Opportunity Didn't Knock, He Did
Utilizing Stevens School of Business career development resources helped Ahmed Ouerghemi ’23 secure his job at Goldman Sachs.
The Stevens School of Business finance master’s degree is a STEM-designated program, but Ahmed Ouerghemi’s job search really picked up STEAM when he added the art of conversation.
Ahmed came to Hoboken as part of Stevens’ dual-degree partnership with Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale in his native Italy, finishing his finance degree in 2023. Now a Project Coordinator in the Controllers Division of Goldman Sachs, he is collaborating with colleagues and other businesses around the world.
“It’s a technology project, so I work a lot with engineering teams because this is a joint initiative with them,” Ahmed explained. “I have had the chance to work with team members in India, Hong Kong and London, and in the upcoming months, it will also include other countries. I enjoy having the opportunity to meet new people around the world.”
Having the opportunity to meet new people was a key component to Ahmed’s success in the job market. While excelling in the classroom, perhaps the biggest lesson he learned came from the talks he had with his academic advisor and mentor Emmanuel Hatzakis, teaching professor and director of the master’s programs in finance and financial engineering.
“I had countless conversations about networking; what to do, what steps to take, what jobs [to look for], what companies [to reach out to], and everything,” he said. “If we needed his help, we could always send a text or drop by his office, and he would use his connections. I had countless meetings and calls with people he introduced me to through his network.”
“After having conversations with managing directors and vice presidents, I developed an understanding of what they look for in people, what they want the hiring managers to look for, and how to have a conversation with these kinds of businesspeople, which I wasn’t used to. I was, for sure, more relaxed and confident during my interviews, thanks to that.”
The support Ahmed received wasn’t limited to faculty. He was also a frequent visitor to the Corporate Outreach & Professional Advancement (COPA) Office, a School of Business-specific department that helps undergraduate and graduate students with resumes, advice, internship and job leads, interview preparation and career development opportunities.
The team is a large reason the Stevens School of Business places 95% of its master’s students in jobs within three months of graduation.
“Coming from a European country, I had a different template for my resume, so they helped me a lot with the structure to make it U.S. friendly and showing me the things that hiring managers look for,” he said. “And, of course, I tried to go to all the alumni networking events organized by Stevens.”
Ahmed’s time at Stevens also helped shape the approach to his job search. Many students pursue a position, but a tip during one of his networking conversations shifted his mindset.
"The best advice I received was to focus more on larger companies, as they possess the necessary resources and experience in supporting international talents aiming to establish a career, whether it's in the U.S. or abroad," he said. "Once you find yourself in such an environment, showcasing a strong work ethic and dedication to your interests can pave the way for achieving your goals."
"My ideal company was one that not only supported individuals in pursuing opportunities abroad but also encouraged building connections through its worldwide network of professionals. That's exactly what I found here."
The entrepreneurial environment throughout the School of Business is effective whether a student plans on starting their own business or working for a well-known company like Goldman Sachs.
“It helped me build the mindset that I had to work on my own—focus on taking courses, taking exams, work on projects and so on, but also trying to find time to do the things to get a job like building my resume, being active on LinkedIn and attending networking events to meet new people,” Ahmed said. “You’re on your own, but you always have the help of professors and people at Stevens if you need it.”