July 12, 2024
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July 12, 2024
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Touro University Finance Alumni Network event creates professional opportunities for graduates and current students.

(Courtesy of Touro University) Nearly 100 members of the Touro Finance Alumni Network gathered last week at the Touro University campus in Times Square for its second annual event. Billed as an evening to expand professional networks, learn from other alumni in the business world and help rising undergraduate finance students, Touro graduates in finance roles at UBS, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Deloitte, Prudential, PwC, and other top firms, as well as some current students, got to know one another and made professional connections over sushi.

The keynote speaker was Mitchell (Moyshe) Silk, the former assistant secretary for international markets in the U.S. Department of the Treasury. After discussing his experiences in the treasury department, Silk gave the attendees three pieces of advice that he said helped fuel his success over his long career.

“What is most important to me and what kept me going, are my community, my family and myself,” he said. “This is primarily a finance crowd, and each of you should involve yourselves in community matters; dedicate yourself to your family, which should be self-explanatory; and take care of yourselves: take care of yourselves by learning, take care of yourselves by exercising, and take care of yourselves by pursuing outside interests.”

It’s All About Relationships

The Touro Finance Alumni Network launched last year at the penthouse office of Audrey Weitz, managing director at Old City Investment Partners in midtown Manhattan, and a mother of two Touro University students. The organization was modeled after alumni organizations of top-tier public and private universities and the tremendous impact those groups have had in creating opportunities for students and alumni alike.

“The point of the network is twofold: One is to help you, the alumni, build relationships with each other to advance your own career,” said Jodi Smolen, director of career services for Lander College for Men (LCM) who organized the event and directs the Touro Finance Alumni Network. “Second is to connect back to Touro, so that you can hire Touro finance and accounting students into your firms now and to mentor our current students to help jump-start their careers. It’s paying it forward.”

Josh Mandelbaum, a vice president and fixed income credit analyst at 1919 Investment Counsel, as well as a member of the Touro Finance Alumni Network executive committee, said events like these are important because in the financial industry, “it’s all about relationships.”

“It’s important to have relationships with people who went to the same school as you, because you never know what business and job you will need a few years from now,” said Mandelbaum, who traveled from Baltimore to attend. “It also provides chizzuk—it’s important to see successful alumni and for the young grads to start off making connections.”

Expanding Networks and Sharing Success

Not only did the event help alumni and students network, it also sparked new ideas to branch out even further. Abbie Jakubovic, a senior actuarial associate at Mercer and an alumnus of Touro’s Lander College for Men, suggested creating actuarial subgroup within the Touro Finance Alumni Network, and Yael Parkoff, a managing consultant at Forvis Mazars and a graduate of Touro’s Lander College for Women, suggested holding a similar event for women in business.

Beyond the ability to network and provide assistance to current Touro students and to alumni, one of the prevailing themes of the event was how graduates were returning home to take advantage of the opportunities that being home presents.

“I always say to people that one of the major problems of teaching is you don’t get to see the fruits of your labor,” said Dr. Meyer Peikes, chair of Touro’s undergraduate department of accounting and business. “Sometimes you meet someone 20 years down the road and sometimes you don’t get to see them altogether. So it’s great to see all of you here and the companies you’re working for and your successes. We love to share in them.”

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