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Archive for September 2007

Day 3 and 4 – Sightseeing, back to Spokane

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Quick update on our trip to New York: Today, we are flying back to school in Spokane. Some of us have exams (incl. myself) on Monday, so everybody is either studying or sleeping on the plane. I have been busily studying for my International Finance exam, but taking a quick break during our layover in Minniapolis to update you all briefly.

The group stayed together for teh most part this morning and we took a fieldtrip to the MET. The weather is once again fantastic and the musuem was great. Especially the sculpture show on the roof of the MET. Afterwards, we took a stroll through Central Park and most of us did some last minute souvenir shopping, then it was off to the airport.

Yesterday, I tried to get up early after a long night out in Manhatten to score some Broadway tickets. I got lucky! 5th row center “Wicked.” The show was absoultely fantastic. The leads were strong, but even more impressive was that the entire cast, back to the last row, was of such quality. My first original Broadway experience – YAY. After the matinee I strolled around, taking in the sites, some shopping, and more. I decided I like this city 😉

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Written by markusw

September 23, 2007 at 7:42 pm

Today Show LIVE

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Quick update: I forgot to mention one of the funnest things of the day.

Camille Merrit and I made it live on the Today Show with our “Gonzaga University” Sign. We were in the center of the screen right after one of the ad breaks. HOW FUN! Not that I have ever watched the Today Show, but I hear it is a good deal to be on it. 🙂

Written by markusw

September 21, 2007 at 8:50 pm

Day 2 – New York City Trek

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I just got back to the hotel from our second and final day of company excursions.  We started the day at the Capital Group with Thatcher Thompson.  He told us a little bit about this background prior to joining Capital and where he came from since leaving Gonzaga.  He has certainly taken a different route then many of the other people we met with so far.  His job at Capital sounds extremely compelling.  He is the small-gap generalist in NYC, managing a portion of the world’s largest mutual fund (1.3 trillion dollars). 

I found it very insightful to hear how he makes decision about which stocks to invest in or which stocks to sell off.  It appears that the majority of his day is consumed by meeting with and researching smaller firms on the NYSE, seeking to have Capital buy a stake in their company.  It must be very exciting to spend your day researching small-gap firms all day.

Our second visit was to Joe Dwizura at TIAA-Cref.  He is a risk management director at the firm and in charge of ensuring that TIAA’s many pension funds are well diversified and in adherence to the company’s risk management strategies.  The job is very interesting and appears to involve A LOT  of math and analytics.  Our math and economics guru in teh group was delighted, while some of the other students more focused on trading and portfolio management seemed shocked at the level of math and statistics at work.

We rounded the day off at Bank of America Securities, watching the equity traders scream and yell on the trading floor.  The energy on the floor was amazing and our alumni and tour guide, Mike Berl, did a fantastic job of showing us around and bringing us a little closer to the action.  He has been trading for BofA for 11 years and his insights into the job were great.

All in all an amazing day! The entire group is loving NYC and we are looking forward to a nice dinner at O’Looney’s followed by some Meatpacker district action later tonight. I’ll keep you all posted

Written by markusw

September 21, 2007 at 7:10 pm

Day 1 – Deutsche Bank, Avenue Capital Group, Social

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We just got back from our first complete day of company visits and presentations.  After taking the tour of teh NYSE in the morning, we visited Deutsche Bank at 60 Wall Street.  We had the pleasure of meeting with Kevin McQuilkin, a senior director of DBs Mergers & Acquisition business unit.  He shared with us some of his insights into the industry and filled us in on his own career backgroun.  In addition to Kevin, we were able to meet with two junior financial analysts on his team, as well as the head of college recruiting.

The visit was extremely valuable to myself and the other students and gave us the opportunity to ask questions about Deutsche Bank’s business and entry-level financial analyst positions with the firm.

Following the visit and presentation at Deutsche Bank, we visited the Avenue Capital Group.  At Avenue we were able to sit down with Richard Shinder, another undergraduate alumni of Gonzaga University.  Richard works in the firms financial distress unit (side note: Chelsea Clinton is actually working on his team).  He has  a wealth of industry experience and was the lead in Blackstone’s efforts to revive Enron and bring it back from bankruptcy.

Rich’s insights were very helpful to the students and I was happy to have the opportunity to spend some time chatting with him about his firm and his role in the distressed finance unit.

We concluded our day with a fantastic dinner at Cellini, and enjoyed a keynote presentation by J. Victor Cain, founder and Chief Investment Officer at the Treflie Funds.  While his work is also in teh area of hedge funds (like Richard), but his former work experience is in the commodities business, which I find extremely compelling and fascinating.

Written by markusw

September 20, 2007 at 11:57 pm

Day 1 – NYSE

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Quick update on our first excursion.  We just completed a tour of the NYSE trading floor, as well as a seminar about the history and workings of the NYSE.

The Director of Education, Murray Teitelbaum, was so kind to introduce the group to the various market functions and technical trading functions on the floor.  The insights we got went far beyond anything I had ever learned in class and I appreciated getting the insight scoop on NYSE.  I found the history and background about the company itself most insightful.

After the seminar we were able to watch the trading floor from the gallery between the CNN and Bloomberg Booths. It was amazing being in the room, seeing, hearing, and feeling the excitement and flurry of activity going on below us.  All in all, a fascinating experience and I can recommend to everybody to get a group together and sign up for a tour.

Deutsche Bank is next, followed by Avenue Capital, and dinner at Cellini!

Written by markusw

September 20, 2007 at 10:08 am

Travel update

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Hi all,

quick update on our travels to New York City.  We left Spokane this morning at 5:30 am and took the first flight to Minneapolis.  Every went smoothly until we got to the Twin-Cities (BTW, my first time in this part of the country).  However, when we left Minneapolis our plane was clearly experiencing some technical difficulties.  The front wheel would not retract and after several loops over Minneapolis, the pilot informed us that we will be dropping the other set of landing gears (due to the problem on board we had to literally drop the gear, causing a substantial shake-up and noise level to the cabin).  We continued to fly with lowered landing gear over Minneapolis for two hours burning fuel and ended up landing back on the same runway.  Unable to steer, we came to a halt in the middle of the runway and waited for the firetrucks, EMTs, and police cars to catch up to us.  We were tugged back to the gate and waited for a replacement plane.  Of course, it goes without saying that we were substantially delayed getting into JFK.

Northwest, our carrier for the flight, did a fantastic job in providing a replacement plane for us and getting us back off the ground very quickly.  The pilot, also, did a good job of keeping us updated and informed of what was going on.  My only complaint, our stewardess, that was in a VERY, VERY grumpy mood for the remainder of the flight.

Anyway, we are in New York City now and I am looking forward to our first day in the financial district tomorrow.

New York City Trek

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Hello all,

it has been a little while since I last blogged, but that is since I have been incredibly busy with the beginning of school and additionally with the New York City Trek.  I have been planning this trip since last February and wrote about it several times already.  Well, it is finally happening.  We are on our way to New York City tomorrow morning and I am incredibly excited to finally go.

It has taken months of planning and all the hard work is about to pay off.  I am looking forward to reporting from New York City right here on my blog.  Stay tuned for more to come.

Written by markusw

September 18, 2007 at 11:41 pm