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  •   Laura Ridolfi commented on this post about 2 months ago
    Hi women in finance!

    This week, we're featuring Laura Ridolfi as a bSmart Woman: Ask my anything feature:

    LAURA RIDOLFI is a Vice President & Associate Portfolio Manager – Fixed Income at Chilton Trust focusing on U.S. taxable securities, municipal bonds, international sovereign bonds and foreign currencies for the Fixed Income Team.

    She currently specializes in liquidity and cash management working with a wide range of clients including corporations, Native American tribal entities, charities and foundations. Prior to Chilton she spent three years as an Analyst working in Structured Credit Portfolio Management, Fixed Income Rates Trading, and Product Control. She began her career in the finance industry with an rotational internship at Barclays Capital while in college and began working there full time after graduating. She graduated Syracuse University in 2011 with a B.S. in Finance & Real Estate and a minor in hospitality.

    She currently reside in New York City, and enjoys spending her free time exploring new restaurants in Manhattan, working out, traveling, and reading.

    Alright bSmart women - you can ask Laura anything!

    To kick things, off I'll ask:

    1) How did you know finance was the right field for you?
    2) What were the steps you took to finding the right job for you?
    3) What is your advice for having a successful first 1-2 or 3-5 years on the job?
    4) How were you able to prepare for your career?

    *Any other pieces of advice you can share with our members about your success?

    Other women who might want to ask you questions are Jessica Li Sofia Rosa Bianchi Hailey Peters Ursula Choi Jennifer Zheng Abbi Kirollos Mary-Catherine Canavan sana kanvinde Angelina Eimannsberger Bridget Duggan Diane Im Christine Rice Joanna Gaden Jisu Choi Lilly Pianin Tracy Kim Yirou Yu Jamie Celeste
    • Hi Laura! As a first year college student, I sometimes find it intimidating to think about recruitment in the field of finance. Do you have any adviceHi Laura! As a first year college student, I sometimes find it intimidating to think about recruitment in the field of finance. Do you have any advice for someone like me who is early on in the process? At this stage is there anything I should start to look at or focus on? Thank you so much!   More ...
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    • Hi Laura! I was wondering what do you do to get motivated in times when life/school/work is extremely overwhelming. It's mid-Fall Semester, and I'm stHi Laura! I was wondering what do you do to get motivated in times when life/school/work is extremely overwhelming. It's mid-Fall Semester, and I'm struggling to remain focused.

      Thank you!
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    • Hi Laura,

      I hope all is well, so thrilled to connect with you. My questions are...

      1. Was your first internship with Barclays Capital a summer interHi Laura,

      I hope all is well, so thrilled to connect with you. My questions are...

      1. Was your first internship with Barclays Capital a summer internship, or were you balancing this internship with your classes as well, and how so?

      2. Did you always know you wanted to go into finance/was your major finance related?

      3. What were the obstacles you overcame when you first started out in this field?

      4. Have you ever done/pursued anything in life which is completely unrelated to what you are doing now which has, in retrospect, served you in this field?

      Best,
      Sofia Bianchi


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    • Hi Meagan!

      Thanks for the questions!

      1) Ever since I was little I was fascinated by the stock market. While other kids were playing outside, Hi Meagan!

      Thanks for the questions!

      1) Ever since I was little I was fascinated by the stock market. While other kids were playing outside, I was reading the stock prices in the newspaper. (My parents were a little concerned! Haha) I just have always taken an interest in finance, markets and the economy. I was always trying to think of new ways to make money growing up and loved to learn the way businesses worked.

      2) Finding the right job is not easy! When I was in college, I must have applied to over 50 internships. I tried to learn a lot about the companies I was applying to and did as much research as possible to make sure not only the day-to-day work was a good fit but culture is very important as well. I really tried to use the interview process as a way for me to learn also. Initially I was so intimidated by interviewing but then I realized it’s a mutually beneficial experience. I highly recommend asking questions during interviews, try to expand your network as much as possible and use resources around you to learn about roles and opportunities in the finance world. Finance is so interesting because there are so many different avenues you can take with it. It was a little bit of trial and error for me at first but the rotational program at Barclays really helped me learned the different opportunities in a bank and the industry in general. I highly recommend a rotational internship, it gives you an opportunity to sample different roles in a short amount of time before making more of a longer term commitment.

      3) The first few years of my career were solely focused on learning. My advice for the first years on the jobs is :


      · Don’t be too hard on yourself – I was so quick to get overwhelmed because I didn’t think I was doing a “good job” or was getting confused on topics or tasks and I had to be reminded that this it was the beginning of my career- not the middle or the end and I’ll be successful but need to take one day at a time
      · Ask Questions- no one expects you to know everything
      · Seek out mentors and expand your network as much as possible – having relationships with in your career is crucial to success and is such a learning experience in itself
      · Learning time management will make your life so much easier
      · Be confident in your work

      4) Preparing for you career can be really hard because it can take unpredictable turns. I think you just need to have a positive attitude, make sure your dedicating your time and energy to something you genuinely enjoy and tackle each hurdle one at a time.
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    • Hi Jessica Li,

      So nice to hear from you!

      1) I have to say I have had nothing short of an amazing experience working in this industry. I have Hi Jessica Li,

      So nice to hear from you!

      1) I have to say I have had nothing short of an amazing experience working in this industry. I have had an opportunity to work with both great and empowering males and females. I think if from day one you treat people respectfully and equally – they generally respond by treating you the same way back. My advice is to set the pace from the start, stay professional, and never forget how valuable you are!
      I found confidence came from experience. In the beginning, I would lose sleep over a mistake but I realized mistakes are learning experiences and we’re all only human. The more I learned and grew as a professional the more courage I had to speak up and that’s when I felt I really started to add value to my team. A lot of hard work goes into being confident but as long as your trying your hardest, pushing yourself to keep learning, and enjoying what you do- it will come!

      2) Market volatility comes with the territory, I just try to make sure I am always thinking things through, avoid over-reacting, and always taking a look at the big picture
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    • Thanks so much, Laura, super helpful
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    • Hi Hailey Peters,

      Thanks for the questions!

      I started at Barclays doing the rotational program the summer before my senior year and received a fulHi Hailey Peters,

      Thanks for the questions!

      I started at Barclays doing the rotational program the summer before my senior year and received a full time offer to come back the following summer. I spent 3 years at Barclays and I really look back at that time as a growing period. After spending the 3 years acting as a sponge, I finally felt I had some idea of what interested me and what steps I would like to take next in my career. I was very selective when making the move to Chilton, I wanted to find the perfect fit. After my first two years at the firm, I received my first promotion. Not only was it a huge confidence booster, it was so motivating! Having my first introduction to success made me only want more. Two years later I was promoted to Vice President.

      I think some of the strengths that contributed to my promotions were my efforts to keep growing, working to be a very reliable employee and being very passionate about what I do. In my opinion, when your passionate about something, it really makes a different. My passion keeps my interest growing, keeps me dedicated to what I do, and it makes my daily work a lot more positive.
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    • Hi Chloe,

      I love your question! I wish I had asked it when I was your age J and I love that you’re so pro-active! My advice is to do as much as youHi Chloe,

      I love your question! I wish I had asked it when I was your age J and I love that you’re so pro-active! My advice is to do as much as you can to build up your resume as possible.

      -If your school has a finance or investment club- JOIN

      -Summer jobs in the industry are so great! Even if you can work at a local bank over the summer or if you’re lucky enough to score an internship at a firm- I highly recommend it. (I was in college during the recession and no joke- I worked at a distribution factory but it taught me a lot)

      -Attend all career fairs or any informational sessions your school may offer

      -Start to build your network: older classmates, professors, friends of parents, etc

      -Reach out to people for informational interviews – you’d be surprised how many people are willing to offer advice

      -Read & Watch the news, it’s such a great way to learn

      -Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back from some of the internships

      And finally- don’t get intimidated, everyone is in the same boat and you’re already killing it by being so proactive

      Good Luck!!
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    • Hi Ursula!

      I feel your pain! Life can get really overwhelming - especially when your juggling your career, education, and all the distractions of coHi Ursula!

      I feel your pain! Life can get really overwhelming - especially when your juggling your career, education, and all the distractions of college & friends/family. The good news is your more than half way through your semester!

      First- Take a deep breath. There is a lot on your plate and the best way to tackle it all is to stay clear minded and focused.

      My second piece of advice is to stay organized. One of my favorite things to do is to make list- I find crossing items off so rewarding. When I was in college I lived by my agenda book, personally I liked having a hard copy because I tend to remember things when I physically write them out.

      Also, I really found it was important to keep a good work/life balance in college. Make sure you have fun and enjoy your time in college. I learned so much outside of the classroom while I was at school and a lot of the lessons and friendships have really proven to come in hand.
      Even now when I am really stressed and overwhelmed, I am a big proponent of rewarding yourself and treating yourself. In college for example- if I had a ton of work to do but I could not get motivated to do it, I would say “ok Laura you can go out with your friends Saturday night but only if you finish all your work on Friday night” or I would take a break to meet up with my friends for dinner and just re-fresh my mind a little. Personally, working out also really helps me too. It gives me a healthy mental break and allows me to take my stress out in a healthy way.

      Good Luck, You got this!!
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    • Hi Sofia,

      Sorry for the delay, I was recently traveling to Chicago- Such a great city!

      1. My first internship at Barclays was a summer inte
      Hi Sofia,

      Sorry for the delay, I was recently traveling to Chicago- Such a great city!

      1. My first internship at Barclays was a summer internship, it was such a great experience and I highly recommend any summer internships – especially rotational programs.

      2. I always had a very strong interest in finance. I knew I wanted to work in finance but it definitely took me some time to figure out exactly what I wanted to do within finance. I ended up graduating with a double major and minor : Finance, Real Estate and a minor in hospitality.

      3. When I first started in the field, I felt like I had so much to learn and almost felt lost. It took me some time to figure out how to apply my formal education to my day to day work. I also was just not use to working in a fast pace environment and being able to prioritize all the work in front of me. It took me some time to understand what was most efficient, time management, and how to have a positive work/life balance.

      One additional obstacle I had in the beginning of my career was not having a large network in the industry. I remember when I was applying to jobs, I was often asked “who I knew” and the answer was always pretty much no one. Once I started working, I dedicated a lot of time to expanding my network and really putting myself out there. I also look back and appreciate the experience I had because I had applied to both Barclays and Chilton online and worked my way up from the bottom.

      4. Interestingly enough my experience in hospitality was really beneficial to my current career. I think having spent time working with people in so many experiences was very helpful to the client facing side of my role. The hospitality industry kept me very open-minded and also taught me to be a very good cook!
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  •   Meagan Hooper commented on this post about 5 months ago
    Hi Arielle!

    I wanted to connect you with Christine Rice- a bSmart marketing intern and fellow U. of Albany student!

    She's planning to be a campus ambassador this fall at Albany if you're interested in collaborating.

    No pressure!
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  •   Tracy Kim reacted to this post about 5 months ago
    Even though I have lived in NYC my entire life, I FINALLY went to Coney Island for the first time last week. The history of the place is so fascinating! The view was astounding! Such a great time! ‏ — feeling happy
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