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Wall Street Council lends a hand to student job-seekers

Jeffrey Bosland gives his keynote address in Perella Auditorium…

Passion for the job you do every day is the driving force behind success, Jeffrey Bosland ’88 said in the keynote address recently at the Lehigh Wall Street Council’s (LWSC) Financial Services Forum.

“Financial services is a very rewarding industry, but you have to really want to do it,” said Bosland, who is managing director and co-head of the Americas Sales and Marketing group at J.P. Morgan.

“You will be working hard and sometimes putting in long days so it’s important to do what you really enjoy.”

The Financial Services Forum, held Oct. 5 in the Rauch Business Center, was the seventh-annual forum hosted by LWSC. The purpose of the event, said LWSC president Andrew Fife ’85, is to help students network with alumni and prepare for the job search.

“We want to make students understand how seriously they need to take the process and how much time they need to devote to being prepared in every aspect of the job search,” said Fife.

“On top of that, we want to make students aware of the vast network of Lehigh alums who are willing to help both in terms of advice and opportunities,” said Fife.

“Communicate well and be competitive”

In his keynote address, Bosland also spoke about the importance of hard work, dedication and strong interpersonal communication skills.

To be eligible for any job, he said, students must continue to earn good grades because that will help distinguish them from other job candidates.

Additionally, Bosland said, students should realize that the company and position they start in may not be the company and position they will stay with throughout their career.

“Where you start is important,” he said, “But the most important thing is to get into a company that will teach you, train you and give you opportunities if you do well.

“In addition, you can’t underestimate selling yourself in the interview process. You have to be able to communicate well. There are a lot of very smart people who want the same position. To be successful, you have to understand the role you are asking for and be able to articulate your skills and talents, and you have to be competitive.”

Other events at the forum included a human resources presentation by Mike Lowenthal, the global head of university relations and campus recruiting at McGraw Hill Financial.

Lowenthal spoke about negotiating the job search and interview process and the importance of knowing one’s skills, ambitions and goals.

During the Young Alumni Panel, three recent graduates shared their job search experiences and urged students to use Lehigh’s network of alumni to seek job opportunities. They stressed the importance of the interview process and the preparation it requires.

Following the Young Alumni Panel, students were divided into breakout sessions by the following areas of interest: research, wealth management, sales and trading, asset management, real estate, and investment banking.

Each breakout session was staffed by three to four alumni speakers with experience in that specific field. These speakers expounded on their particular areas and how business was conducted and what to expect from careers in that sector.

The Lehigh Wall Street Council was founded a decade ago when Fife and co-founder Michael Connor ’80, ’14P, realized that Lehigh had a huge number of alumni in the business sector.

“We felt that it would be a great opportunity to harness those numbers into a group that initially could network with each other,” said Fife. “Plus it would be a great way for us to get back to Lehigh.”

LWSC now has more than 1,800 members. This year, nearly 200 students attended the Financial Services Forum, up from 150 to 175 in previous years.

“This was our best attended event,” said Fife.

Story by Carla Prieto

Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013

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