Finance Boot Camp
On September 15, about 70 SOM students got an introduction to the finance industry from a member of the Fixed Income Analysts Society Hall of Fame: Frank J. Fabozzi, a professor in the practice of finance and Becton Fellow at Yale. Drawing on his decades of experience, Fabozzi ran the group through a fast-paced 90-minute tour of the world of finance.
For those with little background in finance, the Finance 101 Boot Camp defined fundamental terms, such as derivatives, securitization, even investment banking. Fabozzi explained that the workshop served as an overview of the whole industry. "Even for students who may have worked in one layer of the industry, this gives them a broad perspective and a sense of where the opportunities are and how to match skill sets, coursework, and personalities with those areas," he said.
A mix of first- and second-year students attended the event, which was jointly sponsored by the Sale and Trading Club and the Finance Club. Corey Harrison, president of the Finance Club, said, "It was a holistic perspective from a practitioner who is tremendously respected on Wall Street. Banks use his book in their analyst training programs." Harrison was one of the student organizers but he credited Fabozzi with making it possible: "This workshop happened because of Professor Fabozzi ó his love of the students at Yale and the industry. We sent out a meeting invite; he did the rest. He is very passionate about the space and about SOM. It is extraordinary to have a professor of his caliber put on a boot camp."
Fabozzi described some of the roles students might consider, including various aspects of investment banking, public finance, advisory work, private banking, structured finance, compliance, marketing, or operations.
Antonina Tarassiouk Berbekova, co-leader of the Sales and Trading Club and director of the Finance Club, said, "Professor Fabozzi didnít just describe the work in the different areas of finance but also the personality that is needed in each area. And thatís something that only he could do because he has worked in almost all of the areas."
Fabozzi advised students to look not just for the numbers in a deal but also at the motivations of all parties involved. He added that the education they receive at SOM will prepare them to ask the right questions to understand those various motivations.
Harrison echoed this idea, saying, "The SOM integrated approach to problem-solving distinguishes SOM graduates. We arenít studying in silos of marketing, finance, accounting; weíre taught to bring it all together. You can teach anyone to do a discount cash flow analysis. But SOM graduates are also prepared to be real problem solvers who understand what those numbers mean to the client and know how to drive a conversation and how to reach decisions."
With successful boot camps the last two years, Fabozzi is establishing a popular new tradition. The boot camp model is used by other SOM groups, including the Consulting Club.