Nicholas Hall ’07

JOB TITLE: Senior associate
ORGANIZATION: Morgan Stanley
LOCATION: New York, New York
GRADUATE DEGREE: M.B.A in finance and economics expected in May 2015 from New York University Stern School of Business

What was your first position after college? After graduating in 2007, I started working as an analyst at AllianceBernstein, an asset management firm in New York. My interest in business was piqued by a summer internship that I had at a mortgage company, and I spent my senior year networking with Trinity alumni to learn more about the financial services industry. I also started reading The Wall Street Journal every day and researching different companies for an online stock market game. I have now been in the industry for over seven years, and I am working at Morgan Stanley while also pursuing my M.B.A. part time at New York University.   

Has a liberal arts education helped you in shaping your career? My liberal arts education gave me all of the building blocks for my career. I spent countless hours at Trinity dissecting sentences in Latin and Ancient Greek while translating the works of authors such as Cicero, Virgil, Herodotus, and Homer. I now spend my days dissecting investment reports, but I use the same analytical skills and attention to detail while reviewing each number. The ability to convey my thoughts effectively and concisely in writing is also essential to success in my job.

What aspects of your Trinity experience have been important to advancing your career or graduate school experience? My classics classes were all small, so I was always an active participant in discussions. This structure taught me to be thorough in my preparation outside of class and to take accountability for my work. I also developed a lifelong love of travel and art history during my semester abroad at Duke University’s Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome.

What advice would you give to Trinity students to prepare for a position in your field? I would recommend that students become regulars in the Career Development Center. The staff can help students take full advantage of Trinity’s strong network. There are many alumni working in financial services, and I have found that they are more than happy to talk to students and give them advice about starting a career. Likewise, I think students need to be motivated to enter the financial services industry and willing to treat their job search like an extra class in their senior year.

What is the biggest misconception about graduate school or your field? The financial services industry is not just filled with people who studied business or economics in college. My co-workers come from a wide range of educational backgrounds and majored in fields such as history, English, biology, mathematics, and classics. Graduates’ analytical skills and work ethic are more important to their success than what they studied in school.