With graduation approaching, it may seem unusual that two senior economics majors have organized a trip to New York City for underclass students to meet with alumni executives at various financial institutions. 

Ramon Villalona and Rashveena Rajaram, co-presidents of Hamilton’s Finance Club, felt that it was important that undergraduates understand that a career in finance didn’t automatically limit them to investment banking. In creating the April 8 event, the pair set out to expand their classmates’ vision and assist them in making contacts with which to explore career possibilities.

Using connections established via their own various internships, through the Career and Life Outcomes Center, and during their participation in the college’s New York City-based program, Rajaram and Villalona created a full day of meetings at Deutsche Bank, AIG and Citigroup.

Visiting these three institutions will offer participants exposure to global transaction banking, investment management, hedge fund analysis and allocation and capital markets, as well as investment banking.

Villalona is excited that the free trip has a waiting list with 14 first-year and 19 sophomores already registered, almost half of whom are female.

“Our goal was to first expose freshmen and sophomores to different divisions within finance and secondly connect them to alumni which will help them immensely in their career exploration process,” said Rajaram.  “Having been through the process of figuring out which part of finance I want to be in, I realized …[that] alumni are the best at explaining what they do and guiding students and … that alumni are very committed to Hamilton and want to help.”

Among the participating alumni are Deutsche Bank’s Managing Director of Global Transaction Banking Susan Skerritt K’77, who is also a Hamilton trustee, and Clayton “Clay” Hale ’94, Citigroup’s managing director--equity capital markets,

Rajaram will work at Citigroup after graduation on the Equity Capital Markets team.  In her first three years on campus, Rajaram participated in the Career Center program “Hamilton Explore,” during which she shadowed Jenna Bussman-Wise ’02 at her AIG office. She also participated in a Career Center workshop at Bank of America at which a group of alumni presented on various banking careers.

Rajaram first met Citigroup’s Clay Hale at a lunch program during the New York City program. After her sophomore year she worked in alumnus Alex Sacerdote’s firm, Whale Rock Capital Management, doing research in China, and she worked at Citigroup as a capital markets analyst after her junior year. She worked at Deutsche Bank in Leveraged Finance during the NYC program and eventually joined Citigroup as a Capital Markets Analyst after her junior year, during summer 2015. Villalona is still considering various options after graduation. 

Funding for this trip came from the Office of the President, the Career and Life Outcomes Center, the economics department, Days Massolo Center and Student Assembly. 

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