State Street Professionals Speak to the World of Finance

04.17.2013 · Posted in Alumni, Career Advice, Financial Management

Choul Ngoal and Joseph Urban from State Street were able to present some of their experiences and career success to members in FMA.  Choul and Joe are both Stonehill College graduates from the class of 2011 and have been working at State Street from the last several years since graduating.   This session was aimed at giving students the ability to engage these Stonehill alums in an informal nature answering questions and giving advice in regards to interviews, internships, college programs and job searching.  Both Choul and Joe gave praise to Professor Mullen in regards to all the help and guidance they had received as Stonehill students, as well as the importance of his “SCIFI” program, urging students to take advantage of the opportunity.  They continued to stress the importance of talking to professors and professionals within their field to provide valuable information and resources for their journey into the real world.

We are thankful for Joe and Choul’s insight and knowledge of the professional world. The information they shared and the questions that were asked helped add guidance and confidence for the students who attended.

Fidelity Investments “Its About Passion and Commitment”

11.08.2012 · Posted in Career Advice, Financial Management

The Stonehill FMA was pleased to welcome Boston-based Fidelity Investments this past Tuesday.  As a global leader in the asset management business with assets in excess of $3.6 trillion, privately owned Fidelity employs about 40,000 people domestically and is the third largest brokerage trading company in the world.  Chase Martell, Service Manager of the Merrimack, New Hampshire location, provided a short presentation on the firm including a discussion on Fidelity’s growing job and internship opportunities.

“Fidelity places a high value on education, training, and career advancement”, said Mr. Martell.  “For example, Fidelity covers all training costs to assist employees in preparing for their Series 7 and Series 6 exams required by Federal and State regulations making them eligible to sell products such as mutual funds and annuities. Chase described how the national average of passing the Series 7 is only 66%, while Fidelity employees have a 90% average pass rate.  Fidelity also provides financial assistance towards furthering education, such as pursuing an MBA.  It is clear that the company values education and invests in its people’s future.

Mr. Martell touched upon a series of professional opportunities and entry level positions in the company that reflect the strong growth experienced by the company.  Some common areas of employment include finance, accounting, marketing, technology, sales, and actuarial positions.  He mentioned that having a degree in finance / business is an advantage but is a not a necessary criteria through the hiring process.  Successful candidates and employees exhibit a passion in what they do and bring to the firm each and every day.  This is a key part of the Fidelity culture and an important reason for its success over the years.

But Fidelity’s business is not just about investments.  The company is actively involved in sustainability and philanthropy.  It has reduced paper usage rates by 40% through eDelivery; reduced greenhouse emissions by 17%; and has incorporated a more sustainable supply chain.  The Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund manages donor-advised funds which are essentially separate foundations within a larger corporate structure.  In just 20 years, the charity has reached over $11 billion in grants, making it the 3rd largest charity in the United States, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.  These funds help support 136,000 nonprofit organizations.

The Stonehill FMA greatly appreciates Mr. Martell for taking the time to meet with our members.

Some Great Words Of Advice From Not Your Average Joe

10.20.2012 · Posted in Alumni, Career Advice, Successful Alumni

An entrepreneurial spirit and high energy only begin to describe Joe D’Agostino and his experiences while at Stonehill.  A graduate of the class of 2010, Joe joined the Stonehill Chapter of the FMA last Tuesday evening to share some memories and advice and how his experiences at Stonehill prepared him for an interesting career with the high-growth tech company, TechTarget. (TTGT).  TechTarget is a data mining company that matches tech buyers with tech sellers.  With more than 100 technology specific websites, it provides technology marketers innovative media that, according to the company, delivers unmatched reach via custom advertising, branding and lead generation solutions all built on our extensive network of online and social media. TechTarget is based in Boston (as is Joe) and has locations in Atlanta, Beijing, Cincinnati, London, Mumbai, San Francisco, Singapore, and Sydney.

According to Joe, “Students need to demonstrate leadership and initiative while in College.  Good grades just are not enough to land interesting but very competitive job opportunities”.  He emphasized to the group that getting involved in extracurricular activities such as internships and student clubs, is very important.  It builds important skills and confidence that in class studies do not, which really make a difference post graduation.  Some of the activities highlighted by Joe included an internship with the LoJack Company making sales calls.  In addition he ran his own DJ business to help cover the expense of Tuition and Room & Board.  This was on top of his participation on the Stonehill Track Team.

Today, Joe’s day-to-day account management experience is focused on product sales.   While very challenging, it allows him the opportunity to travel the world and interact with clients face to face.  Something Joe highlighted is key to success.  According to Joe, “Communication is a key selling point in the marketing field so get used to networking right now.  Construct a LinkedIn account and keep that resume updated.”

Earthquake Rocks FMA Meeting

10.17.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

The earthquake that hit southern Maine last night was felt throughout parts of New England including here at Stonehill.  Participants in the Tuesday night meeting of the FMA in Stanger Hall felt the tremors shake the classroom floor and desks during the presentation of Stonehill alum Joe D’Agostino.  According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the 4.0 magnitude quake hit around 7:12 p.m. and its epicenter, about 3 miles west of Hollis Center, Maine, was about 3 miles deep.  That location is about 20 miles west of Portland.  For many in the audience, it was nonetheless a very interesting experience.   Text messages a few minutes later from news sources subscribed to  by students quickly confirmed suspicions that we had just experienced the trimmers of an earthquake.   Sounds like this is just another reason to be an active member of the Stonehill Chapter of the FMA.  You never know what to expect at its meetings!

Highlights of Waters Corp. Field Trip

If you have not spent much time in a science lab, odds are you have not heard of Waters Corporation, a leader player in the Life Science Tools Industry.  But thanks to Stonehill Alum Gene Cassis, the Stonehill FMA had the opportunity to bring interested members to visit the company on October 9.  Mr. Cassis is Vice President of Worldwide Business Development and Investor Relations for Waters Corp and a former chemistry major while here at the College.

Given the company’s track record, Waters is a well-managed organization posting consistent growth, improving profitability, strong cash flows and excellent returns to its shareholders for more than a decade.  It maintains a strong competitive advantage from a wide moat around its life science tool product line in Liquid Chromatography and Mass Spec systems used in the chemical analysis of drugs and other consumer products.  Growth has slowed a bit in 2012 in part due to currency translation, and tighter commercial budgets overseas, and the end of a significant investment cycle in the US spurred by excess government spending to jump start the US economy.  Management appears optimistic in a rebound in growth in 2013 and beyond.

Students attending the visit got a run down on the company by Gene Cassis and also Michael Silverira, Controller and Head of Corporate Finance for Waters.  Mr. Silverira discussed accounting procedures in a manufacturing environment and factors the company considers in making acquisitions in a high tech field.  The presentations were followed up by a company tour.  The company’s operation in Massachusetts is mostly involved in the manufacture and testing of custom products.  Its operation in Singapore serves its customers in the far east where the company enjoys a zero corporate tax rate while its European customers are addressed from an operation in Ireland where corporate taxes are just 9%.  From a net profitability stand point, this gives Waters a large competitive advantage and provides attractive cash flow generation to its shareholders.  Members found the manufacturing process to be very interesting.  Overall the afternoon was extremely informative and we greatly appreciate the opportunity presented by Mr. Cassis and his colleagues.

What’s Next in the Markets?

09.18.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

Professor Spencer addressed the group speaking about the current state of the financial markets and what he believes to be coming next. Professor Spencer, a graduate of Bentley College, who also has his Masters in taxation from Bentley, and his JD from Suffolk University Law School, is an Attorney and CPA in the state of Massachusetts. He began his career as a tax consultant at Ernst & Young and later became the founder, treasurer, chief financial officer and director of AdvantageHealth Corporation, which is now a publically traded company on the NASDAQ. Given his extensive background in business and finance in particular it was great to hear his perspective of the markets as a whole, as he has great insight on numerous topics.

According to Professor Spencer, the word “Finance” can be defined as “Finding money, protecting it, creating a safeguard, multiplying it, and then ultimately creating more money”. He spoke about how he was a consultant to the Red Sox, and how his idea of implementing luxury boxes in Fenway Park would do just that for the owners of the team. Implementing luxury boxes would, and did, allow them to expand the number of seats available, ultimately bringing in more cash flow, and allowing for tax breaks.

“High Risk leads to high reward” was the view seen be most investors, but now, with the market in its current condition, is it advantageous to even enter into the markets given its extreme volatility? According to Professor Spencer, Goldman Sachs number one Analyst has announced to stockholders that it is now “time to get out of the market”. But why? The markets have rebounded from their fall in late 2008, but with much speculation about what the coming months are going to bring, many people have lost all of their trust in not only the markets, but Wall Street as well. Many people held the belief that the investing in the government was a safe bet, but the US government is currently over $16 trillion dollars in debt, so how can this be. Another “safe” investment is in a hard asset like gold, yet gold’s worth is totally undefined; basically based off of what people are currently willing to pay for it. Municipal bonds on the other hand, are a much better investment according to Professor Spencer, because not only are they guaranteed by the state government, but they are also not taxable by the federal government. So what is a safe investment? Looking at the vast uncertainties that lie ahead of us, it is hard to tell, but what is certain is that the expectations for change are already being forecasted onto the markets. Professor Spencer had great insights not only on our markets, but on his career path and his personal experiences as well.

FMA Honors Trustee Michael Herlihy As “Outstanding Financial Executive”

09.17.2012 · Posted in Alumni, Stonehill FMA, Uncategorized

The Stonehill FMA chapter honored this fall Stonehill Trustee Michael W. Herlihy ’83, P’05, President and Chief Operating Officer of Resources Management Corp.  as “Outstanding Financial Executive” in appreciation for his assistance in helping the chapter earn the Superior Chapter honor from the FMA.

Mr. Herlihy became a partner in Resources Management Corp., a registered investment advisor in West Hartford, Connecticut in 2004. In 1999, he was the founding CEO of InsurBanc, a full-service, federal savings bank, where he served as president and chief executive officer. Prior to that, he was employed by The Advest Group, Inc., as senior vice president and complex manager for their Boston region and as president and chief executive officer of Advest Bank and Trust Company in Hartford, Connecticut.

Stonehill Earns FMA Superior Chapter Award

08.28.2012 · Posted in FMA International, Uncategorized

Congratulations to recent graduates and current members of the Stonehill College FMA for earning the FMA Superior Chapter Award for the 2011-12 academic year.  According to the International Association’s Director of Student Programs, the “highly coveted award is given to fewer than five percent of FMA chapters.”  Earning this honor was at the top of the Stonehill chapter’s goals for 2011-12 requiring a substantial effort by its officers and members.  ”And we have made it a top priority again for 2012-13″, said Danielle Rellas, Student President of the Chapter.

The Stonehill College FMA chapter will be recognized worldwide for this honor on FMA International’s website (www.fma.org click on “Undergrad/MBA Homepage”) and in FMA International’s publications.

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College Announces 2011-12 FMA Honor Society Inductees

03.13.2012 · Posted in FMA Honor Society

Stonehill College and the Department of Business Administration is pleased to announce that on Tuesday, March 27 it will induct four  senior finance majors from the class of 2012 into the FMA Honor Society for their outstanding academic achievement.   The following students will be inducted at the Business Department Academic Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, March 27, 2012:

Francis Groccia

Anisa Gjini

Sean Ricketts

Tyler Jackson

Our sincerest congratulations to you all!

Credit Cards And Your Rights

03.08.2012 · Posted in Alumni, Financial Management

In a program presented by the Massachusetts Office of Attorney General, the Stonehill College student business organizations (FMA, MMA and AA) co-sponsored a visit by Stonehill alum Brittany Kaminski ’11 to talk to students about their rights and obligations with credit cards and other financial matters post graduation.  Brittany is currently a mediator for the state AOG and is using her role to educate college students in Massachusetts about this important and often overlooked part of their financial future.

Despite a series of legislative safeguards that are unique to residents of Massachusetts, students, young professionals and their parents are still potentially vulnerable to excessive interest rates, financial obligations and damaged credit history.  “Access to credit and its obligations, needs to be taken very seriously by both students and parents, especially if parents co-sign any credit obligations”, said Ms. Kaminski. Knowing your rights is important in all financial matters, but it does not stop you from making bad moves.  With credit card interest rates at 18-22% and potentially higher if you miss a payment to two, graduates can quickly find themselves way over their heads.  Add on student loan obligations and maybe a car payment and suddenly life is not so easy.

Our thanks to Brittany and her colleagues from the OAG office for an interesting presentation and informative Q&A.