From College Walk to Wall Street: Lehman Students Learn Valuable Lessons in Prestigious Wall Street Exchange Program

October 1, 2013 | Lehman College

Four students began their senior years at Lehman College with Wall Street experience under their belts.

The students took part in the prestigious 2013 Wall Street Exchange Program, sponsored by the Financial Women’s Association. The program gives qualified students the opportunity to augment their summer internship experience between their junior and senior years by working at a variety of financial and non-profit institutions.

Only 29 students from across the country participated in the 2013 Wall Street Exchange Program, four from Lehman College: Diana Camejo and Alba Cela worked at New York Life; Jie Lei at the Institute of Play; and Leslie Morones at American Express.

Accounting major Alba Cela says she reaped three key takeaways from the experience: career planning, networking, and building her professional brand.

“By attending events with companies in different industries such as banking, investment, and insurance, I clarified my future career goals,” said Alba. “I see myself working in assurance or tax in a Big Four accounting firm or an investment bank. I am more confident in my decision to pursue a degree in Accounting and work as an accountant.”

“The second key takeaway is that I learned how to network better, how to approach a recruiter, and the proper way to talk during an interview,” continued Alba, who moved to New York from Golem-Lushnje, Albania.

It was the second summer at American Express for Leslie Morones (right). In the summer of 2012, the economics major was selected as one of the first CUNY students to participate in American Express’s Summer Paid Internship Program.

The program encourages students to set short-term and long-term goals. Alba plans to continue her activities with ALPFA, an organization that helps Latinos build their leadership and career skills. Long-term, she hopes to pursue a master’s degree in accounting and prepare for the CPA examination.

“Being a student with very few connections but big dreams, I needed a way to meet people on a professional level,” said Alba. “This program gave me that opportunity – to learn how to network, to approach a recruiter, and to talk during an interview. Because of my summer internship with WSE Program my career goals are closer than ever.”