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Career Stock Rising in a New York Minute

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Park Scholar Todd Smalling, spent the summer of 2008 in the Big Apple with the Equity Derivatives Group of J.P. Morgan Chase.

Park Scholar Todd Smalling, spent the summer of 2008 in the Big Apple with the Equity Derivatives Group of J.P. Morgan Chase. The business finance major described the ten-week period as exciting, challenging, rewarding, tough, and the time of his life. During the internship, Todd created and presented derivative trade ideas, wrote weekly market updates for the trading floor, and created corporate pension spreadsheet analysis on derivative use for client leads.

When he wasn’t busy honing his financial skills, the varsity athlete was spending time keeping in shape for the NC State track team – even winning a corporate challenge road race for interns. The achievement was an exciting one for Todd because the victory earned him personal recognition by J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. An important goal for Todd during his internship was to build his professional network, so the recognition was all the more valuable to him. In fact, before traveling to New York, Todd had composed a list of individuals with whom he wanted to form relationships during the internship experience. One of those individuals was Jamie Dimon.

Todd wrote the CEO, asking for time to discuss Dimon’s successes, leadership style and thoughts on the financial sector. Knowing the demands of a CEO’s schedule, Todd prepared himself to receive a brief response at best. However, the CEO did better than just respond; Todd was invited to meet face-to-face with Jamie Dimon himself. “I wasn’t anticipating a response from the CEO who manages six groups – not just investment banking – but he made time to fit me in, and we had a half-hour meeting in his 48th floor office on Park Avenue.” The meeting was a highlight of Todd’s summer experience.

At the end of the summer, J.P. Morgan Chase offered Todd a full-time equity derivative trading position. However, the job offer created a tough choice for the scholar. Todd, who is on track to graduate in three years, had to decide if he wanted to use a fourth year to complete a master’s degree and continue running competitively, or if he wanted to launch his career. After much consideration, Todd has decided to accept the J.P. Morgan Chase position, with the belief that the opportunity “was simply too good to pass up.” He is excited that the position is a perfect fit for his personality, skill set, and quantitative mind.

When asked what guidance he would provide to other students looking for internships, Todd advised, “Don’t limit yourself to doing just what you’re asked to do. Constantly think of ways to put yourself out there and form relationships. Companies want to see passion – so do what work is asked and do it well, but always think – ‘What else can I do?’” Todd is excited to begin the next chapter of his life as he looks forward to his transition from being a Park Scholar to life on Park Avenue.

~posted 2008.10.16