The Psaros Center for Financial Markets and Policy’s FinPolicy Trek hosted undergraduate students to meet with policymakers and market participants in Washington DC and New York City

The Psaros Center for Financial Markets and Policy initiated its first FinPolicy Trek taking Georgetown students around Washington DC and New York City to meet with policymakers and market participants. From May 15 – 19, 2023, 11 undergraduate students from multiple schools on the Georgetown University campus participated in a hands-on learning experience at the intersection of financial policymaking and participation in the financial system of the United States.  Almost immediately after classes concluded for the Spring Semester, 6 students from the McDonough School of Business, 3 students from the College of Arts and Sciences, and 3 students from the Walsh School of Foreign Service embarked on the inaugural FinPolicy Trek, hosted by the Psaros Center for Financial Markets and Policy.

The FinPolicy Trek was designed to give students a first-hand experience with current issues that policymakers and market participants are addressing.  

Over the course of five-days, the eleven undergraduate students had the opportunity to engage with policymakers in Washington, as well as market participants in New York City. During the Trek, the cohort had the opportunity to meet 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, the students were able to interact with Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and their staff.  The students also connected with Washington representatives of Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, and the London Stock Exchange Group.  Mid-week, the students took the train up to New York City to engage in the private sector component of the FinPolicy Trek, which was highlighted by meetings with executives at Morgan Stanley, Nuveen Churchill Asset Management, Neuberger Berman, JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs.

Watch the student Instagram takeover of the Psaros Center’s FinPolicy Trek here

FinPolicy Trek – Travel diary

Day 1 – Monday, May 15th – Executive Branch Policymaking – U.S. Treasury Department and U.S. 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

On Monday, the cohort kicked-off the FinPolicy Trek by departing campus and heading toward the U.S. Department of Treasury.  After clearing security, the group headed up to one of the Media Rooms in the US Treasury Department.  During their two-hour visit to Treasury, the students heard from and had discussions with senior leadership in the Office of Economic Policy, the Office of Legislative Affairs, and the Office of Domestic Finance. The topics discussed included 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.  

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

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 representatives of the Washington offices of major financial firms, such as Morgan Stanley, the London Stock Exchange Group, and JP Morgan Chase.  The dinner gave the students a perspective of where policy and markets meet as well as insightful career advice.

Day 2 – Tuesday, May 16th – the Financial Market Regulators – Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

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

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

At the CFTC, the Trek participants 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.

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

At the SEC, the students again met with senior leaders of this regulatory agency who gave them an understanding 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 ask questions surrounding the SEC’s role in the regulatory system.

Day 3 – Wednesday, May 16th – Legislative Branch Policymaking – The Capitol

To wrap-up the public policy portion of the Trek, the group traveled to The 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 being a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee.  Mr. Sessions and his staff gave the students an insightful overview of current and recent policy issues as well as staying and answering a number of questions.  

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), came by to meet with the students as well.  Mr. Hoyer, spoke about his time 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.

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 mid-day on Wednesday, the public policy portion 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 near the World Trade Center.

Day 4 – Thursday, May 18th – Market Participants – Morgan Stanley, Neuberger Berman, and Nuveen Churchill Asset Management

FinPolicy Trek participants stand in a fancy conference room with a view

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

After having some time to catch up on rest, the cohort prepared to begin their exploration of 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 where the students received a great overview of how Neuberger Berman operates and relies on their research and data science teams. Additionally, they discussed ESG-related issues and the markets. 

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 concluding the first day of the New York 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.

Day 5 – Friday, May 19th Market Participants – JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs

The final day of the Trek started with early morning meetings at JP Morgan Chase. The group
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.

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 of a variety of possible careers in the financial services industry.

After nearly 3 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 role that AI is having, and might have, in the financial services industry, a discussion on the derivatives market, and recruiting.

With their last official event concluded, the group headed back to their hotel to grab their luggage and either head home from New York or take the train back to return to the Georgetown University campus in D.C. After a whirlwind five-day program, the impressive group of students had multiple first-hand experiences and 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 and their professional futures.

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

Students standing around learning

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

Watch the student Instagram takeover of the Psaros Center’s FinPolicy Trek here:

The students who participated in this year’s FinPolicy Trek


Ava Uditsky

Ava Uditsky is a rising Junior in Georgetown College studying Government with minors in Global Health and Jewish Civilization. Ava is interested in pursuing opportunities in finance, investment, and public policy. On campus, she is involved in TAMID, a consulting group focused on the Israeli start-up landscape, as well as Georgetown University’s Institute for Politics and Public Service, where she helps organize student-facing programming.  This summer she is interning at the Technology Policy Institute, an organization that partners with Google to research the conjunctions between digital access, economics, and public policy. 

Alex Yu

Alex Yu

Alex Yu is a junior at Georgetown studying finance and international business.  In addition to his coursework, has interned at several US regulatory agencies as well as at a small private equity firm. During his two years at Georgetown, Alex interned at the US Department of the Treasury as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the private sector, Alex had the opportunity to intern at Springbrook Partners, a DC-based search fund founded by another Georgetown alum. This summer, Alex will be joining RBC Capital Markets as an investment banking summer analyst in their New York office.

hailey walker headshot

Hailey Walker

Hailey Walker is a rising Sophomore in the McDonough School of Business. Hailey plans on majoring in Finance with a double major in either Accounting or Operations & Analytics. Following the FinPolicy Trek, Hailey will begin an internship in Transaction Advisory Services, followed by an internship as a Corporate Finance Analyst. Hailey is interested in the ongoing relationship between financial institutions and government entities. In addition to her academic and professional interests, Hailey enjoys dancing on the Georgetown University Dance Company and being an active member of Passion City Church DC. 

Holden Zerega

Holden Zerega

Holden Zerega is a junior at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business pursuing a double major in Finance and International Business and a minor in Chinese. In addition to studying Mandarin, Holden enjoys learning about China’s culture and economy. Before the pandemic, Holden spent a summer studying abroad in China with plans to return in 2024. This summer Holden will begin an internship at a middle-market financial services-focused private equity firm in Connecticut this summer. Outside of his studies and professional pursuits, enjoys teaching local elementary students how to read. Additionally, Holden is interested in researching disruptive applications of blockchain technology. 

Julian Wang

Julian Wang

Julian Wang is a rising senior at Georgetown University double-majoring in biology and economics. He has conducted biomedical research in labs at Georgetown and Yale and co-authored a paper on microsatellite instabilities in Lynch Syndrome that was published in the British Journal of Cancer. Julian is also passionate about studying macroeconomics and is driven to better understand its interactions in international financial markets. Last summer, he interned at the Cato Institute’s Center for Monetary and Financial Affairs and is currently preparing to begin a summer internship at the Federal Reserve Board.

Kelly Grace Richardson

Kelly Grace Richardson

Kelly Grace Richardson is a rising junior at Georgetown University where she is double majoring in Management and Finance with a minor in Government. Kelly Grace is also a coxswain on the D1 men’s lightweight rowing team. She is currently assisting on a book with Gerry George, Arun Gupta, and Thomas Fewer on mission-focused ventures that will be published in 2024. She is a founding member of Georgetown Student Capital Partners, Georgetown’s first undergraduate private equity and venture capital club. She has interned for Mantis where she assisted in crypto/blockchain and fintech and has interned at Anthemis Group, a global fintech VC firm, since May 2022. This summer, Kelly Grace will be interning at Redcar Properties as an investment intern. 

Maxwell Bassin

Maxwell Bassin

Maxwell Bassin is a sophomore at Georgetown University majoring in Business and Global Affairs. Maxwell is primarily interested in nuclear energy, space commercialization, economics, community service, and international development. At Georgetown he is president of an organization called Homeless Outreach Programs & Education, which serves those experiencing homelessness in the local DC area. Maxwell has explored the field of finance through Georgetown Collegiate Investors as an Energy Industry Analyst, EagleBank as a Business Relations Intern, and through the Georgetown University Space Initiative as a Commercialization Team Writer.

Nadia Nasim

Nadia Nasim

Nadia Nasim is a rising senior in the Georgetown Walsh School of Foreign Service, majoring in Global Business. She is interested in financial policy-making and making positive impacts on the economic welfare of the country. She is a current intern with the Financial Stability Oversight Council at the U.S Department of Treasury. During her time there, she has gained invaluable experience working on policy initiatives related to systemic risk as well as participating in important discussions on fiscal policy and domestic finance. This summer, she will be interning at the Federal Reserve Board. Outside of her internship, she is a member of Georgetown International Relations Club, Smart Woman Securities, and The Women’s Network.

Pavlos Tentomas

Pavlos Tentomas

Pavlos Tentomas is a freshman studying finance at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University. Pavlos is quadrilingual in English, Greek, German, and French. Pavlos will begin an internship this summer with Industrial Alliance in Montreal, where he will be tasked with integrating artificial intelligence software into their fixed income asset operations and workflow. Outside of his coursework, Pavlos is an avid soccer player.

Siona Mondal

Siona Mondal

Siona Mondal is a rising sophomore in Georgetown’s College of Arts and Sciences majoring in Political Economy with a minor in Statistics. After entering and winning a stock pitch competition this semester, she has developed a newfound interest in finance On campus, she’s exploring these interests as the Director of Impact Analysis of Georgetown’s Social Innovation and Public Service Fund, and as a columnist for On the Record, the GU Politics student run publication. 

William Burke

William Burke

William Burke is a freshman at Georgetown University currently studying international business and finance. Additionally, William has a strong passion for international policy and affairs. William is fluent in Chinese. This summer, William will work as an intern at Deerpath Capital, a direct lender firm located in New York. In the future, William hopes to work for an international corporation, where he can combine his interests in international affairs, specifically China, and banking.