Students Hear from Finance Pros
Christina Minnis YC '87 started working on Wall Street just before the Black Monday crash of 1987. It was a time of extreme volatility and anxiety. She could have been scared away from working in finance, but being an optimistic person, she said, she doesn't spook easily. "If I did, I wouldn't be sitting here with this really fascinating job," said the Goldman Sachs managing director for healthcare, financial institutions, consumer retail, leveraged finance, and pension strategies. "Finance is a cyclical industry. The highs are great and the lows are tough. But it's never, ever dull."
Minnis was joined by another Yale alumnus, Stephen Hickey YC '83, on November 29, 2011, for a conversation with Yale SOM students about finance and working at Goldman Sachs. At the time, Hicks was the head of global leveraged finance at Goldman. He retired at the end of the year. Both noted that there have been several times when people have declared finance over—whether because of economic shifts or new regulations—only to see the industry reinvent itself and grow even larger. "The investment banking opportunity hasn't changed," said Hickey. "Especially for young MBAs, you get incredible exposure to really smart people with great financial and management skills. It gives you a breadth and integration that really brings out what a lot of the courses here focus on."
Reflecting on the scope of her career, Minnis said that much has changed since she first started on Wall Street. Were she beginning now, she said, she would take a much more international approach to her career. "If I was in your situation, I'd be learning Portuguese or heading to Dubai or the former Eastern Bloc," she said. "Globally, there are a lot of things to be excited about."