Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Wall Street’s Timeless Appeal

When I first moved to Manhattan for my internship, one of the things that struck me was the number of tourists that were visiting Wall Street. I had not expected that Wall Street would be a tourist attraction. After all, it is a financial center – not a shopping center. But after a few weeks, I started to understand their fascination. The energy that runs through Wall Street is quite infectious.

Whether it is tourists or financial analysts, people on Wall Street tend to have purpose in their stride, never letting a minute go to waste. There is a consciousness in the movements of people all around. Everyone is hyper aware of the value of time and the need for efficiency. This internship has made me more mindful of the ways that I use my time so that I am wasting it with idle actions. Instead, I try to ensure that I am grouping my actions together so that they make the most sense. For example, on my morning commute, I try to catch up with the latest news headlines while sipping on my first coffee of the day. This morning commute time is precious to help me squeeze in things by multitasking.

The other major draw of Wall Street is the presence of many global firms and the diversity of the people that rush to and from its buildings. As an international student from China, one of the coolest parts about being in a Wall Street firm is that I get to meet people from all around the world – be it in the office or simply when I am getting lunch in the afternoon. Wall Street draws in people from many countries and I am constantly getting to learn more about other countries and cultures.

I also get to see some economic principles in action. One of the things about working in the Wall Street is that you get to see things happening in a real time and place. I see how Wall Street contributes to external economies of scale for companies because firms are located within one geographic area.  This makes collaborating with other firms easier. Clients, many of whom are very busy, can also reach us more conveniently. Sometimes they just cross the road from another building to get to us.