As bank recruiting grows ever more competitive, Boston College staff and students are investing new resources in their students, both inside and outside of the Carroll School of Management.
BC’s first-ever Bank Week, which ran during the first full week of February, offered sophomores the opportunity to explore banking careers. Co-sponsored by the Career Center and CSOM, Bank Week was developed partially in response to the banking industry’s accelerated recruiting timeline, which begins with sophomore engagement events in spring and culminates in interviews during the fall of junior year.
Bank Week consisted of presentations from banks and several former BC interns, giving students insight into both ends of the recruiting process. Presentation topics—which targeted students with and without prior finance knowledge—included Banking 101, Asset and Investment Management, Capital Markets, Investment and Corporate Banking, and Sales and Trading. The week finished with a networking lunch for diversity candidates.
“I think Bank Week is a really strong, good reaction of the administration to where the timeline is,” Caitlin Ferris, a former Barclays intern and CSOM ’19, said. “I think that the students who are helping out with it are really trying to give students as much exposure as they can to … what they can do to prepare themselves to be competitive with any other student at BC.”
Nick Lombardi, CSOM ‘21, attended a Bank Week introductory session on wealth management with Citibank and Deutsche Bank.
“I think it was helpful to get that base knowledge,” Lombardi said. “I would not have had any indication that I should think about recruiting for investment banking this March.”
Jenna Steichen, CSOM ‘21, attended the Diversity Candidates Lunch. She said that Bank Week helped her to clarify her career interests, which include banking.
“They got a lot of banks on campus, which for students who are trying to get in on it is awesome,” Steichen said. “I think I’m still open to the potential of [banking]. I think right now I’m probably going to try going into consulting or tech.”
In addition to addressing the changed recruiting timeline, Bank Week targeted students outside CSOM who might not otherwise learn about banking recruiting. Isabella Crawford, MCAS ‘19, emphasized how she used her degree from the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences in her path to signing with J.P. Morgan.
“I was an international studies major, and we were having these interdisciplinary conversations,” Crawford said. “We had to take micro and macroeconomics. Just the nature of the major that I chose made me become more aware of the market sphere and the finance world. For my classes, I started reading The Wall Street Journal every morning. That’s kind of when I realized, ‘Oh, maybe this is something that I am interested in.’”
Ferris likewise recommended that interested students take advantage of low-stakes events such as Bank Week.
“I would recommend looking at it as an opportunity,” Ferris said. “To be able to talk to people in a low-key environment like Bank Week where it’s no suits, it’s no networking, until the end of the week. It’s just learning and information.”
Administrators indicated that Bank Week also served as a buffer between internship-hungry students and prospective employers. As the time frame for junior year internships shifted forward, students and administrators feared that banks might be catching students before they were ready.
“I’d say it’s definitely a little crazy that banks want kids to commit to the summer of 2020 in March [of sophomore year], but if that’s what they are going to do, I’m glad that the Career Center put on bank week to get us thinking about it,” Lombardi said.
Featured Image by Jonathan Ye / Heights Editor