BNP Paribas, one of the Financial Women’s Association’s President Circle partners and longtime sponsor of the WSE program, hosted the 2019 Wall Street Exchange Closing session at its North America headquarters at 787 7th Ave on Wednesday, July 31st, 2019. More than 50 attendees braved the thunderstorms to attend, including the WSE participants, BNP Paribas interns and employees, prior WSE event hosts, and members of FWA leadership. The session celebrated the achievements of the Wall Street Exchange Program participants. BNP Paribas generously provided a beautiful space and delicious food for the closing session.
WSE Committee Co-Chair, Marline Alexander, First Vice President of BHI, and FWA President Simone Vinocour, Morgan Stanley, kicked off the evening with opening remarks congratulating this year’s bright, talented and ambitious interns. Donna La Spina, Director, MNC Coverage, and FWA Member provided welcoming remarks on behalf of BNP Paribas.
Hayley Thompson, FXLM.COMM Corporate Sales Analyst at BNP Paribas, and WSE program alum, hosted a fireside chat with Ravina Advani, Head of Energy Natural Resources & Renewables at BNP Paribas. Ravina discussed the importance of being persistent, pursuing opportunities outside of your comfort zone, and speaking up to ask for what you want instead of waiting for things to come to you. Hayley led the conversation with great questions about Ravina’s professional experiences and what advice she would give the interns, followed by some excellent questions from the audience.
Pia Matthes, WSE Committee Co-Chair provided additional insight into her experiences as both a WSE alumna and now an active FWA member. Marie-Helene Kennedy-Payen, FWA Membership & Engagement Committee Chair, showed a video highlighting the Financial Women’s Association’s rich history and talked about her own experiences with the FWA. She discussed the opportunities available to the participants in becoming active FWA Student Members and encouraged them to apply to join.
The evening concluded with the awarding of certificates for the successful completion of the Wall Street Exchange Program. Michael Taylor, FWA Educational Programs Manager, distributed copies of the book “Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships in a Hyper-Connected World” to all of the interns. The 7 participants with perfect attendance also received a special prize of an FWA fleece jacket.
The event was well received by attendees as an excellent opportunity to share knowledge, network, and celebrate the completion of another successful year of WSE programming.
About Wall Street Exchange
The Wall Street Exchange (“WSE”) is a career development program sponsored by Financial Women’s Association (FWA) of New York, with over 1,000 alumni to date. The program is designed to augment and coincide with the summer internship work experience of select qualified rising college seniors working as interns in the New York metropolitan area. This year, a cohort of 44 WSE participants from many prestigious colleges with internships at some of the top firms in NYC, from diverse backgrounds had the opportunity to expand their peer networks outside of their internship firms.
Participating President’s Circle firms each sponsored a professional development activity over the seven-week program, which covered topics such as trading desk activities and interviewing skills, as well as a number of financial industry career panels. Sponsor firms for 2019 Class included: SMBC, New York Life, MUFG, BNY Mellon, Wells Fargo Advising, and BNP Paribas.