Wall Street Prep Workshop Prepares Students for Future Finance Careers

Wesley Dickens, associate director of experiential education and partnerships (left) with attendees of the Wall Street Prep Workshop held at the Ole Miss Jackson Avenue Center in early February.

University of Mississippi students majoring in banking and finance and related fields were able to learn from professionals and sharpen their skills at a Wall Street Preparation workshop hosted Feb. 1-2 by the School of Business Administration.

Erica Cordeiro, a senior from Spencer, Massachusetts, who is double majoring in finance and real estate and minoring in economics, said she gained valuable information from the daylong sessions.

“We worked on a case study, similar to what we do in class, to evaluate the performance of the company Apple in February of 2019,” she said. “First, we used their (Form) 10-K to find historical data and build a balance sheet and income statement for the years 2016-18.”

The workshop allowed students to better understand financial aspects within financial statement modeling, but also to improve their skills in the Excel software platform, which is regularly used in many components of the financial industry.

“After collecting past data, we used it to forecast these statements through 2023 and built our third statement, the statement of cash flows,” Cordeiro said. “By the end of our modeling, we acquired tips for when working in Excel that you would not have discovered without the knowledge of someone else.”

Not only did students learn how to use Excel in a variety of ways; they also learned how to observe and use data they may be given in class and in their careers.

Kyle Major, a sophomore finance major from Allendale, New Jersey, is an aspiring investment banking analyst who learned how to determine which information in a company’s 10-K is important, how to interpret it and how that data could benefit/harm a company.

“This course gave me an outlook on what to expect as an investment banker and an idea of what a project looks like for an analyst,” Major said. “This will benefit me tremendously going forward because now I will be able to answer the ‘Excel proficiency’ question when it comes to internships.”

This workshop was also created to prepare students for not only interviews but to see better what their everyday life may look like in the financial industry.

“The attendance and participation in these workshops were tremendous and reflect the students’ exceptional commitment to their career development,” said Wesley Dickens, associate director of experiential learning and partnerships with the business school. “This achievement could not be possible without the support of our alumni and the business school by providing quality educational experiences in and outside the classroom.”

The event also included a session hosted by the Financier’s Club, featuring advice and reflections from Ole Miss alumnus Bill Fry (BBA 80), managing director at American Securities, and Pittman Phillips (BBA 18), an investment associate with Live Oak Merchant Partners.

Fry encouraged students to take advantage of their resources at Ole Miss and hone the analytical and quantitative skills that are critical in finance. He also gave advice on how students could stand out as they seek internships and networking opportunities in this competitive field.

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