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SAR High School Students Get An Inside Look at Life on Wall Street

As the students of SAR High School’s AP Macroeconomics class boarded the bus Thursday morning and complemented each other’s “business casual” outfits, they felt a rare excitement—one that comes with a class trip. The class had been plowing through a demanding college-level high school course and now, finally, they had the opportunity to apply their learnings in real life. As seniors in high school, on the brink of the next stages of their lives, their class trip to “Wall Street” gave many of them insight to their future careers.  

Their first stop—The Wall St. Journal at NewsCorp—felt surreal. Greg Zuckerman, a well-known and respected author, and financial journalist, spoke to the group about his journey and some behind-the-scenes of what it’s truly like to create the media that is read by around three million people daily. Greg’s fantastic story taught them an unforgettable lesson. Greg was not interested in financial journalism until he randomly stumbled upon a job opportunity and took it. From there, he realized and later taught the students that if they’re not happy with their careers, to keep on searching because there is an opportunity out there that will perfectly suit them.

After a brief, delicious lunch break at Bravo Pizza, they visited a classmate’s mom who works at an investment bank in fixed income sales. Their host explained that she works with investors to sell highly complex securities. The shared concepts and information would have never been comprehensible to most of the students before taking the class. They were also introduced to a research analyst who evaluates securities that are backed by mortgages. Because these types of investments and the factors which impact their value were closely related to the AP Macroeconomics course material, many of the students nodded and smiled when hearing familiar terms. 

The last stop of the trip was memorable, as the group visited 30 Hudson Yards—the second tallest office tower in New York City and the North American headquarters of a large Scandinavian bank. As they explored the incredible facility, they heard from the head of investment banking regarding the bank’s activities in the Americas. He spoke about his large clients in the Scandinavian seafood industry and the offshore oil-rig industry. He also taught the students a lesson about keeping people in their lives and shared a story about a college friend who is now one of his clients. 

The trip to midtown Manhattan was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get an inside view of an exciting industry. All of the hosts were in the midst of hectic work days, and the students truly appreciated them coming out. Josh Labinsky-Fleischer says, “I found it really amazing that these people have some of the biggest jobs in the world, let alone on Wall Street, and they took time out of their jobs and days to help us.” Even five minutes for these people is worth a lot, and the students’ appreciation of their time and effort was immeasurable.