Students on Hamilton’s Program in NYC recently paid a visit to Richard Bernstein Advisors, an investment advising firm founded by alumnus Richard Bernstein ’80. After working at Merrill Lynch as the chief investment strategist, Bernstein left Merrill in 2008 and started his own firm in 2009, in the midst of the Great Recession. He is well known on Wall Street as a contrarian, making investment calls that oppose the most popular ideas of the time. Bernstein frequently appears on CNBC and is an adjunct professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business.
He started the meeting by imparting some wisdom about how to find a job, successfully interview and network. Bernstein stressed the important basics of interviewing, such as knowing the firm and the position, adding that these are some of the most important things students can do.
He also discussed how to “sell” one’s liberal arts education. Many students feel that Hamilton provides a great education but some employers have misconceptions about a liberal arts education. Bernstein advised the students to stress how liberal arts students have learned to be flexible, creative and have learned to be critical thinkers. Hamilton teaches how to present and write well, something nearly impossible to teach on the job.
Bernstein also spoke briefly about his contrarian view on current market conditions and made methodical, well thought-out arguments that debunk common beliefs.
This semester's program in New York City is Global Labor Markets, directed by Hamitlton Professor of Economics Derek Jones.