2017 BNP Paribas Leadership Conference

Prior to my departure from Williamsburg to New York, I was sure to email professors in advance to see if there were any assignment to be turned in prior to my sleep-deprived visit to the city that, coincidentally, never sleeps which reads:


I have been selected to attend an incredible Women’s Leadership Conference hosted by BNP Parabis in New York this Friday, and for this reason, will not be attending class. I will be sure to get notes from a peer to ensure I have all notes as I prepare for upcoming exams. Is there anything you need me to turn in prior to my departure?

Alicia Draper

Little did I know that I would be the only freshman of 18 young women attending this conference. I enjoyed the smaller group as it allowed the participants to develop personal connections with the employees, sponsors, and recruits of BNP Paribas. My favorite aspect of the experience, was also the most unexpected, I had the opportunity to sit along side four analysts within sales & trading, and hear them explain a day in their life.

“Why is he screaming?” I whispered as I heard one of the traders scream in French through the phone. Had I not known that BNP Parabis has its strong presence in Paris, I may have been more concerned, but the Ms. Pavillet, the French employee I was shadowing at the time, explained that he was arguing with a broker, as he was trying to close a deal, but the volatile market was constantly changing its value, which suddenly made the deal for the yelling man not as profitable. The opportunity to yell on the job drives many people to want to work the sales and trading floor, but not me.

I had never been exposed to the Bloomberg terminal, but received an amazing opportunity to learn some basic functions of Bloomberg to value a sale, and how to choose a proper buy/sell range. At times, I felt overwhelmed by all the terminology, graphs, and overarching themes, but sought relief upon discovery that the company trains its employees for this sort of work in a 10-week summer internship program.

I am excited to keep in touch with the director of internships, project managers, and senior analysts, who were able to answer my questions on the qualities that make a person excel at global markets, and more specifically, the sales & trading side of things. If you are interested in an ever changing market based on breaking news, and have an ability to remain stress-free when in an environment where people have a tendency to use their outside voices, then you might be perfect for sales & trading. Sometimes it is easier to know what you are definitely not interested in to begin crossing these potential career paths off the list. Overall, I had a phenomenal time in New York, as I visited BNP Paribas to learn more about their company culture, and speak with genuine employees who shared why they enjoy working with global markets.

Categories: Careers, Diversity, Student Blogs, Student Leadership Development, Study Away Tags: , , , , , ,

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