The financial services companies are strengthening their graduate programs in order to work with the best future professionals, training them together, fostering a bond and loyalty among them.
Headquartered at Boston, State Street provides investment and technology solutions that help clients safeguard and steward about one tenth of the world’s total assets. They are seeking to attract committed individuals who see themselves as leaders, innovators, creative thinkers and problem solvers. State Street wants to engage with talented and diverse people who want to make their mark in the financial services industry. They offer multiple internship, co-op and entry-level opportunities for finance and technology students, and graduates around the world.
The organization’s Professional Development Program (PDP) is a two-year opportunity in the United States and EMEA, and 18 months in India. It is specifically designed for graduates who want an accelerated career trajectory into finance. Once selected, participants get a chance to work across the company, with in-depth exposure to different business areas and functions, including Investment Servicing, Data and Analytics, Research and Trading, and Asset Management. Rotations are designed to provide hands-on experience in different roles and business activities to help participants develop a comprehensive understanding of each area and the overall industry.
US program participant Katie Zajkowski says, “I am currently on rotation with State Street Global Markets’ Product Innovation and Business Development team. This is my first rotation, but last summer I interned at State Street Global Advisors with the Institutional Client group. I love my current role because I get to learn about all of the business lines within the bank and gain insight into our products.”
An intern in the previous summer, Katie did not have second thoughts about returning, “I instantly felt like I belonged because of the work environment. My managers and fellow interns were incredibly encouraging, so I knew I wanted to return full-time. I decided to join the PDP because I wanted to learn more about the bank and explore areas of interest, and I knew that State Street housed a culture that would allow me to be supported and grow.”
The possibility of learning about the different areas and opportunities within financial services was a factor that attracted Katie’s colleague Duruo Murray: “When I started my job search, I was looking for a place where I would be able to enhance my learning of the financial industry, while advancing my career,” he recalls.
For him, joining a firm that would embrace and celebrate diversity was also crucial. “I wanted to be part of a company that would accept me as an individual with many conflicting identities,” says Duruo. He is a resident of Brooklyn, NY, and has graduated from Babson College where he double majored in marketing and social and cultural studies. “When I first interviewed for State Street’s PDP, I saw everything that I could want within a company: the opportunity to explore different aspects of the company, while being out and proud as a transgender male with no hesitation.”
Diversity and community commitment were some of the criteria that another participant of the group, Kenefy Carvajal considered to select State Street’s program. “The opportunity for growth and the company structure, which supports positive change, are some of the key reasons why I joined State Street,” he says. “My values too align with those of the organization in regard to promoting diversity and helping our communities.”
Dominican Republic-born, Kenefy is now rotating at the firm’s AlphaSM Implementation team. “I really like that this role allows me to use my creativity, create processes and together experience in consulting,” says Kenefy. He is a Suffolk University graduate and has majored in investments and minored in big data.
The three colleagues share their views of how a collaborative, diverse and inclusive atmosphere helps bring everybody’s best. “My first week was a clear indication that my fears were just that: fears. I knew that I was going to be okay here,” recalls Duruo. Katie also values the culture and makes a relevant distinction, “While diversity focuses on the makeup of the workforce, the emphasis on inclusion creates a work environment and culture that allows all employees to thrive and feel comfortable,” says Katie who has graduated in math and economics from Colby College.
Similarly, for Duruo, nothing beats being able to be oneself, “As an employee who presents multiple conflicting identities, it’s nice to know that I can enter my workspace and present my authentic self,” he says. “From my time so far, I have been surrounded by individuals who are consistently putting in an effort to make the company more inclusive for everyone.”
The three candidates are conscious of the opportunity in their hands – upon completion, successful graduates are offered a managerial role at State Street: “I am thankful for being part of a network of intelligent individuals with global reach, which allows me to collaborate across the globe in my day to day role,” says Kenefy.
Aware of its value, Duruo and Katie recommend the program to potential candidates, including those without a financial education background.
“It is okay if you do not know everything there is to know about finance,” says Duruo. “It is okay to come into this space with the knowledge you already have, as long as you are open to learning more as you go along.”
Katie adds, “My biggest piece of advice for anyone joining the industry is to put yourself out there. Connect with those who have roles you’re interested in and learn from them regarding their experience, day-to-day responsibilities, challenges, etc. You can learn so much from the people around you as long as you make the effort.”
Learn more about early career opportunities at State Street here.