The Experience, Margaret Benson ’23
Economics, Philosophy Major
As a first-year, I was new to campus, eager to experience college life and hoping to meet new people and make the most of my first semester. My first-year seminar was oriented around analytical thinking within economics. I found that most of my peers in this class had predetermined interests to pursue a degree in econ. I wasn’t quite there yet but I was curious about the lessons that would be covered. Fortunately, within this class, I was introduced to opportunities that would expand my knowledge on the topic. It’s how I found out about the Finance Cohort Career Action Program led by Director of Employer Engagement Cheryl Banker and Dean of Academic Support Noel Garrett. The cohort, a newly developed program, focused on career prep for roles in the financial services industry. I was aware that this industry was male-dominated, and joining the cohort was a friendly reminder of that. Positively, Cheryl alluded to the importance of my representation and encouraged me to feel confident about my role within the cohort. And it paid off.
As a first-year, I didn’t feel compelled to start thinking about my career post-grad.
Luckily, being in the cohort, I was expected to actively participate, and part of that meant taking initiative to expand my network of contacts within the industry. Cheryl and Noel offered endless guidance and support, as I gradually became more comfortable with the idea of having a ‘network’. We conducted projects, both in groups and individually, that would accelerate our research and offer more hands-on experience. We met weekly and attended events that featured alumni who came to speak on their careers and offer advice to students pursuing roles in the industry. It was extremely rewarding and eye-opening as a first-year, and I’m grateful to have been a part of the cohort throughout my college career! This spring I’ll graduate with a degree in economics and philosophy, and with a finance network I can confidently tap into.
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