Surviving and Thriving in the Financial Tsunami: Lessons Learned from IBS Alumni
January 13, 2010 – New York, NY
A spirited panel discussion in New York City’s Warwick Hotel outlined how Brandeis International Business School (IBS) alumni are thriving despite the challenging global economic and business environment. The event attracted 130 IBS alumni, friends and current students who traveled from Waltham to meet IBS alumni working in the fields of finance and economic policy.
The session, entitled “Surviving and Thriving in the Financial Tsunami,” was moderated by Adjunct Professor Michael Appell MA '79 and featured graduates from the IBS MAief program along with Elana Givens '76, Assistant Dean of IBS Career Services. Alumni panelists included: Randall Braunfeld, MA '04, Vice President at Lehman Holdings, IBS Overseer Amy Kessler '89, MA '90, Senior Vice President at The Prudential Insurance Company, and John Morris, MA '92, Managing Director at The Midway Group.
In kicking off the discussion, Appell said, “IBS alumni find
themselves at the intersection of the global and the personal, in the
recent financial upheaval.”Despite the enormous
obstacles facing IBS graduates, Givens reported that many IBS alums
have continued to secure or hold on to rewarding positions at leading
financial firms. She mentioned, Bloomberg, Deutsche Bank, Fortis
Investments, and State Street Associates as recent examples of
companies hiring IBS students for internships or full time positions.
Left to right: Dean Bruce Magid, IBS Overseer David Hodes '77, IBS Overseer Amy Kessler '89, MA '90, and Adjunct Professor Michael Appell MA '79.
The panelists shared their personal stories and creative approaches towards employment amidst the current challenging environment. Kessler pointed out the importance of taking inventory of one’s skills and not being afraid to market oneself aggressively. Morris suggested keeping an array of active interests beyond one’s job. “Your career is not your life,” he said. Braunfeld encouraged students to remain open to new possibilities. Despite the collapse of the founding firm, Lehman Brothers, he quickly became an expert in distressed assets, and managed to transition successfully to his current role at Lehman Holdings.
The panel was followed by a networking reception and represents one of several events being held around the country bringing together IBS alumni and friends. Visit the Alumni website to stay in touch and to learn of future events.