FinPolicy Trek 2023


One of our goals at the Psaros Center for Financial Markets and Policy is to develop students’ understanding of the intersection of public policy and the markets in order to help prepare them for successful careers, in whichever field they choose. The Psaros Center aims to ensure our programming is multidisciplinary and available to students across all of the schools at Georgetown University. To accomplish this we provide students with opportunities to participate in immersive learning experiences, like the FinPolicy Trek, where they can connect and engage with academic leaders, industry leaders, and policymakers. Additionally, it is a great way for the selected students to engage with our outstanding alumni network who can share their own insights and experiences.

Travel Diary 2023

At the end of the spring semester in 2023, the Psaros Center launched the first FinPolicy Trek. The Psaros FinPolicy Trek Scholars traveled to various landmark financial offices from May 15 – 19, 2023. Over the course of these five days, the students met with senior-level officials at the U.S. Treasury Department, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Additionally, students interacted with executives at Morgan Stanley, Nuveen Churchill Asset Management, Neuberger Berman, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs.

On Monday, the cohort kicked-off the FinPolicy Trek by departing campus and heading to the U.S. Department of Treasury. After clearing security, the group visited one of the media rooms. During their two-hour visit to the Treasury, the students heard from and spoke with senior leadership in the Office of Economic Policy, the Office of Legislative Affairs, and the Office of Domestic Finance. Students were able to discuss the debt limit, the price cap on Russian oil, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), the banking sector and recent bank failures, interest rates, the bond market, and government service.

FinPolicy Trek 2023 Day 1 outside the US Treasury Department and US Commerce Department

FinPolicy Trek participants on the Bell Entrance steps of the U.S Treasury Department.
Front Row: Ava Uditsky, Siona Mondal, Hailey Walker, Nadia Nasim, Max Bassin, Julian Wang
Back Row: Kelly Grace Richardson, Alex Yu, Will Burke, Holden Zerega, Pavlos Tentomas

After leaving the U.S. Treasury Department, the group kept with the theme of the first Treasury Secretary and went to The Hamilton restaurant for lunch.

In the afternoon, the group visited the U.S. Commerce Department to hear from senior leaders, including the International Trade Administration. Topics discussed included the broad role of the business sector that the U.S. Commerce Department oversees, the implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act, international trade, as well as career advice for the students.

Finishing off the jam-packed first day of the FinPolicy Trek, the group had dinner at the historic Bombay Club, where they were able to meet with Washington office representatives of major financial firms such as Morgan Stanley, the London Stock Exchange Group, and JP Morgan Chase. This dinner allowed students to gain a deeper understanding of how policy and markets meet, as well as receive more insightful career advice.

The second day of the D.C. portion of the FinPolicy Trek began at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). At the CFTC, students met with the top leadership and they received a deeper understanding of the CFTC and insights into the work they do.

At the CFTC, the Psaros FinPolicy Trek Scholars were able to discuss regulation of derivatives markets and its importance to the financial system as a mechanism to manage risk. Additionally, the cohort was able to learn how the CFTC’s scope has evolved primarily from agriculture markets to modern assets such as digital currencies.

FinPolicy Trek undergraduate student group with Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair Rostin Behnam

FinPolicy Trek at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Front Row:  Kelly Grace Richardson, Dr. Reena Aggarwal, Julian Wang, Ava Uditsky, Siona Mondal, Max Bassin
Back Row: Nadia Nasim, Pavlos Tentomas,Holden Zerega Alex Yu, William Burke, CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam, Hailey Walker, David Vandivier

Following a lunch break at Union Station, students arrived at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) where they were able to continue to learn about financial services regulation.

At the SEC, the cohort again met with senior leaders of this regulatory agency. These leaders provided students an understanding of the creation and background of the SEC and explained how the SEC operates today. They were able to discuss a wide variety of topics and students asked questions surrounding the SEC’s role in the regulatory system.

To wrap-up the public policy portion of the Trek, the group traveled to the U.S. Capitol to hear directly from lawmakers. Minority Leader (and Hoya) Hakeem Jeffries (MPP’94) hosted the group with a room in the Capitol building. U.S. Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) came by and had a great discussion with the students. Rep. Sessions has served in Congress since 1997 and has been Chair of the powerful House Rules Committee, as well as served as a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee. Rep. Sessions and his staff gave the students an insightful overview of recent and current policy issues, and stayed to answer a number of questions from the Psaros FinPolicy Trek Scholars.

FinPolicy Trek participants speaking with Congressman Pete Sessions of Texas in the U.S. Capitol

FinPolicy Trek participants speaking with Congressman Pete Sessions of Texas in the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Representative Jim Himes (D-CT) came by and met with the group, which included some of his constituents. Rep. Himes, a senior member of the House Intelligence Committee as well as the House Financial Services Committee, was able to also give a broad and insightful perspective of current issues of the day, especially relating to the economy and financial markets.

A fellow Hoya, U.S. Representative Steny Hoyer (L’66), also stopped in to meet with the students. Rep. Hoyer spoke about his experiences at Georgetown, as well as the current policy issues of the day. As you can imagine, the debt limit and the economy were top items of conversation.

FinPolicy Trek participants speaking with Congressman Jim Himes of Connecticut in The Capitol.

FinPolicy Trek participants speaking with Congressman Jim Himes of Connecticut in The Capitol.

All three Members of Congress who spoke with the students were gracious with their time and answered a great number of questions from the group.

By midday on Wednesday, the public policy portion of the Trek was complete and the group departed Capitol Hill for Union Station to catch their Amtrak train bound for New York City. In New York, the group took the subway down to the Financial District where they checked into the Club Quarters Hotel near the World Trade Center.

After having some time to catch up on rest, the cohort prepared to explore the private sector, departing for Morgan Stanley after breakfast. Upon arrival at Morgan Stanley, the cohort was able to have a sit-down conversation that covered numerous topics including the impacts of a potential failure to raise the debt ceiling, ESG investing, and potential future alternatives to the dollar.

Following a lunch break, the cohort next headed over to Neuberger Berman for talks with top leadership. Students received a great overview of how Neuberger Berman operates and how they rely on their research and data science teams. Additionally, they discussed ESG-related issues and the markets.

FinPolicy Trek participants at the offices of Neuberger Berman

FinPolicy Trek participants at the offices of Neuberger Berman.
Front Row: Ava Uditsky, Holden Zerega, Siona Mondal, Kelly Grace Richardson, Max Bassin, Julian Wang
Back Row: Hailey Walker, Alex Yu, Will Burke, Pavlos Tentomas, Nadia Nasim

Following the discussion at Neuberger Berman, the cohort departed for an event with Nuveen Churchill Asset Management. The students were able to listen to a moderated discussion and ask questions about the rise of private credit, the job market in private credit, and the skills required to succeed in the industry. Following the reception, the cohort returned to the hotel, which concluded the first day of the New York City portion of the trip.

Ken Kencel, and Dr. Reena Aggarwal on stage

Ken Kencel, CEO of Nuveen Churchill Asset Management and Dr. Reena Aggarwal participate in a moderated discussion on the private credit industry.

The final day of the Trek started with early morning meetings at JP Morgan Chase. The Psaros FinPolicy Trek Scholars were welcomed as special guests to watch and listen-in on the daily morning call of the Asset and Wealth Management team. This behind-the-scenes experience was a great educational experience for the group to watch the operations in action.

After the morning call, the students were given a tour of JP Morgan’s offices in New York City and met with top investment strategists to discuss the markets and investment management. The group then heard from a panel of young professionals currently working at JP Morgan who gave the students a great perspective on the variety of possible careers in the financial services industry.

After nearly three hours of meetings at JP Morgan, the students headed back downtown to the Financial District of New York City to go to Goldman Sachs. At Goldman Sachs, the students were able to meet with a wide variety of senior leaders where they had multiple sessions on a broad range of topics. Some of the discussions included: an engaging discussion about digital currencies, the evolving role of AI in the financial services industry, a discussion on the derivatives market, and recruiting.

With their last official event concluded, the group went to their hotel to grab their luggage and either head home from New York or take the train back to the Georgetown University campus. After a whirlwind five-day program, the impressive group of students had multiple first-hand experiences with senior leaders in policy making and market participants. This allowed them to gain a greater understanding of the relationship between government and the financial services industry and how each approaches the markets. With these lessons and experiences, they will be able to apply them throughout their time at Georgetown, as well as in their professional futures.

FinPolicy Trek students participating in Q&A with Asset and Wealth Management Team at JP Morgan

FinPolicy Trek students participating in Q&A with Asset and Wealth Management Team at JP Morgan.

Meet the Scholars

Maxwell Bassin

FinPolicy Trek Scholar

William Burke

FinPolicy Trek Scholar

Siona Mondal

FinPolicy Trek Scholar

Nadia Nasim

FinPolicy Trek Scholar

Kelly Grace Richardson

FinPolicy Trek Scholar

Pavlos Tentomas

FinPolicy Trek Scholar

Ava Uditsky

FinPolicy Trek Scholar

Hailey Walker

FinPolicy Trek Scholar

Julian Wang

FinPolicy Trek Scholar

Alex Yu

FinPolicy Trek Scholar

Holden Zerega

FinPolicy Trek Scholar

FinPolicy Trek Scholar Stories

Visit our Youtube Channel to hear straight from the Psaros FinPolicy Trek Scholars about why they chose to get involved, their most memorable experiences from the Trek, and how it has shaped their career trajectory and postgraduate goals.

Contact Us

Learn how you can become a FinPolicy Scholar or email the Psaros Center for more information.