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When a tight job market severely limited opportunities for financial services internships this summer, Bruce Wayne ’04 (Belle Mead, N.J.) cast a wide net to secure one.

The economics and business major literally made more than 100 phone calls in contacting every financial firm within a one-hour radius of his central New Jersey home. The effort paid off with interviews at a few firms and an eventual offer at Morgan Stanley.

“Most firms that I spoke with told me that due to the economic conditions, they had cut internship programs,” he says. “I just kept calling around though, because I definitely wanted to get some practical work experience under my belt prior to my junior year.”

From mid-May through Aug. 1, Wayne interned at Morgan Stanley’s Morristown, N.J., office, working with two associate vice presidents specializing in retirement planning. He set up financial seminars that covered topics including estate planning, tax law changes, and IRA rollover. His role ranged from finding seminar locations that would draw great interest from prospective clients, such as golf communities and retirement villages, to setting up seminar details, such as caterers, guest speakers, and door prizes. After the seminars, Wayne made follow-up calls to get feedback from attendees and attempt to set up appointments with his advisors.

“I really enjoyed the interaction with all the people and found the way in which an operation like that works very interesting,” he says. “I was able to acquire a great deal of experience and knowledge about how the financial planning sector operates. I was able to see firsthand the daily changes of the stock market and the way in which investors react. I also acquired valuable phone skills as I had many calls to make each day in trying to set up the seminars.”

Wayne is still exploring potential career tracks.

“I have a very strong interest in finance in general, whether it be in financial planning or accounting,” he explains. “I’m still allowing my course work here at Lafayette to give me a taste of all the different areas that are available to me. As of right now, though, I’d say that accounting is something I’m very interested in.”

As he considers career options, Wayne is taking advantage of what Lafayette has to offer.

“Lafayette’s strengths lie within its high-quality reputation to people around the country,” he says. “This reputation provides members of the college with a world of opportunity. Its small size is also very beneficial to all of its students, as it puts this world of opportunity at the fingertips of each and every student. The Gateway program run by Career Services is also a very valuable tool to me, and helped me a great deal with such tasks as locating alumni that live in my area, writing my resume and cover letter, etc.”

A peer tutor through Lafayette’s Academic Resource Center, Wayne is a member of Investment Club and the varsity football team, although he is sitting out this season with an injury. Through an alumni-sponsored externship, he shadowed a pharmaceuticals territory representative at American Home Products during last January’s interim session between semesters, learning “valuable marketing skills.” He plans on securing another externship this school year as well as an internship next summer.

Categorized in: Academic News