Eighteen students from the International College of the Cayman Islands recently got an up-close look at the inner-workings of global finance in New York City.
The students spent four days in the city as part of a seminar examining the interplay of financial companies, regulators and institutions operating in what is considered the world’s most sophisticated and diverse financial center.
The class was led by local chartered financial analyst Craig Walker.
During the seminar, students were hosted by major financial institutions, where senior executives addressed them about fixed income trading, interest rate derivative sales, foreign exchange, utilities, corporate banking and hedge funds.
“Being a young Caymanian who aspires to do great things, this seminar was an eye-opener,” said Adah Grant, who is studying accounting at ICCI. “Getting off the island and having this experience, I think will help make me more competitive when it’s my turn to start my career.”
The Bank of Montreal and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Capital Markets Divisions were among the host companies. At CIBC, students had an opportunity to tour the trading floor.
“There is nothing like hands-on experience,” said business administration student, Crystal McField. “While others are Googling this information or getting this in a classroom, I am walking on Wall Street, talking to industry leaders in the corporate boardrooms and witnessing trading in action. I really can’t believe I’m here. It’s incredible.”
Students also took a guided walking tour of Wall Street and tried their hand at a stock simulation exercise conducted by former Morgan Stanley staffers.
Sales skills essential
“I was a seller and it was very difficult for me to find an appropriate buyer at the asking price that I was trying to achieve,” said accounting student Michael Sanford. “I learned in addition to superb accounting and analytical skills, to be successful on Wall Street you also have to have great sales skills,” said Mr. Sanford.
The students put in 16-hour days, with evening sessions exclusively devoted to debriefing about the day’s experiences and presenting information in their assigned textbook.
“This is what it is all about,” said ICCI President David Marshall. “Our job is to ensure that students are having these types of world-class, global experiences so they can be prepared to take their rightful places in careers on-island and across the world. We are very proud of these students who rose to the occasion and represented ICCI and the Cayman Islands very well.”