IIG Field Trip to CLS Bank

Invest in Girls had a super field trip to CLS Bank, the world leader in foreign exchange settlement services.  CLS has been designated as a systemically important financial market utility and plays an important role in mitigating risk for currency trading. 

Despite the long trip to downtown NYC, and even longer return trip, Westover IIG was treated to an inspiring afternoon with lots of career advice and life lessons.  The trip was arranged by Westover class of 2001 alum, Courtney McConnell, Executive Assistant to the CEO of CLS Bank.  As Executive Assistant, Courtney needs to multi-task and manage the frenetic pace of a corporate CEO, for which her work in her catering business and in the kitchen prepared her well. 

Courtney gathered a panel of 12 women who work across many departments, including human resources, regulatory affairs, legal, and business management.  The various job functions of the women demonstrates that you can have a career at a finance company and without actually doing quantitative or finance work.   The main take-away was to look at what you enjoy and are good at in your school work or life and try to match those skills and interests with a job function or career.  If you enjoy what you are doing, are good at it, and are willing to work hard, you will thrive in your career. 

CLS Women Addressing Westover IIG Class

One panelist spoke of taking advantage of a huge perk to work internationally, if you can, or taking on unique and different experiences in your career.  Willingness to try new roles and being open to new opportunities, while still being your authentic self, may open your eyes to where your passions lie. 

As for college direction, some suggested that those with engineering backgrounds are critical to financial services, while others, who had liberal arts degrees, felt that individuals with their majors were just as valuable in finance, and stressed the importance of being a strong writer and communicator. 

Some talked about what they liked in their job:  working with smart, creative and responsive people.  Others stressed the importance of using one’s networks, as you never know what a connection will lead to down the road.  They suggested that, in college and in their careers, the girls join affinity/women’s groups and create a LinkedIn profile, which has become the way that business people connect and seek potential new employees, mentors, or jobs.