Wall Street Boot Camp
Alumni help students prepare for investment banking careers
Above: Program founder Abubakr Dumbuya ’07 (left) with participants Yuening Lyu ’22 and Cameron Tierney ’22. Photo by Kevin Maguire.
Investment banks are changing the way they find young talent: Recruiting at an elite list of target colleges is giving way to an open process that will attract more diverse candidates. A new program at Bentley prepares students for this rising wave of opportunity.
Wall Street Boot Camp is the inspiration of Abubakr Dumbuya ’07, an executive director at JPMorgan Chase & Co. He enlisted fellow alumni from leading firms such as Barclays, Lazard and Canaccord Genuity to present the program.
“Moving beyond the colleges where investment banks have historically recruited eliminates initial bias for students at a non-target school,” says Dumbuya, whose work focuses on helping corporations use derivatives to manage interest rate and foreign exchange risk. “I want to take it a step further for Bentley students, by exposing them to alumni who can speak to the different roles in investment banking and help them stand out in the application and interview process.”
Coordinated through the Pulsifer Career Development Center, the program includes insights on the structure of an investment bank and various job functions, visits to Boston and New York City investment banks, and mentoring and guidance during the recruiting process.
Yuening (Nicole) Lyu ’22 is one of 24 students accepted to the program. She has been “paying attention” to the investment banking industry since high school, avidly following the Wall Street Oasis online finance community.
“I’m drawn to the fast-paced and ever-changing work style, making huge deals and being around ambitious people,” says the Computer Information Systems major. “I was surprised to see the diversity of majors, cultures and backgrounds in investment banking these days.”
“I hope to gain industry knowledge from people who have the inside scoop,” says Tierney, a member of the student-run Bentley Sustainable Investment Group and the Investment Banking Club. “It’s very important to know what you’re talking about in interviews — and in life — and the boot camp is a great way for me to get to that point in terms of investment banking.”
Both plan to use the experience to prepare for an internship — a critical first step in landing a job in investment banking. Dumbuya, for example, completed summer internships at Bank of America, after his sophomore and junior years; he joined the bank’s analyst program after earning his BS in Economics-Finance. He has been at JPMorgan since 2017.
Students Gain Hands-on Experience in the Hughey Center for Financial Services
Must-have qualities for students considering an investment banking career, according to Dumbuya: intellectual curiosity and a commitment to personal growth.
“As you progress through different roles, you will be constantly challenged to develop a different skill set,” he says. “Junior roles are typically focused on attention to detail, and technical and execution skills; whereas senior roles center around relationship management, sales and bringing in deals.”
Tierney is already showing that kind of commitment to growth. “The boot camp is great, but the legwork is on me — not the alumni presenters. I have to make sure I do everything I can to secure an internship and full-time offer at an investment bank.”
Adds Lyu: “Looking at so many successful alumni, I have more confidence than ever to land in the industry.”