz, Executive Chairman of the Board, TJX Companies, Inc. for a fireside chat at Tufts on the Medford/Somerville Campus. Alumni and students gathered in ASEAN Auditorium for the talk titled “Growing a Global Business in an Ever-Changing World: The CEO Perspective.” Bhaskar Chakravorti, Dean of Global Business at the Fletcher School and the founding Executive Director of the Institute for Business in the Global Context, facilitated the discussion.

Recognized as one of Forbes Magazine Top 100 most powerful women in business and with extensive experience in retail that spans more three decades, Meyrowitz has served as CEO of TJX since 2007. During her tenure, total sales have grown by more than $13 billion, income from continuing operations increased more than three-fold, to $2.7 billion in 2015, and the dividend increased every year. Further, market capitalization more than tripled to more than $48 billion (as of January 2016). In addition, TJX added more than 1,100 total stores and tens of thousands of associates worldwide, and the company entered five new countries.

During the program, Meyrowitz highlighted her perspectives on building a workplace culture that values collaboration among team members, adding that those who are successful work well together. Investing in staff is also important and TJX trains them in every aspect of the business, from retail to finance to personnel. Recognizing the culture of each sales market has also been integral to the organization’s success under her leadership, especially as TJX manages  more than 4,000 stores in nine countries on three continents.

Following the discussion, Meyrowitz took questions from the audience. She covered topics ranging from the importance of loving what you do, to what it is like to be a woman in leadership, to why she believes in hiring your successor. The event concluded with a reception where she spent time meeting with alumni, students, and staff.