In her presentation titled “Practical Personal Finance After Yale,” Tara Falcone ’11 talked about an array of everyday strategies for dealing with personal finances, including several “Rules of Thumb” — from saving 20 percent of income for long-term financial goals, to a strategy she calls “anti-budgeting.”

Falcone’s lecture was part of this weekend’s Finance and Consulting Conference held as a part of Association of Yale Alumni’s “Careers, Life, and Yale” event series. Currently in its fourth year, the series represents an effort to connect Yale students with alumni working in their fields of interest. This weekend’s event featured 24 Yale alumni who came to campus to share their professional experiences with current students. A total of 135 students attended the event, which was co-sponsored by Students and Alumni of Yale — a group that facilitates connections between students and alumni.

“It’s so exciting from an alumni point of view to be able to come back and interact with the students and share any kind of knowledge or wisdom that we’ve had,” said Nancy Stratford ’77, chair of the AYA Board of Governors.

The conference featured an array of workshop sessions and panels, ranging from “Demystifying Recruiting and Interview Preparation” to a panel about investment banking. According to AYA Director of Strategic Initiatives Stephen Blum ’74, Friday’s workshops focused on skill-building such as preparing good resumes, while Saturday’s panels aimed to tell attendees about the fields of finance and consulting more specifically.

Both Blum and Stratford emphasized that alumni-student interactions are a “two-way street” on which alumni can share wisdom with current students, and alumni can learn more about life at Yale today in exchange.

In choosing alumni guests for the workshops and panels, Blum noted that the organizers took diversity into account.

“We spend a great deal of time looking for diversity in who comes to speak,” Blum said, noting that there is a danger of inviting a cast of alumni that is largely male, especially if a field is male-dominated.

Blum also highlighted that the conference and all other “Careers, Life, and Yale” events are not limited to undergraduates, but rather are targeted toward the entire Yale community, including the graduate and professional schools. He added that aside from this conference, “Careers, Life, and Yale” events are more heavily attended by graduate and professional students than by undergraduates.

This conference was the second on the topic of finance and consulting, which Blum and Stratford said are particularly in-demand fields. The first conference on the topic occurred two years ago.

Ria Harracksingh ’10 SOM ’15, a panelist on the “Women in Finance and Consulting,” painted her return to Yale for the event as a way of paying it forward.

“I just want to make sure that everybody coming up through the same system, enjoying the same things I did, are as equipped as they can be,” she said.

Harracksingh added that she wished events like this had existed during her years at Yale. She said that while the Office of Career Strategy was a good resource, it required students to be very proactive.

Dan Nguyen ’21, an attendee, said that she came to the event because she is considering a career in finance and consulting, but was unsure of what exactly her career path will be. She added that the event gave her “more overview” of the existing options.

Bryan Owens ’21, another attendee, said he attended the conference to delve deeper into the area of personal finance.

“I personally don’t know that much about personal finance, or really about the field in general, so this event seemed like a great opportunity to learn about the field,” he said.

There are over 120 domestic and 40 international Yale clubs and associations for alumni.

Asha Prihar | .

Asha Prihar served as managing editor of the News during the 2019-20 academic year. Before that, she covered community service, Yale's professional schools and undergraduate student life as a staff reporter. She is a senior in Silliman College studying political science.