Junior Rubs Elbows with Investment Banking Executives

James Hamalian

Finance and accounting major James Hamalian made some impressive connections while a co-op at JP Morgan Chase in the Investment Bank Finance and Business Management division out of Newark, DE. He even had a chance to indulge in a sweet treat with the CFO of Investment Banking while visiting JP Morgan Chase’s New York office.

“Throughout my co-op, I have worked with vice-presidents and executive directors to implement new reporting processes in response to recent federal regulation,” said Hamalian. “I worked out of the 383 Madison Avenue office in New York City on several occasions, and even shared a cupcake with the CFO of the Investment Bank on my birthday.”

When Hamalian came to Drexel, he was not quite sure what he wanted to do, changing his concentration three times in his first year, before committing to finance and accounting. He says his co-op has certainly narrowed his interest, and he is glad he did not “pigeonhole himself to one particular field before going on co-op.”

Planning projects, taking initiatives and communicating well are nothing new for Hamalian. Before beginning his co-op at JP Morgan Chase, he participated in Drexel’s Good Idea Fund on campus, an organization that awards funds for student, faculty and staff ideas to be used for Student Life and campus-based initiatives. Through the Good Idea Fund Hamalian had practice preparing and planning events as well as producing and organizing projects. One major project he worked on involved bringing rap artist Lupe Fiasco and the New York Times best-selling author Andrew Ross Sorkin to Drexel’s campus.

“Almost all my classes have contributed in some way to my success at my co-op, as well as my involvement outside of class,” he said.

Hamalian said he has gained skills that prepare him for his future career. While, at JP Morgan Chase he has trained new interns, mastered various reporting processes and worked with teams throughout his division to get initiatives off the ground.

This fall Hamalian will return to classes, with more than books and pens in hand. He will return with a new working-world understanding of the concepts being taught in his classes.

“The benefits of my co-op experience have been endless and every moment I spend at work I learn something new, apply my knowledge and skills to very topical corporate initiatives, and build relationships with established professionals,” he said.

Hamalian goes into all projects with an open mind. He says the most important thing to remember while on co-op is that “It is ok to put your pride to the side and ask questions when you need to. Go in with an open mind; constant learning and improvement is what co-op is all about.”

“Having worked in such a competitive, fast-paced environment, I leave work every day invigorated and eager to take on the challenges of tomorrow,” said Hamalian.