The two-day event connected current students with financial professionals through an innovative virtual format.
The 15th annual From DoG Street to Wall Street event kicked off on Thursday, September 30th with over 110 students and 28 alumni representing 24 industries and ten companies. Sponsored by the Boehly Center for Excellence in Finance, the Howard J. Busbee Finance Academy, and the Sherman & Gloria Cohen Career Center, the annual event leverages alumni-led discussion panels and networking opportunities to prepare undergraduate students from the Raymond A. Mason School of Business and William & Mary for careers in finance.
“DoG to Wall is a highly valuable event because it accomplishes the challenging task of getting many of William & Mary’s most successful finance alumni in one place at the same time. This not only offers participants access to a great wealth of knowledge, but also demonstrates that William & Mary students can achieve great things, serving as a motivator,” said Alex Loukili ’22 who attended the event for the third time, and served on the event planning committee and as a panelist and panel moderator.
This year’s event shifted to a virtual format due to the COVID-19 landscape. All alumni and guests attended virtually, including Melissa Ortiz-Muñoz '98 and Howard J. Busbee Finance Academy Alumni Award recipient Jessica M. Burt ’02. Burt was honored for her selfless contribution of her valuable time and dedication to helping the current student body deepen their understanding of finance and discover their career interests.
President of the Finance Academy, Katie English ’22, welcomed attendees and introduced Mason School Dean Larry Pulley for opening remarks.
Dean Pulley explained that while he prefers to see Miller Hall abuzz with all of the students and alumni guests as in years past, he commended the event organizers for their innovative and creative spirit as they navigated all of the uncertainty of the pandemic to make the multi-day event possible, virtually.
“There is a lot of heft with all of whom have assembled to help you as you begin to envision your future and your path,” he said to the student participants. “You yourself will follow these alumni in living a life of principled achievement and becoming a future leader in the world of finance. Our alumni help us prepare our students to be truly career ready and be connected with world-class careers in finance.”
Ortiz-Muñoz who currently serves as Senior Vice President, Client Quantitative Analytics Manager, Community Banking & Client Protection Insights at Bank of America was one of the aforementioned exemplary professionals and delivered the evening’s keynote address which included myth-busting some common misconceptions about the world of finance, advice on how best to navigate a career in the financial services industry, and the importance of pursuing lives of principled achievement.
“The greatest piece of advice I’ve received from an executive was ‘performance + relationships = advancement’,” Ortiz-Muñoz said. “I hope I’ve given you a taste of the opportunities you have within a financial services career and the importance of knowing your craft, building a diverse and powerful network, how to maintain and sustain those relationships for a lifetime, how to advocate for yourself, how to be nimble and innovative in the solutions you develop, how to be inclusive in your thoughts, words and deeds, and the importance of joining groups on campus today to get a diverse perspective. Act with integrity. Pay it forward. Be your authentic self and you can inspire other people. Finally, live lives of principled achievement.”
Students also heard from Morgan Hutter, Interim Executive Director of the Boehly Center, Kathleen Powell, Chief Career Officer of the Office of Career Development & Professional Engagement housed within the Cohen Career Center, and career-readiness advisors Dannita Trice from the Boehly Center and Rachel Southern from the Cohen Center during a brief session which covered finance career exploration, internship and job application timelines, and resources available through William & Mary.
“This is a 100% educational and exploration event. We purposely do not make it a recruiting event so students can feel safe to ask real questions, attend different industry panels, and see what industry areas do or do not pique their interest,” Hutter said.
Dr. Julie Agnew led an alumni panel discussion which covered topics such as, how the definition of success has changed as panelists moved from student to professional, advice on finding a mentor and building a network of supportive colleagues, how to best navigate your career when you’re not working in your field of interest, and what students should be doing as they enter the first chapter of their finance careers.
The second day of events was rich with activities focused on a range of topics including investment banking, alternative assets, public sector, corporate finance, quantitative finance, consulting, wealth management, asset management, and private equity through which students were able to hear in depth from alumni and Mason School partners.
Panel and breakout session participants included professionals from Perella Weinberg Partners, Morgan Stanley, The Carlyle Group, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Siemens, J.P. Morgan and more.
Students were additionally able to participate in networking sessions and a brand-new case study exercise led by alumnus Jon Lamb ’07, Portfolio Manager at Orion Resource Partners. Students were also offered the opportunity to discover potential finance careers using a brief quiz.
“The DoG to Wall Street event brings immense value to students,” said English. “The finance industry is a people one - students must build connections in order to succeed in the job recruitment process. By developing relationships with alumni that attend, students can begin their internship and full-time job networking. Students also connect with each other throughout the event, and the William & Mary community is on full display. By attending this conference, students gained valuable industry knowledge, developed important alumni networking skills, and built connections with fellow students.”