Each year, top undergraduate and graduate finance students from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management are selected to spend three days in New York City as part of the Stuart Frankel & Company New York Stock Exchange Program. The Frankel Program, named for Whitman alumnus Stuart Frankel ’61 B.S., founder and CEO of Stuart Frankel & Company, offers students opportunities to visit finance and investment firms and meet successful Whitman alumni working in the finance field. This year, 10 students were selected based on merit and accomplishments to attend the trip.
“Students actually got to see how finance professionals work in their own environment,” said Ravi Shukla, department chair of finance at the Whitman School. “They got to see how finance concepts and formulas get applied in the real-world without the burden of the academic jargon.”
Participants started the trip with a visit to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), where they met with various members of GS, including Vice President Michelina Mandarano’08, Managing Director Ken Pontarelli ’92, Deborah Leone ’86, ’87, global director of internal audit, Robert Liberty ’94, managing director of the securities division, Analyst Hillary Tucker ’14 and more.
Graduate student, Alba Stefani ’17, found the experience particularly uplifting as she was able to expand her connections, learn more about work-life balance and meet many high-profile women working in finance.
“What I took from the experience was how important it is to have a work-life balance,” said Stefani. “Normally people think of the finance world as the big evil that eats up your social life but one of the speakers radiated positivity and was so down to earth. She looked like she found the perfect balance. She was a good model to follow. Seeing her made me motivated to remain in the finance world.”
Next, students visited Third Avenue Management, where they met with founder and co-chief investment officer, Martin Whitman ’49, for which the Whitman School was named.
“Students were excited to be in the same room as Martin Whitman,” said Shukla. “They actually sent pictures to their families.”
To undergraduate Matt DiVietro ’17, an accounting and finance dual, learning from Martin Whitman provided an opportunity to further understand how his classroom education translated in the finance business.
“Mr. Whitman had good points to give us about investment strategies and good stories to share,” said DiVietro. “He offered takeaways on recent activities and the stock market. He also taught us more about value investing.”
Afterward, students met with Chairman Robert Fagenson ’70 of National Holdings Corporation and Doug Cramer ’87, managing principal and founder of Alternative Access Capital L.L.C. before joining Stuart Frankel ’61 and Sharyn Frankel for dinner. During the three-day trip, students also met with the Whitman Advisory Council, Will Cass ’08, vice president of Needham & Company L.L.C., Associate Corey Passarella ’11 of The Carlyle Group and J.P. Morgan Private Bank’s David Kelso ’68, vice chairman of private banking, Jason Berger ’14, analyst and Katie Goldich, vice president for campus recruiting and more.
According to Stefani and DiVietro, the networking offered by the Frankel Program is unparalleled.
“Networking is super important,” said DiVietro. “It pays dividends when you graduate. During the trip, we got business cards. Some alumni were asking for resumes. After the trip, we got everyone’s contact information and connected with them on LinkedIn.”
“With New York being the epicenter of it all, this was a unique opportunity,” said Stefani. “I don’t think I would have met some of these people otherwise.”
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