Eight of the top-performing analysts from the Oregon State Investment Group, a College of Business club aimed at finance majors but open to anyone interested in investing, spent a week in New York in early September.
“The goal is for OSIG members to get out and network with alumni on Wall Street, and at other firms willing to host us,” said club president Blake Hendricks, who made the annual trip for the second time. “We have so much appreciation for alumni willing to meet with us, take the time to help us get our foot in the door. One of our alums, Matt Derr at Credit Suisse, he brought in a recruiter who gave us a whole presentation on how to get a job.”
In addition to connecting with alumni, a highlight of the trip was meeting Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and CEO of the Blackstone Group. With a net worth of roughly $11.6 billion, Schwarzman, known as the king of private equity, is tied with Rupert Murdoch at No. 38 on the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America.
“He was a very outgoing guy and gave great insight on what private equity is like,” said Erik Paige, an OSIG portfolio manager who took part in the club outing to New York for the first time. “He said he’s not a technical guy, he’s a big-picture guy, and he always tries to surround himself with the smartest guys in the room. It was really interesting for me – he’s the first billionaire I’ve ever met.
“Being on the floor of the stock exchange was really cool as well,” Paige said. “My impression going in, from the movies, was that there’d be a lot of yelling and people crammed into one space, but actually, there aren’t that many people.”
Hendricks, like Paige a senior finance major, noted the “very broad scope of finance” the OSIG members were able to absorb in New York, including economic research (at Strategas Research Partners), private wealth management (U.S. Trust) and corporate finance (Google).
“Talking to the executives, it puts everything you learn in theory into reality,” he said.
Andrea Anthony, assistant professor of finance, accompanied the group.
“The students really came prepared with interesting questions and unique perspectives,” she said. “They presented themselves professionally and I think strengthened the name of Oregon State University at the firms that we visited.”