As a broadcast journalism major, a day spent exploring business and finance within the city is not something that initially sparked my interest. Gearing up for the day, I packed numerous snacks and forms of caffeine in preparation for what I thought was going to be a monotonous day. Little did I know that this com major could get something out of and find lots of interest in places such as the Federal Reserve, FactSet and Credit Suisse.
The first stop for this Monday activity was the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. We went on a tour of the museum and
experienced a Q & A session. The most interesting part of this visit for me was the gold vault. Like a scene out of a movie, we walked in through the open lock (the same locking system as when it was built in the early 1920’s) into a little lobby that looked into the very securely locked gold vault. This vault contains gold from different foreign entities with less than 5% of the gold belonging to the US government. And one of those shiny gold bars comes at a high price of around $640,000. People that have access to the vault have to wear special foot covers because each individual block weighs almost 30 pounds and could do some serious damage if dropped on one’s toes.
Leaving the Federal Reserve, we headed to FactSet. Before this visit, I had never heard of this company before. FactSet is a multinational financial data and software company (yes, this sounded like gibberish to me too at first.) They provide high quality data and analytics and consider themselves a “fin-tech”, a financial technology firm. They have numerous clients and are rising in the ranks as they have had 34 continuous years of revenue growth. What interested me the most was talk of their company culture. They pride themselves on maintaining an entrepreneurial environment with recognition of hard work, continual learning and a friendly atmosphere. They even get free lunch!
Lastly, our group headed to Credit Suisse. Credit Suisse is a global investment bank. There
are two divisions: investment banking and private management. During our time here, we met with five Elon alumi. I thoroughly enjoyed this because we got to talk to people who were in our shoes just a few years ago. It was helpful to hear their journeys from Elon student to real person in the working world.
All in all, the day was much more than I expected. I got to learn about a very important industry that I am not too familiar with. And, I have to admit, it wasn’t as monotonous as expected, despite the fact that I had to Google some financial jargon in the back of the room in order to keep up.