Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

A summer internship on Wall Street has led to a full-time job for economics and business major Maurice Bennett ’06 (Philadelphia, Pa.).

Having excelled with Credit Suisse First Boston in the fastpaced environment of equity sales and trading, Bennett received and accepted an offer to work with the firm after graduating next year.

In his 10-week internship, Bennett felt right at home among traders buying and selling tremendous volumes of stocks valued at millions of dollars to large financial institutions. He says the experience demonstrated his ability to compete with interns from Ivy League schools and become a successful investment banker.

Bennett’s “top-notch” performance shadowing analysts and learning about cash trading, prime services, and coverage sales led to the invitation to join the firm on a full-time basis in July, says Hilary Walton, equity sales and trading campus recruiter and manager of the equity sales and trading summer program.

“Maurice did wonderfully,” she says. “He received unanimous support across the trading floor. He was very proactive about meeting people, asking questions, and seemed very eager to get involved and succeed on the floor.”

In addition to getting an idea of the pressure he will be under as someone trading with large amounts of money, Bennett was able to network with established traders to learn about their worklife balance and their personal stories of managing both the setbacks and successes that come with high-profile jobs.

“The summer program is great for learning about the people who work in this industry, what their lifestyles are like, and what skill-sets are needed to do well,” Walton explains, adding that no amount of textbook training can give that sort of insight.

Although Bennett is diving back into the books during his final year at Lafayette, he plans to learn as much as possible about the market and his future job.

“I think the best thing I can do to prepare for the position is to go out and get as comfortable as I can with the markets, both domestic and abroad,” he explains. “I’ll do that by reading everything I can get my hands on — The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and other newswire sources that give immediate access to financial statistics, labor reports, unemployment statistics, and company stock information.”

While Bennett still has a lot to learn, he’s entering into the position with a tremendous amount of talent.

“To be a trader, you naturally have to think quickly on your feet, make smart decisions, and be resilient,” says Walton. “I think Maurice has those qualities, especially being both a scholar and an athlete.”

Bennett has no doubt that his time on the football field as a standout linebacker has equipped him with the very same talents possessed by the most successful traders.

“Being involved in athletics really prepares you for the outside world,” he says. “For example, on the field you learn how to deal with missing the tackle or the play, recovering, getting yelled at by the coach, and then going back in for the next play.”

Bennett is included on the Buchanan Award watch list that tracks the 16 leading contenders for the top defensive player in I-AA football, remaining after the first revision to the list was made Wednesday by The Sports Network, I-AA football’s most widely recognized information service. The Patriot League’s leading tackler thus far this season with 65, he also was recently named a semi-finalist for the Draddy Trophy, which goes to a student-athlete who exhibits academic success, football performance, and exemplary community leadership.

Honored this year as a second-team Preseason All-American by The Sports Network, Bennett tied for first in the Patriot League in tackles last season, helping lead a team that won the league championship and advanced to the Division I-AA playoffs last fall. He was named to the All-Patriot League First Team. He finished second in tackles the prior year. He also has excelled in the classroom, earning placement on the Patriot League Honor Roll each season, and is conducting a yearlong honors thesis in his major.

As in football, failures on the trading floor have to be put aside quickly, notes Bennett.

“Because the market is so unpredictable, you could be the smartest in the world, but you’re not always going to be able to predict what’s going to happen,” he says. “If you lose $10 million, you have to realize why you lost it and move on immediately.”

Working with others toward a common goal is another essential quality of traders at Credit Suisse First Boston.

“So much of this business is working with others on a team and Maurice does that very well,” Walton says. “In light of how well he did in New York this summer, I can only imagine there are going to be great things ahead of him.”

Bennett says that coming to Lafayette, he knew the College had high academic standards and was known nationally for its academic excellence. He is pleased with the College and the economics and business department, which he credits with preparing him for the internship interview and numerous career possibilities.

“I feel that Lafayette has prepared me well,” he says. “The economics and business department focuses on the fundamentals of being a good businessperson, with a lot of groundwork in finance. I think it opens doors to students when they graduate — you can be an economist, you can work on Wall Street, you can be a financial planner, or something else. You’re not pigeonholed into being an accountant, or just working in economics, or just finance. You can do whatever you want. That’s one of the reasons why I chose Lafayette.”

“In the long run, it helps to be a well-rounded student,” he adds.

Bennett is a peer mentor for first-year athletes and vice president of Brothers of Lafayette. He graduated from George Washington High School.

Categorized in: Academic News