Works and Days


"wall st."

Financial Services Fellowship, 2015: Sarah Canavan

"The Financial Services Fellowship is a prestigious award that gives students who are interested in financial services a hands-on experience through an intensive trip to New York City during spring break.  Students will meet with people representing a wide range of roles in this industry, including journalists, sales and trading analysts, investment professionals, hedge fund managers, financial analysts and more.  All expenses are paid through the generosity of a Reed trustee."

Read on for an account of Sarah Canavan's FSF 2015 experience. 

When I applied for the Financial Services Fellowship I only had faint ideas of what happened in the finance industry. I think we had just started covering monetary policy in Kim Clausing’s Intro to Economics class, and my visions of Wall Street had mostly been colored by The Wolf of Wall Street, “occupy” protests and the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890. What I knew, was that if Reed was offering an opportunity to fill in the gaps between where my interests already lie (federal policy and budgets, research funding, et al.) and what the heck happens in big banks and financial institutions, I wanted to be a part of it. 

Financial Services Fellows, Sarah Brauner

As many of my fellow Financial Services Fellows have blogged, this spring break, a group of Reed students (myself included), traveled to a very far and foreign land, where people wear nice suits, and eat steak, and talk about mortgage backed securities, and follow sports: Wall St. Before the trip, I literally could not fathom what went on at this mythical place whose name alone probably induces shudders among at least 50 percent of the student body. Assuming that my ignorance is the rule rather than the exception, I thought I’d spend this blog post illuminating a bit of the world inhabited by some of the most powerful people in the world. What follows is a brief selection of some of my experiences on Wall St; I’ll let you all cast your own judgment (or go on the trip next year to see it in the flesh!)

During Spring Break, I…

Obviously, this list does not encompass even a fraction of Wall St., or my brief time there. The purpose is more about giving a taste, and maybe piquing the interest, of students to partake in this Reed-sponsored journey to what might not actually be the dark side.