On July 17, BNP Paribas hosted the closing reception for the Financial Women’s Association’s Wall Street Exchange (WSE) program. The WSE is a career development program for interns in New York City, designed to enhance their summer internships by providing job search and leadership skills while expanding their network outside of their internship firms. Each participating firm sponsored one evening of professional development, which included one-on-one training and diverse financial industry career panels. This year’s program co-Chairs, Marline Alexander and Pia Matthes, oversaw the 2017 class of high-caliber interns.
Opening remarks were provided by Laleh Bashirrad, Managing Director on the Loan Syndicate desk within Global Markets at BNP Paribas. Laleh gave a general overview of the bank’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and offered her own experience serving on Corporate Institutional Banking’s inaugural US Diversity Council and more recently with the FWA’s Baruch Mentorship program as examples of ways to support women and give back to the work environment.
The event featured leadership coach Regina Huber, Founder & CEO of Transform Your Performance, as the keynote speaker. Author of Speak up, Stand out and Shine, Regina’s keynote topic was highly relevant to the audience of interns: “Drive Your Career: Increase Your Impact to Be Seen and Move Up”. Regina began her remarks by saying that the first priority is to find one’s distinct uniqueness: “Successful leaders don’t blend in. In order to work on your own visibility, you must speak up in meetings, share ideas and take initiative to accept new tasks and additional responsibilities.”
She gave many tips, like replacing limited networks with powerful networks, learning to bounce back from failures quickly, and being aware of one’s physical presence. A thoughtful Q&A session followed the closing remarks by FWA President Stacy Musi and the evening ended with more networking over hors d’oeuvres.
WSE Committee member, Chen Rao, is a former WSE program participant and an Associate on the Regulatory Business Analytics desk in Global Markets at BNP Paribas. “Organizing this signature event speaks to our collective commitment to empowering the next generation of young professionals.”
BNP Paribas is in its eighth year as an FWA President’s Circle corporate sponsor through the US Diversity Council.
“Thank you very much for having me as part of the Wall Street Exchange program. I learned a lot through the course of six weeks and am grateful to you and everyone else who contributed to the organization of this program.” – Hassan Ejaz Chaudhry, Princeton University