I was first introduced to Forte Foundation when I attended the 2015 College Fast Track to Finance Conference. The conference was a day jampacked with various sessions that introduced me to the world of finance, and by the end of the day I knew finance was the path for me! As the 2016 College Fast Track to Finance Conference nears, here are five tips to making the most of the conference.
Meet fellow attendees.
Since I was the only one from my school attending the conference, I was really worried that I would be by myself the entire day. But luckily, I quickly met the students from other schools. The conference is a unique opportunity to interact with students with similar interests at different universities, and to hear about and learn from their experiences. In fact, I’m still in contact with some students I met during the conference, and we often exchange recruiting and interview advice.
Take advantage of time between sessions and over lunch to meet other students.
Connect with professionals (and keep in touch).
Forte works closely with many financial services companies, and you’ll have the chance to meet with employees at these firms throughout the day. This is a great networking opportunity, and all of the professionals are incredibly eager to meet every student. It is not everyday that you get to be in a room with numerous impressive female leaders and role models, so take time to get to know these professionals and learn about their jobs.
Beyond meeting them during the conference, make sure to get contact information for those you met and stay connected long after the conference ends. I found that the women at the conference were very willing to offer advice and mentorship for the participants, so don’t hesitate to email them with questions or updates on how your internship search is going.
One of the best parts of the Fast Track Conference is that everyone is there to help you learn more about the financial services industry. It’s the perfect time to ask any questions you have about finance. Especially because this conference is for women, this is your chance to ask questions about gender dynamics in finance, or ask any other questions about finance that you’ve never had the opportunity to ask before.
Practice what you learn.
During the conference, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your skills in networking, interviewing, developing your personal brand, creating stock pitches, and more. But the learning doesn’t stop when the conference ends. Rather, take what you learned during the conference and practice on your own time to really hone those skills.
Sometimes, the best practice is done by teaching others. If you’re a member of a finance organization on campus, this can be a great opportunity for you to share your new knowledge about elevator pitches or investment presentations with other members while at the same time practicing your own pitches and presentations!
Have fun (and a good attitude)!
Last, but most definitely not least, don’t forget to enjoy your time at the conference. The Forte College Fast Track to Finance Conference was a great day of learning for me, which was made possible because I went in with a positive mindset. If you’re excited to learn and eager to make new friends, you will definitely gain a lot from the conference!
Siyu Wu is from Colorado and is currently a sophomore at Princeton University, pursuing a degree in Economics and certificates in Finance and East Asian Studies. She hopes to synthesize her interest in China and East Asia with her passion for finance to eventually work in a career related to international finance and Asian capital markets.