Women in Management Panel Focuses on Careers in Finance
Finance industry veterans gave Yale SOM students some insight into navigating a career in the sector at a September 24 event sponsored by the Women in Management Club.
A panel of four women addressed topics ranging from the key elements in launching a career to managing work/life balance once that career is underway. The speakers included Agnes Tang, managing director at Perella Weinberg Partners; Lisa Howie YC '00, '08, a director in the Yale Investments Office; Radhika Chakravarti '04, director of mergers and acquisitions at Credit Suisse; and Barbara Mariniello, a managing director at Barclays.
Katlyn Regan '13, professional development co-chair of the Women in Management club, said the event was intended to inspire and guide students. "There's a need for women in the industry to share what they've learned," Regan said.
The speakers began by discussing job fit. Finding a good fit, they agreed, is a matter of developing skills and keeping an open mind. "There's no one way to succeed," Chakravarti said. "It's about knowing your strengths and weaknesses. Figure out what works for you."
There are, however, certain necessary attributes, Tang said. She advised cultivating an area of expertise—such as building on the fundamental technical skills required initially in banking—while also developing a breadth of experience. "Rounding out your basic toolkit early in your career will help to better position you on a long-term career path," Tang said.
Chakravarti said that flexibility is also important in the early years. "Don't plan too far in advance," she said. "You have no idea until you do a job whether you're going to enjoy it over time." And enjoying your job, Howie said, is crucial to succeeding. "What you need to get the job and what you need to build a career are different things," she said. "You have to really like what you're doing."
All the speakers stressed the importance of creating a healthy work/life balance. "It's a priority whether you have a family or don't have a family," Mariniello said. Chakravarti encouraged students to be confident in seeking this balance. "It's a question of prioritizing and not apologizing for it," she said. "I have a 14-month-old son, so now I understand how hard it is. Technology has made things a little easier. You can be anywhere in the world now and still be connected to your office."