Program Takes Students to Wall Street for Extended Networking, Career Exploration
Skyhawk Investment Group members spend four days meeting with alumni and visiting the financial markets as well as buy- and sell-side firms.
Eleven students from the Meehan School’s Finance program, as well as two students from the May School’s Actuarial Mathematics program, traveled to New York City last month to complete their voluntary summer studies as members of the Skyhawk Investment Group (SIG).
Each year, in addition to their individual summer internships, SIG participants spend their summer completing reading assignments and financial modeling projects and taking a deep dive into researching one company as a building block for fall semester coursework and the management of the Mary Herlihy Opportunity Fund. Those early efforts come together in SIG’s Advanced Skills Workshop held the week before the start of classes.
This year, in addition to a team-building exercise at the American Museum of Natural History, the group’s four days in Manhattan included visits to buy- and sell-side firms, the financial markets and Warby Parker Inc., a national vision care company that has achieved a $1.4 billion valuation since it started in 2010.
Alumni mentors who presented to the group included:
- Jack Flanders ’22 of Baird Capital Markets
- Dan Doherty ’15 of Citadel
- Kyle Boucher ’20, vice president at TD Cowen
In addition, more than 20 alumni joined the students for an informal advisory get-together at the Trademark Restaurant, sponsored by the New York Alumni Council.
“I was very impressed with the students, the quality of questions and overall engagement,” said Bob Dee, software industry equity analyst at Truist Securities, who provided insights into the industry and what it means to be an analyst on Wall Street. He was joined by Stephen Buell, associate director of equity research, who offered insights into the qualities and characteristics of successful analysts at Truist.
TD Cowen presented the group with an opportunity to meet with senior leadership in the area of equity sales and research, led by Lisa Thomas, managing director and deputy head of global research. Thomas, who earned her law degree at McGill University, began her career as a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and securities attorney. She later obtained an MBA from Columbia. SIG member Cailey Bitto summed up the group’s impression of Thomas, saying, “Wow, what an inspiring person.”
Insights into the role of institutional sales were presented by Vince Formato, managing director, and his associate Max Goldstein. Katy Hallberg also led a discussion in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG), an area of equity research where TD Cowen stands out from its peers.
In addition to the informative meetings, students had the opportunity to attend the opening bell ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange and the closing bell at NASDAQ. During their visit, NASDAQ highlighted its role in advising clients on developing and using ESG initiatives to enhance investors’ interest in their companies.
“I am very pleased with how well this group has come together in such a short period of time,” said Associate Professor Michael Mullen, director of the SIG program and the Stonehill College Inspire Finance Initiatives (SCIFI). “It is a tribute to their character, values, and education at Stonehill. I look forward to a memorable year with this team.”
SIG has made notable progress for the Meehan School of Business over the past decade, with many of its graduates earning top-paying jobs on Wall Street. However, according to Mullen, “SIG is all about education and professional enlightenment. Not everyone wants to or is made to go to Wall Street. Effort, commitment, preparation, and the importance of cooperative collaboration are important lessons for SIG graduates. That is why some of the best firms in all corners of finance are seeking out these students as well as the many other graduates of Meehan.”
As SIG enters its 11th year, Mullen looks forward to new educational and professional development opportunities to further benefit students. In late spring, the program joined the Student Managed Investment Fund Consortium (SMIFC), sponsored by Indiana State University. SMIFC is a group of 133 colleges and universities with student-managed investment funds that come together to share best practices in student learning and scholarship. Heading to their first SMIFC 2023 Annual Conference in Chicago in October will be SIG members senior Meghan Bean and junior Melissa Sheridan, who are excited about the opportunity to meet with other students with similar interests and gaining insights on how we can improve what we are doing at Stonehill.