Mr. Holden Lewis, a former Wall Street Professional and now the current CFO of Fastenal, joined the students and faculty for another session of Finance @ Noon. He talked about his experience working on Wall Street and being the CFO of Fastenal.
Holden Lewis graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Agricultural Economics. He spent three years being a Junior Analyst on Wall Street and then nineteen years being a Senior Analyst. He really enjoys doing research, which is why the profession of being an analyst was always one of his favorites. He had to adjust to the culture of Wall Street which was “when things get tough, who loses their job?” When working on Wall Street, one should expect many opportunities for job-hopping. You should expect lots of travel and a large amount of self-determination. On the other hand, you should also expect some long days and long hours.
Along with sharing his experience being on Wall Street and being the CFO of a Fortune 600 company, he also gave some advice to students for some of the qualities they should start to develop. One of the biggest and most important qualities that employers look for are good communication skills. You should start developing these communication skills early on because no matter what profession you choose to go into, you will have to sell the services you can provide for your clients. Asking questions is also an attractive quality to employers. If you ask questions, it can make you appear smarter and employers will pick up on that.
Lewis compared finance to “ice on which all the other industries skate.” He told everyone that finance is both a job and a discipline. The discipline of finance is being able to understand the risks and rewards to get a return. The job of finance, however, is working and being on Wall Street.
Thank you Holden Lewis for coming and talking to the Finance students and staff. There will be many more opportunities to listen to other speakers and get career advice throughout the rest of the year.
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