Banking on success
By Suelan Toye
Each term, some 70 international finance and economics students are successfully placed in internships in the public and private sectors. There, they gain first-hand experience and industry knowledge to prepare them for the workforce. The results speak for themselves: over 90 per cent of students are graduating with a degree – and a job.
Alejandro Reid is one such student. Thanks to economics graduate Adam Shier (Economics ’11) and his connections with his alma mater, the international finance and economics student is gaining valuable experience as a co-op student this fall with AYAL Capital Advisors, a leading investment fund manager located in the heart of Toronto’s financial district.
Alejandro Reid on what his co-op experience means to him:
Why did you choose Ryerson’s International Economics and Finance program?
I chose this program because it allows students to study both economics and finance. It also offers an internship, which opens the door for me to explore different career paths, gain practical experience and make those important connections. The program also has amazing professors that care deeply about a student’s success.
Why are you interested in pursuing an economics degree?
During my last year in high school, I took an economics class with a teacher who was a great motivator. Now that I have almost completed my degree, I have realized that economics can be applied to so many different fields. I am very interested in pursuing a career in capital markets or working for a hedge fund company. I am also very interested in entrepreneurship opportunities.
What are your main responsibilities at AYAL Capital Advisors?
During my eight-month internship, my core responsibilities involve risk management and operations. For example, I am looking after reconciling the portfolio, compiling reports and helping in ensuring that the fund is compliant. I also learning about the fundamentals of our operations so I can explain cash flows and changes in the portfolio.
How will this internship help you launch your career?
I was extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to apply for this internship, thanks to my program advisor, Neha Narang, and Adam Shier, who currently works at AYAL as a risk analyst and is a Ryerson economics graduate.
This co-op, combined with the education I am receiving at Ryerson, will definitely enhance my chances at a better job opportunity when I graduate. It has also given me the opportunity to explore my career interests and discover if this industry is the right career path for me.
Adam Shier on the importance of staying connected with Ryerson:
How did your Ryerson degree help your career?
Ryerson gave me the base set of skills I needed to develop my career. I quickly realized that it is not just about what you learn, but how you learn. Navigating group assignments, finding time to complete essays and projects, bouncing questions off fellow classmates – all of these ‘soft skills’ that I acquired during my university years have been invaluable to my career.
Why do you think it is important to give back to the university to help students like Alejandro?
This is exactly the kind of opportunity I wish was available when I was a student at Ryerson. Typically, my firm had only hired co-op students from another university so I asked the question: why not Ryerson? I am happy to work with my alma mater to provide more career opportunities for economics and finance students in the future.