Execs Give Students Glimpse of Life on Wall Street
In her first year on Wall Street, Janine Shelffo (B ’89) found herself struggling with the rising stress level of the analyst lifestyle, so she spent her Sunday mornings in a self-made sanctuary – that of an art studio. Now head of the technology, media, and telecom investment banking effort at UBS, Shelffo uses the story to illustrate the importance of carving out personal time amid an often hectic and demanding career.
“You have to do what you love,” said Shelffo, one of 10 female executives in the financial industry at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business sixth annual Women on Wall Street event. The event, held on Jan. 8 at Georgetown McDonough, was co-sponsored by the Georgetown University Women’s Leadership Initiative and the Financial Management Association.
The women, representing 10 top financial companies, shared their advice on landing jobs and internships and how to stand out in a competitive field.
“Be yourself. Don’t be someone you’re not,” said Melissa Mariaschin (B ’07), vice president of the TMT and financials equities syndicate of Barclays Capital. “Don’t be afraid to highlight your strengths. Young women are sometimes hesitant to do that.”
The executives, speaking to some 300 male and female students, agreed that Wall Street provides a level playing field for women. Most companies offer mentorship programs, networking groups, and events specifically for women in the field.
“There’s no better time to be a woman on Wall Street,” said Janet-Lee Wyche (MBA ’08), vice president at Deutsche Bank Securities. “You can really take charge of your own career.”
When moderator Lynn Doran, finance professor at Georgetown McDonough, asked the panelists which skills women needed to succeed on Wall Street, the response was unanimous: the same skills anyone would need.
“They are exactly the same as men,” said Meghan O’Connor (B ’07), vice president in the corporate and investment banking team at Citi. “You have to make sure you have enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.”
The message that work/life balance is attainable resonated with Kaitlyn Cheney (B ’16), a finance and management major.
“It’s nice to see women of this level and the success they have achieved,” she said.