The 9th annual Douglas Maine Wall Street Day was held in late 2021 via Zoom. The event connects past and present generations of Temple Owls through a panel discussion and Q&A style forum, aimed at offering wisdom and advice to current Fox students from experienced professionals. Alumni that have gone on to work at top money management firms like CitiGroup, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, Fidelity, Barclays and Capital Group spoke to a well-attended audience of students and faculty. Dean Ron Anderson was also in attendance.
The event is sponsored by Temple alumnus Douglas Maine, senior advisor at Brown Brothers Harriman, the oldest partnership bank in the United States.
“The real purpose of this is to discuss career areas for you,” Maine explained to the students in attendance. “Chances are most of you don’t have direct experience with real Wall Street firms. I thought that it would be a good opportunity to tap on some shoulders of successful alumni to not just discuss their career path, but what their actual responsibilities are.”
The alumni panelists offered advice to students, sharing personal anecdotes and reflections on experiences they have had in the workplace. Jonathan Shelon, BBA ’94, spoke on the subject of changing jobs throughout one’s career.
“You tend to change your mind from time to time, and that’s okay,” says Shelon. “I wanted to figure out if the skills I’ve acquired were more transferable. I’ve learned that the skills that you build are absolutely transferable, if not always in obvious ways.”
Craig Stine, Fox ’90, vice chairman of Barclays Global Financial Institutions Group, is another advisor to the Owl Fund who also doubles as a Wall Street Day speaker.
“I believe in both these programs and the transformational impact they have on students,” Stine says. “We are not just imparting knowledge through two different outlets, we are putting these students a step ahead of their competition when they enter the job market. We have heard from students who said that they stood out as interns because they were reading and citing the same sources brokers were using.”
For Peter Aherne, CLA ’87 and managing director and co-head of Debt Capital Markets at Citigroup, the mentorship program adds depth to the interactive nature of the finance students’ connections with industry professionals.
“Through the program, I’m able to provide some context and color regarding the global debt capital markets,” says Aherne, who has two decades of experience in debt issuance and syndication. “I enjoyed providing the student’s examples of the insight and advice that we provide large, sophisticated borrowers and the language and terminology used in executed transactions.”
During the Q&A session, students asked the panelists about topics such as the importance of a company’s work culture when looking for employers, the transition period of moving from the academic world to the professional world post-graduation, and the transformations to financial sectors brought on by 2008’s market recession and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Kim Cross, BBA ’88, answered the latter question with advice developed from her own experience in pivoting after 2008.
“When 2008 hit I wondered what I was going to do,” says Cross. “I asked myself, ‘What skills do I have and where can I apply them somewhere else in the industry?’ It takes a lot of courage to step away from the security of a paycheck to try something different, but I would encourage doing that when you can because that will broaden your skillset and make you more employable.”
The Q&A concluded by asking what the panelists valued most in their careers. Maine answered the question in line with the spirit of the event, a day that brings together prospective and seasoned professionals to share their experiences and make connections.
“I’d say it’s friendships,” concludes Maine. “I’ve made so many friends through business over the years, that’s what I value most.”