Student Spotlight: Jay Poskitt
Jay Poskitt, '22, majored in quantitative finance at the School of Business. He recently began working as an equity research associate at Evercore. Jay shares his experiences at Stevens.
My uncle works in finance in Boston. I shadowed him for a day at work, and it was a great experience. I became interested in the market, and when it came time for me to choose a school, my soccer coach in high school recommended Stevens. I really like math, computer science, and finance, and the programs at Stevens jumped out.
When I first came to visit Stevens, I stayed with a couple of soccer players and met with Dale Jordan, the soccer coach. I also met with Professor George Calhoun, who talked with me for over an hour. When we spoke, he talked about how he had created the quantitative finance program to fit what Wall Street banks were looking for in young professionals entering the workforce. This conversation is what inevitably led to me choosing to attend Stevens.
Just recently, I was fortunate enough to accept an equity research associate position at Evercore. When speaking with the director of research there, he said that the main reason my resume jumped out was because of my quantitative and computer science background, just as Professor Calhoun had said it would.
During my time at Stevens, I was also close to Professor Jonathan Kaufman. I took two of his classes – equity evaluation and portfolio management. He was also my faculty advisor, and we would speak every day, when I was the head of the SMIF (Student Managed Investment Fund). The experience that I had working with him was invaluable – whether that was anything from how to prepare for interviews, how to lead a team, how to prepare presentations, he’s always advised me to be attentive to details and working with him has really prepared me to excel at my new job.
How Stevens helped me start my finance career
In the Student Managed Investment Fund, the work that I did as a first semester equity research analyst is just about identical to what I’ll be doing at Evercore. So when I was interviewing, I had the experience that set me apart from other candidates.
At Evercore, I'll be given a sub sector of REITs (real estate investment trusts) and I'll be following all of their earnings. I'll be meeting with their senior managers and I'll be updating their financial models, creating investor presentations, slide decks or pamphlets for potential investors to help them make more educated investment decisions.
Another thing that I did while at Stevens was to help operate the Makin’ Lemonade Fund. It was really my first leadership role, overseeing a team of roughly ten people. We built a website and organized over 300 students from all over the country to gather pledges for running. People would pledge a dollar for every mile run, or a flat fee of say, $50. We ended up raising over $33,000 for COVID relief.
One of the reasons why I'm so interested in Evercore is that they're very passionate about doing work outside of the office as well, whether that's fundraising for charitable foundations, or supporting other initiatives that they strongly believe in, they’re focused on bettering the community, and it’s absolutely something that I plan on doing in the future. Hopefully down the line, I’ll start my own foundation as well. I’d like to help younger individuals in impoverished areas who don't have the same opportunities that I was able to have.
Advice to stay focused
A lot of the books that I've read are finance-related. Zero to One: Notes on Startups is great. Outliers is fantastic, too. Atomic Habits is one that I just finished reading. It’s about how you can go about trying to fix a bad habit. One thing I’ve started doing is limiting my time on social media. I spend 15 minutes on TikTok and 15 minutes on Instagram. I set the timer on my phone, and once it goes off, it’s like shoot, I gotta go do something else. I’m very happy because now, I have more time to talk to friends, read what’s going on in the world or prepare for my job.