BYU Financial Services Summit Connects Students to Professionals

PROVO, Utah – May 10, 2022 – For finance students at the BYU Marriott School of Business, choosing a specific career path in the diverse world of finance can sometimes seem daunting. To address these concerns, the finance department recently hosted its first-ever BYU Career Paths in Financial Services Summit, which aimed to help students learn more about different finance careers and form plans for their futures.

The summit was designed to create another opportunity for students to meet with financial services professionals. The finance department’s annual trip to New York with students has typically been one of the primary events that meets this need, but the trip was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “As a department, we didn’t want to risk missing another year of providing students in-depth exposure to the financial services industry, so we brought the professionals to us,” says Troy Carpenter, associate teaching professor of finance and managing director for the Peery Institute of Financial Services at BYU Marriott. 

“As faculty members, we reached out to several of our colleagues and friends in New York and San Francisco, and many people were eager to come to BYU Marriott and participate in the summit,” he continues. “I’m grateful for those who adjusted their schedules to come be with our students. Thirty professionals attended, coming from sectors such as investment banking, private equity, wealth management, and asset management.” 

Since the primary purpose of the summit was to help students learn about and explore different opportunities offered in the industry, faculty members were thrilled that the attending professionals came from a wide variety of financial careers. “Some students come into an event like this not particularly confident about the specifics of their career plans, but then they learn from professionals and start recognizing what their options are,” Carpenter explains.

Students attended multiple breakout panels where professionals discussed the usual responsibilities of their jobs and answered questions. After these breakout sessions, the students reconvened for a young professionals panel, which featured participants who were one to four years into their careers. 

“I enjoyed meeting incredible professionals from all over the country,” says Rhett Jensen, a finance junior from Syracuse, Utah, who helped run the event. “The summit gave me and my fellow students a taste of the day-to-day responsibilities in different areas of financial services. Understanding these responsibilities is a crucial part of figuring out what I want to do in finance, because the industry is so broad and diverse.”

The event was held on February 18, 2022, and took place in the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center. The summit opened with keynote speaker Keith Read, president of Cerberus Business Finance and senior managing director of Cerberus Capital Management, based in New York. He spoke to students about the power of small adjustments and emphasized the significance that discipline plays in a person’s life and career. “Motivation may come and go, but real power comes when a person can discipline himself with positive habits,” Read said.

The event, born out of a bad situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and a need to help students connect with professionals, has created another way in which the finance department plans to support its students. “While we are fortunately taking students to New York this year and plan to do so in the coming years, our plan is also to make the summit an annual event,” Carpenter says.

Carpenter believes the event helped strengthen ties between BYU Marriott and the financial services industry while also enabling networking opportunities for students. He is grateful for the diverse network of BYU Marriott alumni, which make student success possible when newly graduated students transition to the workforce. “The finance program has such a strong network of alumni and professionals that creates a pipeline for our students’ employment. Events such as the summit help our program maintain close ties with our network and are valuable opportunities for our students,” he says.

The first annual BYU Career Paths in Financial Services Summit was held on February 18, 2022. Photo courtesy of Troy Carpenter.
The first annual BYU Career Paths in Financial Services Summit was held on February 18, 2022. Photo courtesy of Troy Carpenter.
Keith Read spoke to the students about the importance of discipline. Photo courtesy of Troy Carpenter.
Keith Read spoke to the students about the importance of discipline. Photo courtesy of Troy Carpenter.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Sarah Calvert