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The Best Opportunity Around for Undergraduate Finance Majors

REMINDER: SEMI APPLICATIONS DUE BY MIDNIGHT, FRIDAY OCTOBER 28, 2005!!

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What is SEMI?

SEMI takes place over the summer, meaning that this year's application are for the summer of '06.  If you make the program, we will match you up with a mentor.  Mentors are investment professionals from the New York Society of Security Analysts.  They can be portfolio managers, traders, analysts, bankers, etc.  If you don't have many professional contacts, SEMI is a great way to start building your network.

Each week of the summer, SEMI students attend a breakfast about a different aspect of the financial world.  If you're not sure what area of finance you're interested in, these can be invaluable.

At the end of the summer, the best SEMI students have a chance for a scholarship.  Since we take only around 25 students a year, those that make the program have a good chance at being rewarded. 

The application is short, so make sure you get it in by this FridayThere is no excuse for an undergrad interested in finance not to apply for this program.  Please make sure you fill out the answers in Word or another word processing program first, and then copy and paste into the form, so as to avoid typos and spelling mistakes.  Questions?  Contact Charlie O'Donnell, SEMI Committee Chair.

October 24, 2005 in About the Program | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Top 10 Reasons NYC Undergrads Interested in Finance Should Participate in SEMI

1. SEMI gives NYC-area Finance majors in their sophomore or junior years an opportunity to meet, learn with, and learn from their counterparts--the best of the best--at St. John's, Fordham, NYU, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Baruch and Pace. These students can either be the best resources in your professional network in the future, or the competition on the other side of the table.  Isn't it better to get to know them now?

2. Every student gets match up with a mentor from NYSSA--the largest group of financial professionals in the New York City area--over 9,000 strong!  Your mentor will be dedicated to answering all of your tough questions--and all of the easy ones, too.  Plus, getting a NYSSA mentor volunteering for SEMI is better than cold calling people who may or may not be interested in sharing their wisdom.

3. SEMI won't affect your summer internship.  Its an "add-on" program that meets before work and on your own time with your mentor, so you can do both SEMI and a summer internship--really beefing up your resume for next summer.

4. Breakfasts on portfolio management, trading, fixed income, networking, etc, etc...   SEMI is the best overview of the finance world you can get.  Each week, SEMI invites speakers to share their career expertise with you over breakfast, answer questions, and give you the inside scoop on how to make it in finance.

5. A stock picking contest with cheesy prizes!   All SEMI students compete in our Steeplechase.  The prizes this year?  For the winner, a DVD copy of Wall Street.  For the loser?   A copy of Reality Bites.

6. A chance at a scholarship worth up to $5,000.  Hmm... should we have listed that first?  No, we shouldn't have, because if you think the $5,000 is the most valuable thing you can get out of SEMI, you're probably not SEMI material.  We're into long term thinkers who realize that the contacts they make at SEMI are going to be worth a lot more than a few grand over the long term.

7. SEMI is a target for recruiters.  In the past, we've had banks, buyside firms, rating agencies and lots of others specifically ask us for SEMI students for internships and fulltime jobs.  This year, we're formalizing that effort and working on expanding our reach and visibility on the street, so SEMI students are sure to get a look from the top firms.

8. Free food!  Each week there's a breakfast.  We have a mixer to meet the mentors initially with refreshments.  We have a pizza party.  We have a closing dinner.  Given the cost of eating in NYC on an intern's salary, why turn down all this free nourishment--and all of the great conversation that goes with it.

9. SEMI is well publicized within NYSSA.  Each student, if they make SEMI, will become a NYSSA student member at a substantially discounted price ($30).  That gives them access to NYSSA's online member database of over 9,000 professionals, each of whom gets NYSSA's monthly newsletter.  The newsletter has featured SEMI prominently in the past and the SEMI program is visable within the NYSSA community, giving you an automatic connection to NYSSA members.

10.  Because its all about differentiation...  Each year, hundreds of thousands of students will apply for jobs with top finance firms.  Only about 25 of them will be able to say they participated in this program.  That gives SEMI students a leg up for recruiting.  That being said, can you think of a good reason NOT to participate in SEMI?

The application is short and shouldn't take you that long to complete.  Apply here by October 28th.  If you are selected, interviews will take place at night on November 16th and 17th.

September 13, 2005 in About the Program, Students | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What is the SEMI program?

SEMI stands for Scholarship, Education, Mentoring, and Internship.  That's the acronym.

But what is it?  Quite simply, its the best educational and networking opportunity you can possibly have if you are a NYC-area undergraduate finance major.  Plus, it gives you the opportunity to win a significant scholarship. 

What does it consist of?

  • The program gives sophomores and juniors a chance go get paired up with a NYSSA professional in a mentoring relationship over the summer.  NYSSA members are recognized as ethical, knowledgeable members of the investment decision-making community. With more than 9,000 members, NYSSA is the largest of the more than 125 financial analyst societies worldwide that comprise the CFA Institute.
  • During the program, students will also attend weekly educational breakfast sessions on finance topics ranging from investment banking to trading.
  • Students are expected to get an internship on their own, but many students feel as if their educational experience at SEMI enhances their internship experience.  Having a mentor outside the office provides students with guidance on getting the most out of their summer positions and the breakfasts give the students an upperhand when it comes to their finance knowledge.
  • Scholarships are awarded to selected students at the end of the program.  These scholarships can be used to supplement a student's finance education, or get them started on professional training like the CFA exam.

How did SEMI get started?

In 1996, NYSSA established the Heloise S. Ham Education Scholarship and in 1997 launched its summer SEMI Program.  Heloise S. Ham, for whom our Scholarship Fund is named, led an impressive career in finance for over four decades and was one of the few women in the field when she graduated from Northwestern University in 1951. She began her career with Stein Roe & Farnham in Chicago handling industry research in electronics, consumer goods, retail and other industries. She then worked as a fund manager and investment counselor, earning her CFA charter in 1966. In 1968, she joined an investment company in New York where she managed a hedge fund, a venture fund, and individual and corporate portfolios. From 1971 on, she operated H.S. Ham & Co. in New York, specializing in financial consulting for individuals, corporations and financial institutions. In her private life, Ms. Ham was a racing sailor, a friend of New York’s parks, an avid reader and a gourmet cook.

July 4, 2005 in About the Program, Education, Internship, Mentoring, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NYSSA's SEMI blog is offered as a resource to Student Members in the SEMI Program to discuss their experiences and impressions of the program. NYSSA makes no representation concerning the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of information conveyed by the SEMI blog. Opinions stated in the SEMI blog are statements of the individual making the post, and do not constitute statements by NYSSA.