Finance for breakfast
Every Wednesday, Emma Diianni ’23 starts her day with a healthy dose of finance.
A first-year student planning to major in economics, Diianni joins dozens of prospective and current economics majors for breakfast and networking with successful Connecticut College alumni working in the financial sector. Guest speakers for the semester-long, breakfast series include senior-level executives, mid-career professionals and young alumni covering everything from investment banking to real estate development to financial modeling.
“It’s a really great opportunity,” says Diianni. “The series is giving me a taste of a lot of different sectors of economics, and is outlining for me what I need to do as a college student to be successful in these professions.
“It’s also introducing me to lots of high-powered alumni, expanding my network and showing me how well Conn prepares students for professions in the field of finance.”
The Finance Breakfast Series, a co-initiative of the Academic Resource Center—under the direction of Noel Garrett, dean of academic support and director of the ARC—and the Pre-Business Advising Program, is designed to prepare students for careers in finance by developing their skills and readying them for competitive internships early in their college careers.
“Positions in finance, consulting and investment banking are among the most competitive opportunities our students pursue,” said Dean of the College Jefferson Singer. “Increasingly, the path to these fields has been starting earlier and earlier with highly sought-after internships taking place after the sophomore year. The Finance Breakfast is a jumpstart for our first-year and sophomore students that provides a wealth of information, networking and practical tips.”
The weekly sessions kicked off in early September with Jonathan Cohen ’87, CEO of Oxford Lane Capital Corp., an investment company based in Greenwich, Connecticut. Cohen also serves as vice chair of Connecticut College’s Board of Trustees.
“Mr. Cohen was an excellent speaker who gave the students very specific advice on how to learn the language of finance,” said Cheryl Banker, senior associate director of the Hale Center for Career Development and the College’s pre-business and finance adviser.
“He told them, ‘You have to watch CNBC, you have to read the Wall Street Journal, you have to get involved in Conn’s Peggotty Investment Club,’” through which students manage a portion of the College’s endowment.