Competing with Ivy League students for jobs on Wall Street is not easy for everyone, but Buckeye Capital Investors is making it a little more manageable.
Started in 2005, Buckeye Capital Investors is a student-run organization on campus that teaches undergraduates all the logistics of investment banking.
“Our primary goal is creating a pipeline to Wall Street from Ohio State because Ohio State is traditionally not a target school for most bulge-bracket banks,” said Justin Barth, a fourth-year student in finance and chief investment officer of BCI.
Barth said that after going through a selection process and entering the club, new members learn the basics of finance and banking, including accounting, financial statements, valuations and more through an educational series the group holds every semester. Once they are ready, members manage a portfolio of fake money they use to invest.
The organization works in a hierarchy format, organized to function like an investment bank. New entrants begin as analysts, and then move up to associates and then to vice president positions after each student undergoes a semesterly evaluation. The top of the hierarchy is the executive board, composed of a president, chief investment officer and a director of human resources.
One of the primary goals of the club is to gain interview practice and create a large network of potential employers, which is especially important in the competitive job market of investment banking, Barth said.
“We’re getting kids at a sophomore level to start networking with these analysts and associates at these bulge-bracket banks so that by the time they are juniors and seniors they have this huge database that they can leverage all of their connections off of,” Barth said.
The club’s recent members have seen success, with some OSU graduates locking down jobs at Goldman Sachs in Los Angeles, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan in New York City, and William Blair & Co. in Chicago.
Younger members can also see their experience with BCI being put to use, such as Wesley Smith, who got an internship in Columbus with the Chaddock Group of Ameriprise Financial.
“BCI allows me to distinguish myself in the banking industry through exposure to financial markets and connects me to advanced students and alumni,” said Smith, a second-year in finance. “I feel more confident knowing I’ve been a part of this group.”
Barth said the club’s focus on investment banking as opposed to just getting a degree in finance gives its members a leg up on the competition.
“Our kids are way hungrier than a lot of these kids from the Ivy League schools that feel entitled, feel like they should be there,” Barth said. “When our guys get there, they know their stuff. They work harder than anybody else.”