Currently, I am on a trip with the Oberlin Finance and Investment Club in New York. This trip has allowed us to meet with alumni, strategically plan the direction of the club, and push forward with our constant goal of outperforming the S&P 500. It has also allowed for plenty of time to bond and take on new experiences.
Personally, I’ve always been afraid of heights. Well, a fear of heights isn’t the correct description, it’s more like a fear of falling. Nonetheless, when my friends and I were walking through the city and one of them suggested going to the top of Rockefeller Center I was pretty nervous. They told me that the skyscraper was enclosed at the top, though, and the whole city could be seen from the top, so I pushed my fears to the side and got on the elevator. I can now confirm that the skyscraper is not enclosed. When I arrived at the top and walked through the door I was met by a fearful adrenaline going through my body as I felt the New York wind hit me letting me know that I was indeed outside. I was also met with the beautiful lights of the city and friends that encouraged me to go to the spots that had the best views despite my fear. While at times I shook with fear, I was able to hang out with my friends on the rooftop thanks to their support. This is a microcosm of Oberlin College: whenever you may be nervous or fearful about something, you are met with a community of constant support that helps you accomplish your goals.
The next afternoon after our rooftop adventures we decided to go shopping downtown. I specifically wanted to go to a store that was supposed to be the only one of its kind in the city. When we arrived we discovered that it was no longer the only store of its kind in the city because the store no longer existed in the United States. Not to be downtrodden, we continued on to several other stores nearby before sitting down in a coffee shop to get work done. In the coffee shop, I was surrounded by positivity and productivity. As we got our work done we laughed about how we attempted to go to a store that no longer exists. After working for a couple of hours we decided to go back to the hotel before we had dinner with an alum. We took the subway to get to the hotel and unsurprisingly, as none of us is from New York, we ended up taking the subway 20 minutes in the wrong direction. Once we realized this we quickly pivoted our plans and found out which train we had to take to make it back to the hotel on time. I bring this moment up because despite going so far in the wrong direction a sense of calmness existed throughout the group. The Finance and Investment Club is a very open and close-knit group that always ensures that each other is okay. Personally, the genuine caring attribute that exists in the club is one that I feel carries on throughout all of Oberlin. Oberlin is a place where anyone is willing to help you, so when something goes wrong you know you will be met with support.
So far, New York has been an amazing experience, and while a contribution of that has to be applied to the city itself, it is mainly because of the people I am here with. Learning from investment bankers and hedge fund analysts with some of my closest friends has been tremendous from a learning and social perspective, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the trip entails!