Wall Street “Boot Camp” Comes to Colgate

Blaise Desnoes, Maroon-News Staff

Over fall break, some students participated in an intense two-day training session for financial services that was organized through Colgate University’s Center for Career Services.  

“It taught students high-level Excel skills, basic accounting, and financial modeling,” Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement and the Director of Career Services Michael Sciola said.

Junior Michael McCluskey, who works as a Peer-Career Advisor at Career Services,  was one of the participants who attended the workshop as a Career Services representative. He especially found the inclusion of basic accounting to be an asset. 

“I thought the program was very interesting because it offered exposure to new material to students earlier in their academic careers,” McCluskey said. “I was most interested by the valuation and excel components of the boot camp, as these are skills generally not offered in classes at a strictly liberal arts institution.”

Despite the fact that the nine hours of classes and lectures made for a busy weekend, McCluskey maintained it was a success. 

“Although it was pretty grueling, it was overall a solid experience I would definitely recommend, especially to underclassmen looking to pursue internships in finance,” McCluskey said.

 The instructor was described by Career Services as very effective and the students were engaged. Sciola emphasized that participants in this course gained skills for life, not just the financial field, by giving a few examples.

“Students were exposed to key skills that all employers were looking for – not just Wall Street. If you want to work in an art gallery, guess what? You’ll need to know how to run inventories, update financial reports, close out sales, and keep up with the expenses of running a business,” Sciola said. “If you want to found a social enterprise – a homeless shelter for example – you’ll need great financial skills to keep the place running.” 

“It went really well. We got hands-on experiences with financial modeling, and I feel much better prepared for technical financial interviews then I did before the bootcamp,” junior Tom Wheeler said.

This Wall Street Boot Camp is a part of Career Services larger goal, as expressed on the Center for Career Services’ website, to “expose Colgate students to the skills essential to being a top candidate no matter what field you are aiming for.” To accomplish this, Career Services “will be doing a lot more this year and years to come to provide students with access to tools and skills they’ll need to have the strongest launch into the world of work.” As such, students should expect more opportunities and programs like this Boot Camp in the near future.