Meet Alum Richard DiMatteo ’12, EVP/Head of Capital Markets at Highland Electric Transportation, Inc.

Name: Richard DiMatteo

Class Year: 2012

Title: EVP, Head of Capital Markets

Organization: Highland Electric Transportation, Inc.

 

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?

At Highland Electric Transportation (HET), a national provider of EV school bus financing and services, I arrange innovative financing structures for fleet electrification projects on behalf of school districts looking to convert their vehicles to electric.

 

2. What were you involved in when you were on campus?

In additional to course work within the Economics and Environmental Studies programs, I participated in the Student Managed Endowment Fund (SMEF), College Choir and Admissions Office.

 

3. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?

As an Economics major, I had interest in how new financing products and business models (specifically in energy) could unlock opportunities and value in traditional markets.

 

4. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?

While at HC, I regularly attended events which brought alumni to campus and through that process was introduced to the GE FMP program, my first career move. I was consistently impressed by alumni from GE and decided I wanted the same strong foundation for my own career.

 

5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?

Critical thinking. My broad spectrum of coursework at HC prepared me well to objectively review big picture issues while simultaneously managing details.

Meet Alum Chris Mann ’00, Vice President / Corporate Sponsorships at City Year

Name: Chris Mann

Class Year: 2000

Title: Vice President, Corporate Partnerships

Organization Name: City Year, Inc.

 

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?

My job is to work with major companies on ways to partner with City Year, putting their resources, people and expertise to use helping students and schools succeed.

 

2. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?  

I was very interested in sports marketing and event management as a potential career. Doing an internship with the Special Olympics my junior year really opened me up to the realization that I could have a job where I was focused on those things while also doing good. John Hayes ’91 was working in the development office at Holy Cross and I was lucky to have him become a mentor to me while I was leading the senior class gift effort. After talking a bit about what I was looking for in a career, John thankfully connected me with Cyndi (Carton) O’Brien ’93, leading to my first interview and job at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute & The Jimmy Fund and starting me on my career path at the intersection of companies and causes coming together to drive better business and greater good.

 

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I was a member of the track & field team, helped start the Gateways summer orientation program, served as senior class president, and did two Spring Break service trips with Habitat for Humanity among other activities. Each gave me an opportunity to make long-term friendships, build my skills at being part of and leading teams, and managing the busy schedule gave me a great head in adjusting to the workplace.

 

4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?

I was a psychology major with a minor in art history. Neither were directly related to my career path, but in hindsight I do think they both taught lessons about what it means to be human. The liberal arts education and academic rigor at Holy Cross also really helped me to develop into a creative thinker, a clear & concise writer, and hopefully a life-long learner.

 

5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?

In addition to the critical thinking and writing skills, I think building relationships across so many different groups of people including fellow students, teammates & coaches, professors & administrators, and future students and their parents through all of my activities really helped me. It forced me out of my comfort zone and made me much more comfortable in my own skin. That ability to connect with others has been critical as I have pursued more public and people-oriented jobs in fundraising, marketing and communications.

 

6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?

I would advise students to be patient and kind with themselves. There is so much pressure in today’s world to live up to your own and others expectations. To find the right job, to be successful, to present yourself in a certain way.  Building a career and a life for yourself is something that happens gradually over time, not all at once. I was really fortunate to receive some good advice early on to find work that you are personally passionate about with people who can help you learn and grow. I’ve tried to follow that throughout my career and it has worked out very well for me.

Meet Alumna Meg Ayers ’17, Transaction Manager at CBRE

Name: Meg Ayers

Class Year: 2017

Title: Transaction Manager

Organization Name: CBRE

 

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail? 

I manage global real estate portfolios for large corporations.

 

2. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?

It was an industry I was familiar with through family and family friends. I attended real estate panels at HC and leveraged my connections and reached out to Alum in the industry to facilitate conversations about what working in Commercial Real Estate was like. I learned it was a very fast paced business which is what I was looking for. After realizing I thoroughly enjoyed talking with everyone I met I decided to pursue an internship in the industry to decide whether or not it was something I wanted to do for a living.

 

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus? 

I played on the women’s lacrosse team, participated in the pre-business program, and was an active writer for GoHolyCross.com as well as HerCampus.com.

 

4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?

I was a psychology major and participated in the pre-business program. I really enjoyed my classes and professors in the psych department but through my participation in the business program I realized I wanted to take a corporate career path. I think majoring in psych made me realize I wanted to be in an industry that was client facing and relied on constant interaction and problem solving.

 

5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?  

I think HC puts a big emphasis on using the alumni network both in school and when you graduate. When I was looking for an internship and determining what type of industry I wanted to pursue it was really the honest conversations with different alumni that helped shape my path. Now being on the other side I continue to seek out and connect with HC grads in my work and love to give advice and feedback to HC students looking to learn more about the industry.

 

6. What advice do you have for students on campus today? 

Talk to people! I had no clue what I wanted to do after school but was able to connect with lots of great people who gave me perspective on different career paths. Be open to different industries to learn what you might like and dislike.

Meet Alumna Caroline Ambrose ’19, Production Assistant at MSNBC

Caroline Ambrose ‘19

Title: Production Assistant, All In with Chris Hayes

Organization Name: MSNBC

 

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I manage the show’s social media accounts, create clips to publish online, and coordinate the show’s on-air graphics.

 

2. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?  

During the summer before my senior year at Holy Cross, I landed an internship at NBC Nightly News through an HC alumna who was a senior digital producer there at the time. I had always been interested in digital media, and I found that I really enjoyed the intersection of social media and journalism. I loved how each day offered a new and exciting opportunity to tell a story. I also loved the collaborative and supportive environment that NBC News fostered.

After my internship, I stayed in contact with HR and some of the people I worked with at NBC News, and I  leveraged those connections to interview for the position that I have now.

 

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?

Writer’s Workshop, Study Abroad, Digital Transgender Archive, Admissions Senior Interviewer/Greeter, Class Gift Committee

 

4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?

As an English major, I knew I wanted to pursue a career where I could exercise my creativity and fulfill my interest in story-telling. This left me with a lot of options, but it also helped narrow down what I did NOT want to do.

 

5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?

I think my liberal arts education at Holy Cross encouraged me to approach the unfamiliar with openness. As a Production Assistant, I’ve had to learn a lot of new skills on the job, and I think HC taught me how to be comfortable with tackling those new challenges head on.

 

6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Take advantage of the resources the Career Center has to offer! I had the counselors look over all of my cover letters and resumes, and scheduled plenty of mock interviews with them throughout my time at HC (including when I was abroad).

Meet Alum Nicholas Harper ’18, Business Analyst

Name: Nicholas Harper

Class Year: 2018

Position: Business Analyst

Company: College of the Holy Cross

 

1.  In one sentence, what does your job entail?

As a Business Analyst, I work with the HC Advancement department’s data for a variety of applications, such as analysis and reporting, to improve the efficiency of and generally help support the department.

2. What were you involved in when you were on campus?

During my time on campus, I played with the varsity baseball my freshman year and then club baseball my sophomore, junior and senior years.

3. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?

I graduated Holy Cross with a double major in mathematics and economics. Economics pushed me towards pursuing a career in the financial services, which I fully intend to do after finishing my fellowship here at HC. Mathematics opened my eyes to the power of statistics and modeling data, which are hugely influential in decision-making. I plan on attending graduate school for computational finance, which is a fairly natural combination of these two fields.

4. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?

After meeting with Deb Paquette, she advised me to apply for the role in the Advancement department. Once I met and interviewed with a few people I knew that it was a place that I would have fun working at and would be able to develop a variety of skills at. Those feelings have been vindicated as I am having a great time here at HC and am learning so much that I know will be extremely helpful once I go to graduate school and in jobs after that.

5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?

The most important skill my Holy Cross education imparted on me is to be a sponge for information. Most of what I do in my work and what I hope to do in the future I learned on the job, so being able to pick up new topics, software, etc. for the particular job I am doing has been extremely helpful. While at Holy Cross I also learned to be confident in sharing my opinions or insights, something that I think a lot of people are afraid to do but which is necessary to be productive in any working environment. Being able to speak up and share my ideas, even if they are wrong, was critical for me in developing the confidence to present and stand behind my work.

Meet Alumna Mary (O’Connor) Kimball ’12, School Psychologist

 

Name: Mary (O’Connor) Kimball

Class Year: 2012

Title: School Psychologist

Organization Name: Silver Lake Regional Middle School

 

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I evaluate students’ needs in order to help them access the curriculum at school.

 

2. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you? 

I had always had an interest in psychology, but was unsure of which specialty. After Holy Cross, I became an admission counselor at a college in my hometown and started to realize that I was more interested in helping a student define his/her own level of success and how to get them there. I contacted Holy Cross Career Planning Department and they recommended that I reach out to alumni who were in the School Psychology career path. One of the alums responded to my email and we quickly established a great mentor relationship.  I was able to learn a lot about the field through phone conversations and meetings with Dan that truly helped me to understand the career. Through these conversations, I felt like this was a great fit for me. Our conversations have continued through my graduate school search, graduate school, internship, and now in my career.

 

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?

When I was on campus, I was actively involved in Campion House, specifically with the retreats and as a Head Eucharistic Minister. I participated in the Admissions E-Board and was a Greeter in the office, and was involved in SPUD. I also helped to coordinate the first ever Dance Marathon on campus, which was such a special experience!

 

4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?

My major was in Psychology, and I was able to take a few classes in Education, as well, which led me to my interest in School Psychology.

 

5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?

I think the major skills that I developed and strengthened at Holy Cross were time management and problem-solving. These are the two skills that are necessary in my career as a school psychologist every day as there are multiple timelines to follow for evaluations, behavior plans, special education programming, and crisis situations that require my attention.

 

6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?

College is an important time in your lives to strengthen your skills and figure out your identity. Try not to be nervous if you are unsure of what you want to do. Even though I liked school psychology, I had two jobs after college before I followed my heart and started my graduate school program.

 

Meet Alumna Lauren Brown ’07, Assistant Attorney General

Name: Lauren Brown

Class Year: 2007

Title:  Assistant Attorney General

Organization Name: Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia

 

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I work in the Government Contracts Section of the Commercial Division at the Office of the Attorney General, where I represent the District in bid protest litigation and review and negotiate contracts for various agency purchases that include items, such as new fire trucks for the District to working on the contract for a new bridge worth more than $440 million.

 

2. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?

After I graduated Holy Cross, I went straight to law school, so I didn’t start my job search until I was in law school. I knew I wanted to work for the government in some capacity, so I started applying to positions, but at the time, the legal market didn’t have very many open, entry-level positions. Moreover, I was fresh out of school with no actual job experience (beyond internships). Thus, my first few positions after law school were temporary positions, which provided me with an opportunity to gain work experience and additional skills while I continued my job search for a permanent position.

 

One of the key themes in terms of events that connected me to my employers has been networking. Even if a connection may not have a job opening right now, it is important to maintain that relationship because you never know when that individual will have an opening in the future or they will hear about an opportunity that they can share with you. I learned about my current position from one of my former supervisors at the Connecticut General Assembly, Office of Legislative Management. My former supervisor was attending a procurement conference in Washington, DC and heard that the Office of the Attorney General was going to be hiring procurement attorneys and she passed the information along to me. I then applied for that position, which is how I learned about my current job. Therefore, it is important to grow and maintain your network and to let your network know that you are searching for a job.

 

Working in some positions that weren’t necessarily the best fit has helped me realize what is most important to me when I was searching for my current position. What I like most about my current position is working closely with our agency clients to accomplish their goals to improve life for District residents. I also like that my position provides me with a mixture of independent assignments, as well as an opportunity to work on other projects as a team with my colleagues.

 

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I tutored at the Nativity School of Worcester through SPUD, served as Vice President of the Holy Cross Chapter of Model United Nations, worked as an Article Editor for the Holy Cross Journal of Law and Public Policy, and was a member of the Political Science Student Advisory Council, the Holy Cross College Republicans, and the Investment Club.

4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?

I majored in Political Science and minored in Economics at Holy Cross. I loved majoring in Political Science and took so many great courses at Holy Cross that I knew I wanted to continue my pursuit toward working in the government. I considered getting a master’s degree in public policy, but at the time, I wasn’t sure that was ultimately the area that I wanted to spend my entire career in. After learning about the broad range of careers that people with law degrees have, from practicing law in the traditional sense to being CEOs of companies and everything in between, I decided that going to law school would provide me with more flexibility over the course of my career. Ultimately, the law school I selected to attend also offered a Law and Public Policy Certificate program, so I could still pursue that aspect of my education.

 

5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?

Some of the most important skills I developed at Holy Cross that I use in my work are the ability to clearly write and communicate, as well as to analyze complex issues and succinctly explain them to others. Also, time management is crucial because on a daily basis I have numerous competing demands that I need to balance in order to meet various, oftentimes short, deadlines.

 

6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?

I recommend reaching out to Holy Cross alumni to ask if they would be willing to do an informational interview with you. It is a good way to learn more about what their current position entails and the steps they took to get to that point in their career. I’ve met with numerous alumni who have all been very generous with their time and it is a beneficial way to informally learn more about various positions and career paths. The strength of the Holy Cross Alumni Network is very true.

 

Doing internships or volunteer work in an area in which you are interested in gaining additional experience is beneficial. Internships and volunteering also provide you with an opportunity to see whether that type of work is something that you truly enjoy doing and want to pursue as a career. Programs such as Holy Cross’ Washington Semester Program are invaluable in terms of providing you with a high-quality internship and work experience.

 

Another suggestion is to join professional organizations, even while you are still a student. Many organizations offer free or reduced membership rates to students, offer valuable mentoring programs, and provide leadership opportunities. I am on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia and we always encourage students to attend our events and to get more involved, which provides students with an opportunity to learn about various areas of the law in which they may want to pursue a career.

Meet Alum Nick Elward ’95, SVP and Head of Institutional Product and ETFs

Name:  Nick Elward

Class Year:  1995

Title:  SVP and Head of Institutional Product and ETFs

Organization Name:  Natixis Investment Managers

 

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?  

I research potential investment products to bring to market, help drive business strategy and lead the exchange traded fund business.

 

2. How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?

I always enjoyed following financial markets and started investing at a very early age.  After deciding law school and accountancy weren’t for me, I came to the realization that my love for investing could become a career!  After 25 years in the industry, I wouldn’t want to have it any other way!

 

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?  

Intramural sports of all types. I know it seems boring, but the teamwork and work ethic required in sports was a key formative activity that has helped me succeed in my career.

 

4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?

Political Science.  I enjoyed the study of government and thought law school was for me in my first few years.  I later realized my love of investments and business strategy was my calling.   My major forced me to become a very good writer and speaker.  That helps in business.

 

5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?  

Besides my writing and public speaking skills, the extremely strong work ethic that I developed while at Holy Cross has been a difference maker.  A great employee needs intelligence, plus drive.

 

6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?  

Study what you love.  Find a job that allows you to do what you love.  Be the best at whatever you do.  Be happy.

Meet Alumna Kledia Spiro ’10, Marketing Consultant

Name: Kledia Spiro

Class Year: 2010

Title: Marketing Consultant

Organization Name: Independent

 

1.  In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I design and implement comprehensive and strategic marketing plans for start ups and organizations

 

2. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?  

I was a research assistant and supervisor for Dr. Amy Wolfson, the Chair of the Psychology Department. She was my advisor and my mentor after Holy Cross. My first employer was Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. I was the Clinical Research Coordinator for the Neuro-Oncology Department. After having to redo the department’s severe adverse events forms for an audit and meeting with the pharmaceutical companies every other day, I decided it was not the right fit for me. I realized marketing was the perfect combination of my passion for art and story telling while using data analytics, which I so enjoyed in research and medicine.

 

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?

I was a  “Hate: Not Here!” committee member, Student Program for Urban Development, Volunteer for Apostolic Church, Office of Multicultural Education, Social Justice coordinator, NEED (Nutrition, Exercise, and Eating Disorders) Peer Educator, Secretary, Nativity School Teacher, Social Justice 101 Curriculum Coordinator

 

4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?

I was a Psychology and Visual Arts Major with an Asian Studies Concentration. I could not be more grateful to have had a Holy Cross education and to have picked these two majors and the concentration. They have affected my career decisions in countless ways. They gave me the incredible strong foundation on how to be team player, empathic leader, and thrive in fast paced environments. It is these very qualities that opened many opportunities for me when I was a graduate student at Tufts University and when I worked at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and beyond.

 

5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?

At Holy Cross I learned how to be very detail oriented, accurate and a team player. Being detail oriented and a strategic thinker were really developed in my studio classes as I had to constantly step back from the canvas or whatever work I was creating so I had a wide view of what was happening in my work and weren’t getting lost in the details. I also honed in my accuracy and team player skills in many of my psychology and Asian studies classes.

 

6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Take time to take care of yourself. Go to the Hart center and use the sauna or the pool and just take a break. The stress of a strenuous Holy Cross education can take a toll on your health if you don’t take the appropriate amount of breaks. There are so many opportunities waiting for you as a Holy Cross graduate, don’t over-stress yourself with getting a job before you graduate only to miss the opportunity to enjoy your last semester on the hill.

Meet Alum Nick Bodurian ’12, Associate Investment Professional at Prospect Capital Management

Name: Nick Bodurian

Class Year: 2012

Title: Associate Investment Professional

Organization Name: Prospect Capital Management

1.  In one sentence, what does your job entail?

I am responsible for sourcing and conducting due diligence on private middle market companies seeking financing from both an equity and debt perspective.

2. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?  

The summer after my sophomore year at Holy Cross I did my first internship at GE Capital as part of the Financial Management Program (“FMP”).  This internship opportunity came through the Career Development Summer Internship Program.  I did a second internship at GE Capital the following summer, and then accepted a full time position at GE Capital in FMP post-graduation.  What made me decide to pursue a career in corporate finance initially was my strong underlying interest in evaluating businesses, coupled with my accounting background from Holy Cross.  Second, I really enjoyed the corporate culture at GE, and knew that the company had a strong track record for educating their employees and building future business leaders.  Both aspects of my first job/employer came out to be 100% true.  I significantly expanded my core technical finance skills and analytical thinking, but also my soft-business skills such as effective and efficient communication and negotiating.  All of what I have described were “planned events” through my initial time at GE Capital.  However, life always brings unplanned events as well.  In my last rotation on FMP, I was given a role in underwriting in a business unit that provides leveraged loans to middle market companies being bought by private equity sponsors.  I very much enjoyed this role, and realized that this was the career path that I wanted to pursue (versus traditional corporate finance).  However, General Electric, and in particular GE Capital, was going through large changes at the time. There was a meaningful corporate strategy shift to move away from “banking” and focus the conglomerate on industrial businesses.  Part of this decision by GE was due to stricter regulatory requirements on large financial institutions after the financial crisis of 2008/2009.  While the traditional banking sector overall faced new regulations at the time, there started to be large growth in the alternative asset management sector, such as private equity and debt firms.  I saw this trend occurring (similar to other colleagues and friends) and decided to seek my next role at a private markets firm.  This led me to my second employer, Partners Group, a global private markets asset manager.  The key takeaway from this “career event” for me is to make sure you get the most out of “planned events” in your career, by doing the best you can do at the job you are currently doing, because “unplanned events” will occur which will bring difficult decisions, but also promising career opportunities!  How one performs in “planned events” I’ve noticed in my career dictates how one can effectively adapt to “unplanned events” in a career.

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus? 

I was very involved in the Economics department when I was on campus, since I was an Economics-Accounting major.  I was part of the Student Advisory Committee for several years, and then was the Chairman of the committee for two of those years.  I was also a member of the Economics department Honors Program, in which I spent over a year conducting research and writing a senior thesis on the financial crisis of 2008/2009.  I was a member of the pre-business program, and took a class that managed the student managed endowment fund.  I volunteered through the SPUD, and was a member of the club baseball team for four years.  In my last two years, I was also a tour guide for the admissions office.

 

4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions? 

I majored in Economics-Accounting.  While I did not pursue a traditional career in public accounting, accounting is the basis for everything in finance.  Any student interested in pursuing a career in finance must have a strong understanding of accounting.  But that does not and should not preclude non-accounting majors from pursuing a career in finance. While the technical background has surely helped me in my career, the analytical thinking and quantitative analysis aspects of accounting is what has helped me the most in my career.  In my field, it is crucial to evaluate businesses from both a quantitative and qualitative aspect, using fact-based assertions to drive investment theses.

 

5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work? 

Aside from my technical background, one of the most important skills that I developed meaningfully at Holy Cross is my written and oral communication skills.  A lot of my job is being able to effectively communicate both internally and externally.  From an internal perspective, I have an investment committee that I present my investment opportunities to in order to obtain approval to make an investment.  In order to obtain approval, I must effectively communicate the merits and risks of an investment opportunity, through both quantitative and qualitative assertions, written in memos and orally in person.  There is always “pushback” from investment committee members—that is their job, to play “devil’s advocate” and ask as many questions as possible.  Therefore, it is a continual iterative process when evaluating investment opportunities, and being able to effectively communicate internally is paramount to success.  I must also work with external parties, such as management teams and other private equity firms, in order to negotiate the best possible deal terms for my firm.  It’s a craft that I am still developing and will be developing over the rest of my career, but Holy Cross established a strong foundation to start building from.

 

6. What advice do you have for students on campus today? 

If you are interested in pursuing a career in finance, your GPA will be the first criteria that a company will look at from both an internship and entry-level job perspective.  In other words, make sure you are getting it done in the classroom first!  Second, I would recommend taking quantitative classes, such as accounting, economics, math, or pre-business/investment classes. Holy Cross students largely have strong communication skills, due to the rigorous liberal arts curriculum in place, but it is important to develop quantitative reasoning skills in order to be “on par” with competing students from business programs at other colleges and universities.  Third, develop a strong interest in reading the Wall Street Journal or New York Times business section.  I’ve probably learned the most about financial markets, the economy, and businesses from reading the WSJ.  Pick topics that interest you, and read as much about them as possible.  Read the articles critically, and if a concept does not make sense to you, don’t just move onto the next article, figure out the concept because that is how real learning takes place.  Lastly, it is absolutely crucial to understand what it means to have a career in finance, and there are many different types of careers in finance.  Talk with as many people as possible, ask them what they like and dislike about their jobs.  People love talking about themselves, so “pick as many brains” as possible.