Tuesday, May 17 was an adventure for our Global Masters of Finance (GMF) group. Although it was an early morning, and we were tired from the fascinating trip we went on yesterday and all the excitement of New York City, we were still excited for the new journey ahead of us.
After a very short subway journey we arrived at 34th street midtown. The building must have a long history, demonstrated by the golden rim of the elevators and the unique plate showing all the current floors of the four elevators.
Our first speaker was Adam Bush, Olin MBA’13. Adam is Senior Director in Anheuser-Busch’s Wholesale Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) department. Before attending Olin’s MBA program, he spent five years in industry. He started his career at Anheuser-Busch as an MBA intern and worked through different positions, such as project manager and director within the company.
He spoke to us about finance in a corporate environment. He shared a lot of details of his work, such as what the wholesale system in AB looks like, the valuation methods they are using, and AB’s core strategy.
It was very interesting to learn more about AB-InBev, especially the recent talks of AB-Inbev and SAB Miller potentially joining forces. Being close to a subject of news headlines was really cool! It was very interesting to learn how the US government has set heavy restrictions on the beer industry and limits the size or volume of distribution that AB can own.
It is also very new to us to know more about the corporate side of M&A, the focus of a beer manufacturing business, and how they operate on a three-tier system. Professor Rich Ryffel also asked some interesting questions, and we learned that pricing effect and marketing effect influences products differently according to their consumption group and their brand definition.
Then we welcomed Rob Beck, BSBA’86, Chief Operating Officer of the Retail Bank and head of Retail Distribution for Citigroup in the US, to give us a lecture. As an experienced and successful banker, he shared his views of some interesting topics, including the future cooperation between traditional banks and Fintech, risk management within the bank, the Chinese housing market, and the concern about over-regulation.
Next, our GMF group headed back to the subway to visit Bloomberg. The Bloomberg building was very appealing. The design was closely related to their culture. The working space was bright and open. Almost every room is transparent, reflecting Bloomerg’s culture—transparency. At the end of the tour, we had a great birds-eye view of New York and also got some nice food and drinks on the 29th floor.
The last speaker of the day was Nick Verbitsky, who is the director of a documentary film called “To Catch a Trader.” He shared his personal background, how and why he directed his film, his perspective about the financial industry, and answered our questions. We watched the film after his speech. This made us more excited about the trip as we didn’t even know that there are so many career options for us once we earn our masters of finance degree.
It was very fascinating to hear Nick speak. He was very enthusiastic and we felt that he was quite a free spirit in expressing his thoughts. The way in which he felt that the smart finance professionals were cheating through Xbox was very unbelievable. We felt that the reason Nick chose to become a director of financial documentary films is that he is very interested in investigating financial scandals and has a passion for finance. He is the kind of person who wants to learn the truth and find answers. He is also very creative and loves to express his opinions. We really felt that he loves what he is doing and also clever enough to not cause any trouble when making those films on sensitive issues.
We also learned quite a lot from our dear professor Rich Ryffel. As masters of finance students eager to become future professionals, we really should learn about the daily happenings around the world, as finance is a constantly changing industry.
Guest Bloggers: Yue Lu, Yarui (Aria) Gong, WenJuan Wang, Diwen (Steven) Shi (GMF 2016)
This is part of a series of blogs chronicling the experiences of 41 Global Master of Finance (GMF) dual degree students during their two week long immersion course in New York and Washington, DC. Each blog will be written by a small subset of students during their experience.