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Academy of Finance seniors visit BlackRock and Wall Street

May 10, 2018


 The Academy of Finance seniors sitting around a fountain on Wall StreetThe Academy of Finance seniors took a trip to New York City on April 26 for an exclusive look into the inner workings of BlackRock, a national, trillion-dollar asset management firm, as well as a walking tour of Wall Street.

When the group first arrived in New York City, they took a quick detour into Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral. While site seeing, the AOF students also learned what not to do when crossing the street. Finally, after what seemed like the longest walk in the world, they arrived at BlackRock.

Their first impression of BlackRock was wow, this is high end. There were marble floors and a waterfall, a man playing a grand piano, and a Starbucks all in the public area, which doubled as their downstairs lobby.

They met up with Joel Blum, a Monticello High School Academy of Finance alumnus and Advisory Board member who coordinated the trip, and James Ling, an investment management associate at BlackRock. James took the group to the seventh floor conference room where food and beverages were waiting. Once they were all seated at a very large conference table, they were introduced to the world of BlackRock.

James gave the students an overview into the history of BlackRock, what it's like to work there and what it took for him to get to his position. He described what Aladdin - a software system that evaluates risk - was and how it makes BlackRock unique. Afterwards, he introduced his coworker, Sebastian, who gave the group insight into the analyst side of BlackRock. Sebastian showed them the numbers and statistics of BlackRock's performance over the last 10 years through infographics.Group of 24 students in front of the BlackRock logo

After time for Q&A, the Academy of Finance students got an intriguing tour of the artwork donated to BlackRock from artists around the world.

“The artwork there was beautiful,” said Robert Rodriguez, an AOF senior. “Everything was based on the map. It really makes you think that life doesn’t begin and end right here. We can be successful anywhere in the globe.

The next stop was Wall Street. The students received a tour around Wall Street by a professional tour guide. They learned about massive international companies, the World Trade Center, and pubs that have been there since the Revolutionary War. They saw the Museum of American Finance, the Charging Bull and Fearless Girl statues, the first paved road of New York City, Frances Tavern Museum, the New York Stock Exchange, Trinity Church, and the 9/11 Memorial.

It was truly a trip to remember for the Academy of Finance seniors.

- Submitted by Rachel Whitbeck and Robert Rodriguez