Students listen to Peter Bowley during a 2017 Wall Street Boot Camp session.

During fall break, Hamilton College hosted an intensive two-day seminar called “Wall Street Prep: Accounting & Financial Modeling Liberal Arts Boot Camp.”

Hosted by the Career Center, Wall Street Prep serves as a resource for students interested in finance so that they can gain exposure to subjects not offered at Hamilton, such as accounting, valuation, and modeling. This program is made free to students by the generosity of Hamilton alumnus Howard Morgan ’84 in honor of the Alexander Hamilton Institute.

Led by former investment bankers, Wall Street Prep began with discussing the finance industry and careers in finance as a whole. One instructor offered students insight into the value of their accounting and modeling skills in other industries such as corporate finance, management consulting, and private equity.

The workshop also taught students the importance of becoming proficient in Excel and gave tips and shortcuts on how to best navigate the program.

One student attendee, Bianca Macdonald ’21, said that “this crash course is a great way to gain the skills needed for a career in finance over the course of a two-day intensive boot camp offered every Fall Break.” For example, the program taught students how to discern and analyze data. This is an important skill to learn because being able to understand basic accounting practices is helpful if you are just an average investor or a big-time asset manager.

Additionally, speakers shared their professional journey with students. Many stressed that it was not necessary to be a business major to go into a business industry such as banking.

Craig Engert ’21 said: “Hamilton College's support for programs like this allows us to learn additional hard skills that make us competitive going into the workforce, while we can learn the soft skills that allow us to excel and grow as people within the classroom.”

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