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Washington State University
Carson College of Business Dividend Article

Guiding Students to Success

though Hands-On Experiences – By Linda Infranco
students at Quinnipiac
From left: George Jiang, John Funnell, Kristin Paulson, Emily Rose Rodgers, Caroline Yapp, Catherin Duback, Ian Cox, Michael Retallic, and Steven McCutcheon at the Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education Forum.

In an effort to create meaningful hands-on learning opportunities for business students, the Carson College of Business builds connections with leading industry professionals across all disciplines and cultivates those engagements so that students gain confidence in the professional world and first-hand business knowledge.

Last winter, several students from the Carson College of Business and Murrow College of Communication visited finance industries in Seattle to network and inquire about exciting careers as financial advisors, analysts, human resource executives, and risk officers.

Life as a finance professional

Leaders from Edward Jones and Morgan Stanley spent several hours engaging with students and sharing their own professional journeys that brought them success. At Edward Jones, Debbi Vanselow (’82 Communication), along with team members, David Johnson (’00 Business) and Matthew Charbonneau (’07 Business), greeted students for breakfast at the Portage Bay Café, and then escorted them to the Edward Jones office at Northgate to give them an insider’s view of life as a finance professional.

From left: Beau Bowman, Wade Rogerson, Caroline Yapp, Sydney Steele, and Michael Retallic.

“Being able to speak with the professionals at Edward Jones and Morgan Stanley has helped me obtain a better grasp of where I would like to orient my job search,” says Beau Bowman, a senior business student majoring in finance.

At the Morgan Stanley offices in downtown Seattle, several members of the Morgan Stanley team, including Senior Vice President Mike Booth (’77 Business), provided a detailed overview of the global investment firm and encouraged students to take advantage of the Cougar alumni connection. WSU alumni embrace the value of mentoring students and offering them guidance as they navigate through the complexities of a competitive job market.

“This trip exposed me to students who are pursuing similar professions and who are motivated to be very successful. It was a great experience as we were able to network with students, WSU staff, cougar alumni, and other very successful individuals. I truly enjoyed the trip as it helped me solidify my career goals and encouraged me to pursue them wholeheartedly,” says finance and marketing major Sydney Steele.

2015-03-21 14.19.20
Displaying Cougar pride on Wall Street.

Cougs on Wall Street

David Whidbee and George Jiang, finance professors, accompanied students on the annual Cougs on Wall Street learning experience, visiting several financial institutions. Nora Hendrycks, vice president of American Express, met with Carson College students Emily Rose Rodgers, Caroline Yapp, John Funnell, Catherine Duback, Kristin Paulson, Michael Retallick, Steven McCutcheon and Ian Cox, who toured the American Express Tower. A train ride transported students to 5th Avenue, where they met with JP Morgan Chase employees Scott Burleigh (’83 MBA) and Melissa Merkley (’98 Finance) and Viacom Cablevision’s vice president of finance and assistant treasurer Lou Converse (’83 Business Administration).

Networking opportunities continued for the students as they were united with members of the WSU Alumni Association’s New York Chapter for an evening reception at John’s Pizzeria of Times Square. Bob McMillan (’71 Business) hosted the Carson College team at the New York Athletic Club, where they interacted with local business professionals and engaged in casual discussion about career goals and aspirations.

Later in the week, students participated in the Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education Forum at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. The international forum brings financial market experts and college students together to strengthen the connection between industry practices and what students are learning in the classroom. Industry experts provide insights into pressing issues facing investment professionals in global financial markets and share best practices in investment management. Students attend a variety of breakout sessions on standard investment strategies, professional designations in the industry, analysis of specific asset types, and career topics.

Bridging the students’ classroom and on-campus experiences with practical, real-world career preparation through industry visits and mentorships contributes significantly to their overall success and adds value to businesses in Washington state and beyond.