Baruch College and Financial Women's Association Prepare Young Women for the Corporate World
NEW YORK, NY- September 4, 2014 -Young women at Baruch College are preparing themselves for their future in the corporate world by taking advantage of the resources and valuable programs offered through the Financial Women’s Association of New York (FWA).
Established in 1956, the FWA is a not-for-profit professional organization that has a membership of 900-1000 female and male professionals working in the financial services industry or who hold a financial position in another industry. FWA has a long tradition of encouraging women to seek career opportunities in finance and business through mentorship and networking.
Twelve years ago, the FWA expanded its successful high school mentoring programs to a higher level and selected Baruch College to establish a two-year mentoring program aimed specifically at college women. The mentoring program is currently comprised of 37 juniors and seniors, each with her own mentor – an FWA member working directly in the financial services industry or as a financial professional in another industry.
Ruchi Shah, a senior finance major originally from Rutherford, is entering her second year in the FWA Program. Like many FWA mentees from Baruch College, Ruchi learned about the program through the College’s Starr Career Development Center and says the experience has been rewarding.
“I have learned that women have are extremely impactful voice in the finance world,” Ruchi said, “and I will always have help and support in all my steps in my career from other strong women.”
Choosing Baruch was easy for Ruchi, who received a full scholarship through the Macaulay Honors Program.
“Baruch is in the heart of the financial capital, so it was the best choice,” she said, “and after graduation I plan to start my career in finance. I would like to pursue a career in equity research and my dream is to work for Moody's Corporation or an S&P 500 company.”
In 2012, Baruch College was awarded a $312,000 multi-year gift from the FWA in support of the mentoring program. With the gift extending through 2016, every new mentee in the program will receive a $1,500 award and $10,000 is available each year for the mentees to use to study abroad.
Since the partnership between Baruch College and FWA was established in 2002, it has served 165 students and it has expanded to include other opportunities for students including the FWA/BMO Capital Markets Undergraduate Endowment Scholarship Program, the FWA Mentee Award, the FWA Clear Speech Program, the FWA Mentee Study Abroad Program, leadership conferences and the FWA of New York Graduate Scholarship in Business.
“The Mentoring Program provides an extraordinary opportunity for our outstanding young women, all of whom, with a 3.5 G.P.A. or higher and leadership potential, represent la crème de la crème of Baruch,” said Alyce Mayo, Director of the FWA Mentoring Program at Baruch. “Over the years, I have often been asked: ‘How can we clone this program?’ The simple answer is—“You can’t.” The secret ingredients are the FWA women who are unparalleled in their devotion to this program and to our students. They provide the foundation—the expertise, energy, and enthusiasm—which help our mentees gain the confidence to grow and thrive in an industry that is extremely challenging for women.”
The FWA Mentoring Program offers one-on-one mentoring; networking opportunities with all mentors and other FWA members; group activities onsite at Baruch, at mentors’ offices, and at cultural events throughout NYC; invitations to attend FWA speakers’ programs at Financial Institutions in the early morning and evening; exploration of a range of career paths with a variety of experienced professionals; and assistance with investigating potential internships for pay or credit.
Building self-confidence is also one of the benefits of participating in the FWA Mentoring Program, as Alina Nesterenko, a senior finance major, discovered first-hand.
“I used to have problems owning what I was saying, because I was so focused on being intimidated by those around and above me,” said Alina, originally from Riga, Latvia and raised in Brooklyn. “FWA taught me tips and tricks to make a confident and meaningful mark on people and it has done wonders for me since.”
From an early age, New York City’s energy and corporate world fascinated Alina and motivated her to choose Baruch to earn her college degree. Alina earned a scholarship and took advantage of the opportunity presented to her.
“I admired the corporate world and saw myself taking a part in it,” said Alina, who is in her third year with FWA. “What better city to be in than New York City for business. Baruch has very strong academia, including a business school, and a lot of hard working individuals. It also allows you to get a great educational value for an affordable price.”
During her time at Baruch, Alina earned five internships with various organizations and after she graduates this May, she will begin working with BlackRock, an investment management company, full time.
“[Throughout my time with FWA and Baruch] I learned what I liked and disliked, and it helped me formulate an opinion about many different industries,” Alina said. “After spending a second summer in asset management working with analytics, I felt that that is exactly what I see myself doing in the long run.”
The Financial Women’s Association officially kicks off their 2014-2015 program on September 11 with a networking lunch for mentees and mentors. To learn more about the FWA Program at Baruch College, contact Olga Barskaya, Director of the FWA Mentoring Program at Baruch College at Olga.Barskaya@baruch.cuny.edu. Follow the FWA Mentoring Program on Twitter and Instagram @FWABaruch.
About Baruch College:
Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 17,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 5 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/.