Emma Hood ’19 found herself on the precipice of a burgeoning career in finance after spending a summer with Girls Who Invest, a non-profit dedicated to increasing the number of women entering asset management and executive leadership positions.
The math major from Nashville, Tennessee, credits that experience with opening the door to an internship at the insurance company New York Life. That led to another competitive internship at the global asset firm AllianceBernstein, where she worked on the foreign exchange and quantitative research teams. At the end of that summer, she received the kind of performance review all interns covet: an offer for a full-time job upon graduation.
“I really didn’t have any idea about finance before starting Girls Who Invest,” said Hood, who will work as a fixed income associate at AllianceBernstein starting this summer. “I knew I wanted to do something that was more on the business side of math. But this program opened up the entire world to me, and I was able to see how many different jobs there are in finance.”
Hood, who minors in art history and enjoys writing, signed up for the Girls Who Invest program’s self-proclaimed “crash course for women in finance.” After tackling the first four weeks of training, she began her internship at New York Life, working for an investment team responsible for a $10 billion fixed income portfolio. There, she prepared financial models, presented on company and market analyses of the evolving retail landscape and studied the ways of the asset manager.
In both of her internships, Hood valued the opportunity to apply the analytical and modeling skills she learned in her Kenyon classes to real-world situations. She also felt prepared to engage in a “collaborative working environment” because of the welcoming learning atmosphere she experienced at Kenyon.
When searching for jobs, Hood looked for a place where she felt comfortable sharing her thoughts and ideas, which her mentors at Kenyon and Girls Who Invest empowered her to do. She said they gave her the confidence and skills to present “in front of a class here at Kenyon or in front of a room of higher-up people at work.”
One of those mentors was her advisor, Professor of Mathematics Judy Holdener. Holdener, who wrote Hood a letter of recommendation when she applied to Girls Who Invest, is not surprised at Hood’s success. “If I were an employer looking to hire a new graduate, Emma is precisely the type of person I would recruit,” she said. “When faced with a difficult problem, she recognizes the complexities; she takes the time to become informed about the complexities, and she is then able to formulate precise and relevant questions to find a valid means for resolving the problem.”
Holdener continued, “These are the skills we try to develop in our mathematics majors, and I believe they are relevant in any career.”
— Reilly Wieland ’21