Written by: Seth Myers
I don’t even know where to start when discussing my week at the New York Stock Exchange. First of all, how about I give a little bit of background information. I was nominated by my company, Duff & Phelps, to participate in a week long training program. This inaugural NYSE Euronext Bootcamp, offered to about 50 students nationwide, was a week long adventure focusing on the NYSE. Litte did I know that it would turn out the way that it did. I’ll throw out some keywords to give you a better feel for the week and then we can go from there: Polo player/model on a horse, Broadway, Mets, United Nations, Mad Money, World Cup, Gold Vault, CEO’s…
As I mentioned before, Monday started out with Meat Loaf throwing up the rocker sign and ringing the opening bell at the NYSE. He entered our Board Room like a hurricane and left on the same note. The day concluded with horse petting on the NYSE trading floor and watching the women gawk at “Nacho” Figueras (polo player and model for Ralph Lauren). ”Nacho” and his posse preceded to ring the closing bell to promote Prince Harry’s charity polo match in New York on the following Sunday.
Don’t get me wrong, through out the entire week we had multiple sessions that taught us all about the exchange and introduced us to extremely important people at the exchange, but I’ll just run you through my favorite memories. On Tuesday, I was taken to the Capital Grill and treated like a king. Upon arriving back at the exchange, I was greeted by the NYSE CEO, Duncan Niederauer, and given a picture opportunity with the big man in charge. The day concluded with some famous NYC pizza and a Broadway show. We saw American Idiot, which don’t get me wrong, Green Day isn’t my favorite music; however, the performance was great and it was a fun night.
Wednesday started fairly normal (if you can call any day at the NYSE normal). The day was abruptly interrupted by the World Cup. The US was in a heated battle with Algeria and what better place to watch the game then on the trading floor. The entire place broke into cheers as Donovan scored the winning goal in Extra Time. After the game, we walked a couple of blocks to the Federal Reserve. We got to see a case of 8 coins worth about $50 million! After that, our group traveled down 5 stories into the gold vault. I actually touched a gold bar with my pinky (only finger that I could fit through the fences and cages). To conclude the day, we visited the United Nations. While I was expecting more, it was still very interesting and exciting to be in such an important and historical place. There were some really neat artifacts and donations from various nations, as well as an immense amount of cultural displays and viewings.
After a long Wednesday night, Thursday finally arrived. The main theme of the day was NYSE’s advertising and marketing. We worked on projects all day that focused on drawing companies into listing their equities with the NYSE. My group worked on figuring out ways to get DreamWorks to re-list with the exchange. The day ended with a night game at Citi Field. The seats were amazing, the food was great, and the weather was perfect. Unfortunately, the Mets lost to the Tigers, but it was still a great game with a late and exciting rally!
Friday was the concluding day of the program. After a few early educational sessions, we traveled to New Jersey to see CNBC studios! After talking with a few Executives, we were taken to the Mad Money studio. The only thing that was missing was Cramer standing in the studio giving us some outrageous advice about whether we should buy or sell! After a couple hours of rush hour traffic, we finally made it back to the NYSE to give our farewells.
I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. The people were amazing and the perks were so much fun!
**Best advice to take away from this: Fully utilize every opportunity that comes your way. I could have simply turned down this invitation and not experienced any of these amazing events! **