By Ed Brennen
How did the Manning Women in Business student organization celebrate International Women’s Day? With a trip to Boston’s Financial District for a visit to the investment firm Loomis, Sayles & Co.
A dozen students (10 undergraduate and two graduate), led by Assoc. Prof. of Finance Ravi Jain, got a behind-the-scenes look at the 93-year-old investment firm, which manages nearly $250 billion in assets, and met with some of the company’s female executives.
The students toured the firm and learned about its day-to-day operations, and they had the opportunity to network and receive career advice from employees, including Manning School of Business alumni Darcie Sunnerberg ’87, a senior analyst, and Tricia Keefe ’91, vice president of human resources.
“It’s important for women to hear from other women in the field, because it's comforting to know the struggles they faced and hear how they overcame those difficulties,” says Manning Women in Business president Kellsie Howard, a senior business administration major with concentrations in finance and management.
According to a recent study by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute, women account for only 18 percent of finance jobs. By organizing visits like this, Howard says the Manning Women in Business group hopes to attract more women to the field of finance while opening doors for internship and co-op opportunities.
This was the student organization’s second visit to Loomis, Sayles; it organized a similar trip to the firm last semester. The Manning students were joined on this semester’s visit by female student leaders from UMass Amherst and Babson College.
“It’s important for women to hear from other women in the field, because it’s comforting to know the struggles they faced and hear how they overcame those difficulties.”
-MWiB president Kellsie Howard
“The students were amazing with their questions,” Keefe says. “I loved the energy in the room. It was a great event and experience for all.”
In addition to Howard, the students included Maeve Torrey, Deborah Siffra, Katie Sanchez, Chelsea Owusu, Michaela Rheault, Sarah Wesinger, Karedis Robles, Nicole Morris, Melanie Sunnerberg, Anna Charbonneau and Shailey Doherty.
Torrey, a senior business administration major with concentrations in finance and international business, says the visit was the ideal way to spend International Women’s Day.
“It reminded everyone in the room to be empowered and to believe in yourself and your goals,” says Torrey, who recently completed a six-month fund administration co-op with MFS Investment Management in Boston.
While the Manning School frequently hosts industry leaders and UML alumni for “executive in residence” speaking events, Howard says visiting a company gives students an even deeper career perspective.
“We were honored to be there,” Howard says. “We hope to maintain the Manning Women in Business’ growing relationship with Loomis Sayles.”