Duke - The Fuqua School of Business
Monica Talley

Monica Talley

Class of 2010

My advice to incoming students: Whatever you do, don't put off the job search process. Have an idea of what you want to do and do a targeted search. Don't feel like you have to apply to every job you see, concentrate on what you really want.

Put Yourself Out There

As an undergraduate student, I frequently changed my mind about what I wanted to do. I was lucky to get an internship on Wall Street because I wasn’t a business major. I had a job lined up before the MMS program, but when it was deferred, I thought the MMS program was a good opportunity to gain more business expertise.

I interned in sales and trading, and that’s what I thought I wanted to do. Once I was at Fuqua, though, I decided to explore other options, specifically investment banking. I attended an information session at Duke with Morgan Stanley and I spoke with several of their investment bankers, including an associate from California. I discovered that the firm might be a good fit for me. Having that opportunity to network one-on-one was a turning point because soon after, I got an interview with the team in California and I got the job. Putting myself out there and networking was what helped me to get my foot in the door.

My advice to incoming students: Whatever you do, don’t put off the job search process. Have an idea of what you want to do and do a targeted search. Don’t feel like you have to apply to every job you see, concentrate on what you really want. Get on it early, especially if you want to go into a bigger firm because it’s more competitive. Also, be aware that some recruiters come really early in the season, like in September/October, so you have to be prepared by then otherwise you might miss your chance.

Financially Savvy

During the Career Exploration Trip to Wall Street in New York, I attended the Goldman Sachs session. I had interned at a similar firm and it was interesting to see how things had changed due to the economy. The tone was much more cautious. For a lot of my classmates without previous experience, I think it opened their eyes to what Wall Street is really like.

Also, as co-president of the MMS Finance Club, I had the opportunity to interact with some of the MBA students. Part of my role was to serve as the liaison with the MBA Finance Club. I coordinated events and mentorship programs between the MMS and MBA students, like mock interviews and resume reviews. The MBA students were really helpful and it was a great opportunity to learn from them. The MBA students, along with the alumni, faculty, and staff are all networks that you can tap into as an MMS student, and those networks provide a lot of potential opportunities to learn and to make headway in your job search.