STEP Reflection Post
My STEP signature project was a pretty unique experience. I went on multiple networking trips around the country in order to prepare for a career in Investment Banking. I met and established connections with alumni, professionals, and banks in New York City, Chicago, and Minneapolis.
I underwent a pretty rapid transformation in my first visit to New York City. Being from the Midwest and specifically Columbus, Ohio, I have been pretty sheltered from big cities. When I first took a step in New York City, I knew this was a city for me. The hustle of the city was radiant. I flew and traveled by myself and this was an eye-opening experience. Although Ohio State is massive, I have never felt smaller than I did in NYC for the first time.
I quickly understood that this was an environment I loved and thrived in. Right after the trip in NYC, I told myself I would work there. Especially being interested in Investment Banking and high finance, there is no better place to start a career and it was apparent to me after this experience that I would settle down in NYC.
The first moment I really knew NYC was the city for me was when I met with a family friend and neighbor who was currently an Investment Banking Associate. His demeanor and attitude was something I felt I embodied and one that I wanted to emulate. We had not met in quite some years and it was an interaction that has meant a lot to me to this day. When he told me of the hours he was working and the work he was doing, I became very excited and did not shy away.
A second encounter that helped bring about my change of heart and love for a big city came in meeting with a former baseball coach of mine. He too is in a career in Investment Banking and I really view myself similar to him just a few years younger. This affected me because here I see someone very like-minded and from a similar background as myself, flourishing in this city and environment. Both bankers and friends I individually met with suggested I was a great fit for investment banking and particularly New York City.
The Fisher Futures program I went on two of these trips with went on multiple bank visits throughout our stay. One particular experience/bank visit stands out most to me and that was with KeyBanc Capital Markets. Our visit to the KeyBanc office was extremely interesting and educational. The bankers there were genuine curious in us and our development as finance students and hopeful investment bankers. The deals and transaction that KeyBanc is involved in are firmly in the middle market. In hearing these experiences with clients and deals, I quickly knew the middle market was what I wanted to target with regards to ideal investment banks.
A final relationship and interactions that transformed me as a person was my meeting of all the other students in Fisher Futures. I would have never guessed these classmates to become some of my good friends, but they truly have. The like-mindedness and similar career goals certainly played a huge factor in the facilitation of our relationships. These classmates and friends pushed me to my full potential and I think the environment Fisher Futures embodies strives everyone in the program to their maximum potential.
This project and transformation was huge for me. I want to preface this paragraph that I have accepted an Investment Banking Summer Analyst position in New York City with Piper Jaffray. I am extremely humbled and excited for the opportunity. Being the first person from Ohio State to work for this firm straight from undergrad means so much to me. The opportunities I was provided through the Fisher Futures program and thus through STEP have led me to this amazing position today.
Because of the project, I have become far more professional and well equipped for the world of business. I hope to work for Piper Jaffray after graduation in NYC and this project has led me to this goal. I grew massively professionally and personally from this project and experience. As a result, I am much more confident and I think that will carry me a long way. Once again, I am very appreciative of the project and experience for helping me reach the position I am in today.