Wall Street Ready
“I think Michigan State offers a lot of opportunities for young people. It gave me a wonderful chance to be at a university that I love, a Big Ten school, and a great chance for me to interact with peers and professors.”
Wall Street ReadyNovember 25, 2014
Manesha Sampath, a junior majoring in finance in the Eli Broad College of Business, has been working to achieve something great in a field she has long been passionate about. The generosity of many MSU alumni, friends, and partners to Broad’s Residential Business Program and Financial Markets Institute has helped make it possible for her to take big steps toward her goals.
Last summer Manesha completed an internship in New York City at Citigroup in its Equity Capital Markets Division. “Being in New York allowed me to feel like I'm part of something greater,” Manesha says. She has no doubt that the education and support of MSU and the Spartan family have given her opportunity to achieve in her field. “I think Michigan State offers a lot of opportunities for young people. It gave me a wonderful chance to be at a university that I love, a Big Ten school, and a great chance for me to interact with peers and professors.”
Manesha started on her career path with her acceptance into Broad’s Residential Business Program. The RBP, established with the visionary assistance of many private donors, is a living-learning program of about 150 first- and second-year students who want to study business in the Broad College. As Manesha describes the RBP, students “live together, study together, work together, and take classes together.”
Manesha has benefited from the RBP’s emphasis on four main pillars of student flourishing – health and wellness, academic achievement, intercultural interaction, and residential living-learning.
“I think RBP is a very close-knit group of students that are very focused,” Manesha says.“MSU offers a very welcoming atmosphere for students coming from abroad, out of state, or even within Michigan, by giving us a diverse pool of academics, a diverse pool of peers to choose from. And once you're part of the Spartan family, you're in it forever.”
Manesha was born in Mumbai, India, and moved to the United States when she was four years old. She graduated from Troy High School in Troy, Michigan. By the time she graduated high school, she had attended 16 primary and secondary schools. MSU gave her the life-changing opportunity to put down roots in Michigan and develop relationships in college and in the business world.
Commitments from many MSU donors to the Broad College have helped her succeed. She and others have received Financial Markets Institute Scholarships, a Broad endowment that helps students gain experience with the financial markets in New York and Chicago.
“Scholarships allow us to come to New York to network and make sure that we're really promoting our career in this industry,” Manesha says. “I've also been a recipient of the Honors Enrichment Scholarship, the Howard O. Emorey Endowed Scholarship in Business, and other awards.”
The RBP, her internships, and the scholarships have all greatly benefited Manesha as she pushes herself toward her goals. “When I first came to Michigan State, I knew that I wanted to be in finance. I was very passionate about the markets from an early age. I started investing my money as soon as I turned 18, and I knew I wanted to continue doing that, whether it was for myself, a firm, or a portfolio. Naturally, it was a step for me to get into the Residential Business Program, to try and meet people that had the same interests. Once those aligned and I found a place like the Financial Markets Institute existed, it was very natural for me to apply to that and find my cohort. I think the FMI definitely helped mealign my interests.”
Manesha’s Citigroup internship has given her the opportunity to work in equity capital markets, which offers equity and equity-linked issuances on NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange. She is working on initial public offerings (IPOs), follow-on offerings, and convertibles. Her work stresses providing good valuations, which, of course, are crucial to financial sponsors. Manesha says that it has been highly educational to see many different and often innovative financial products being offered on the markets.
The small team that Manesha worked with in her New York office is involved in almost every aspect of market finance. “We’re talking to clients, to the investment bank, to traders. It's very exciting because in capital markets, you definitely see how a large bullish bracket bank runs. You get to talk to different teams within the bank and see how the financial markets actually contribute.”
As she works day to day, Manesha feels strongly that she represents not only herself but her university. “Michigan State is a brand, and you have to make sure that you're on top of your game, because when they see that you're doing a great job, it helps other Spartans enter the industry. An alumnus who helped me get into Citigroup said, ‘Oh, she’s a Spartan. She went through the same educational program as me. We share a similar experience.’ Being a Spartan definitely carries over because you're representing a greater community.”
Manesha hopes after graduation to launch her career in the financial services industry. She’s trying to become one of its few female leaders by earning the respect of her peers and building a good reputation as, she says, “a Spartan on Wall Street.”
Success is certainly on the horizon. In 2014, Manesha had the opportunity to take public a company in Connecticut for which she had interned at in 2013. “It was probably one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, because I, first, was an employee within the company, and then I assisted them in entering the public markets,” she says. “I called my mom and said, ‘Do you remember where I worked last summer? Well, turn on CNBC and you'll see them ringing the bell for my company.’ It was so exciting.”