The secrets of their success

In March, 97 students from the School of Business got a taste of what one described as the “glitz and glamour of working in the financial industry” when they attended a Finance Forum hosted by Guy Chiarello ’81, chief information officer for JPMorgan Chase, at his company’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters.

The evening featured a panel discussion moderated by Paul Sullivan ’85, managing director for Merrill Lynch, during which three professionals spoke about their careers and gave students insights on how they could forge their own paths to success.

Panelist Mike Movsovich ’86, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, discussed his decision to attend law school after getting his finance degree at TCNJ and how that decision led to his current work structuring and negotiating complex business transactions for private equity clients. Panelist Tejal Joshi ’01, a vice president with Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., talked about her work guiding Lehman Brothers through its bankruptcy procedure, as well as how she deals with the uncertain future her position entails. The third panelist, Stephen Berenson, described his path to becoming vice chairman of investment banking at JPM.

“The idea behind the event was to let students get a feel for being among financial professionals, in order to make their own futures seem ‘more real’ and tangible,” said William Keep, dean of the School of Business. “We wanted students to walk away from that evening thinking differently about how they can make things happen for themselves.”

Brian Guo ’12, a finance major, said the message he took away from the panelists was, “You have to be flexible, you have to have the desire…[and] you have to be committed” if you want to succeedin finance.

Following the discussion, students had the opportunity to network with the evening’s other invited guests: 26 TCNJ alumni representing a number of fields within the financial services industry.

“Every networking opportunity helps, especially with the economy the way it is,” said finance major Gina Holzheimer ’13. “This was such a great experience, to be put in a corporate environment with professionals and…learn how to conduct ourselves.”

Guo concurred: “This was a phenomenal event…[and] meeting these established, successful alumni helped [students] realize that we, too, can make it.”

Keep planned the event as part of his continuing efforts to bring together TCNJ business students with their alumni counterparts, he explained. The dean said that when he mentioned the event to Chiarello, the JPMorgan executive not only agreed to host it at his company’s Park Avenue headquarters, he said JPM would provide refreshments for the attendees. Student travel to and from the event was covered by a special gift given by Herbert Mayo, professor of finance.

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