Increased student interest in finance, consulting prompts new counselor hire
Published: Friday, October 11, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 11, 2013 08:10
Due to a record number of students expressing interest in career paths related to finance and consulting, Tufts Career Services has been working to ramp up its efforts to support these students — including offering more finance networking events and hiring Christopher Di Fronzo (E ‘96) as the university’s first counselor specializing in this field.
“Interest in finance and consulting careers has been steadily increasing over the past decade,” Director of Career Services Jean Papalia told the Daily in an email.
Papalia said that, given the ever-increasing competition for careers in these industries, Tufts alumni in the Tufts Financial Initiative (TFI) advised the hire of a finance and consulting counselor.
“Entry-level positions in these fields require highly specific preparation,” she said. “Recognizing this, Tufts alumni — many of whom also recruit here — identified the need for additional resources to ensure that our students are competitive with their peers from business schools.”
A Jumbo himself, Di Fronzo has experience both in the financial field and with recruiting college students for job positions.
“We are thrilled to have Chris Di Fronzo on our staff,” Papalia said. “With him onboard, the Career Center has been able to accommodate more significant numbers of students interested in finance and consulting.”
Students are actively taking advantage of this new resource, with more undergraduates requesting to meet with Di Fronzo every day. Freshman Nandita Baloo seized the opportunity to meet with the counselor as a way to learn more about the finance and consulting field.
“Christopher Di Fronzo has been organizing so many cool events,” Baloo said. “The Careers in Consulting networking night made it so anyone — from freshmen just trying to figure out what it’s all about to seniors looking for jobs — could access information.”
Held on Sept. 12 and entitled “Careers in Consulting: An Evening of Networking,” the event connected undergraduates to more than 30 insiders and alumni — an increase from previous years that had just over 20 representatives — who work as consultants and recruiters, according to a Career Services pamphlet. The event drew in representatives of prominent firms, such as Fidelity Business Consulting, Novantas and Putnam Associates.
“Overall it was a very rewarding day — it was long and filled with tons of information, but I think at the end of it all everyone got a lot out of it,” Baloo said.
These on-campus events have been a huge success, with unprecedented turnouts among the student body, Papalia said. The Sept. 21 Finance Career Forum (formerly the Wall Street Crash Course) allowed students to attend informational panels and speak with Tufts alumni from firms in New York City, Boston, California, London and Hong Kong about different avenues within the field. Those in attendance were also able to eat lunch with the alumni, giving them the opportunity to network and make personal connections.
“I have to say the level of interest and engagement was really high,” Christopher Manos, lecturer in the Department of Economics, said of the Finance Career Forum. “The school is being responsive to expressed student needs both through the Career Center and through Professors of the Practice [of Finance] by expanding their financial offerings.”
Shortly following this event was the Sept. 23 Tufts Career Fair, an annual gathering of companies and organizations that are of interest for all majors, not just those students interested in careers in finance or consulting. Papalia said that this year’s fair featured over 125 employers, about 20 of which dealt exclusively with finance and consulting. Large crowds of students flocked to these booths which included representatives from The New England Consulting Group, Fidelity Investments and The Amundsen Group, among others.
Di Fronzo is currently planning the intensive, two-day Wall Street Prep: Financial and Valuation Modeling Seminar for Nov. 2 and 3, which will be geared toward students with interests ranging from investment banking and private equity to business and corporate development.
The Career Center’s support for students seeking jobs in finance doesn’t stop at event planning. In response to the high volume of requests for mock case interviews, alumni stepped in to help students prepare.