Three finance majors from Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business will gain real-world experience at investment banks on Wall Street this summer with internships received through Sponsors for Educational Opportunities (SEO). Its highly selective career program recruits and trains students of color for paid summer internships that lead to full-time jobs.
The Broad students, seniors Shawn Glasper, Britney Holloway, and David Walker, will be joined by economics junior Jerry Hendrix in New York, where they will intern at J.P. Morgan Securities, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Jefferies, and another firm to be determined.
Together, the four students make up the largest class of SEO interns ever selected from MSU—previously, no more than one student had been accepted in a year. Knowing this, they are very enthusiastic about what their large group means for Broad and minority students at MSU.
They believe that the college’s jump in participation will incentivize SEO to recruit on campus, which would spark student interest and make the program more accessible. Holloway points out that “some universities have more interns as a result of recruitment.”
“We should all be tremendously proud of these students,” says Helen Dashney, director of the Financial Markets Institute. “Four is a record number and is a testament to the ability and motivation of these individuals.” Dashney introduced the Broad students to the program and acted as an advisor and go-to person throughout the application process.
The students went through multiple rounds of interviews before being matched with companies based on fit and offerings. Prior to starting their internships, they will complete 100 hours of SEO training. Approximately 40 hours will be done online and the remaining 60 hours will be dedicated to in-person, internship-specific training.
According to Dashney, “SEO’s focus on training is hugely valuable to a student and is indicative of the hard work these students will do.”
As Hendrix explains, the program is “really demanding, but what we get out of it is much more beneficial.” Speaking of the intensive training and support from SEO, he continues, “Investment bank employees often say SEO interns are better prepared than people who get internships off the street.”
Along with those from 3 international affiliates, SEO alumni total more than 8,000 and represent 46 states and 45 countries. Like those before them, Glasper, Hendrix, Holloway, and Walker hope to pave the way and be resources for all Spartans and minorities who are seeking careers on Wall Street.