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Undergraduate Program

What's it like to work for a major brokerage house?


Name: David Friedman
Graduation date: May 1999
Major: Economics
Current position: Research Assistant in the Internet/E-Commerce Group in the Equity Research Department at Prudential Securities 

What is the nature of your work?
Prudential Securities is an Investment Banking Firm with a retail brokerage presence. My job is to assist the senior research analyst, who makes investment recommendations in the Internet sector to our clients and firm employees such as bankers and traders.

What does a typical day consist of? What do you do? When do you start? How late do you work?
I am in the office at 6:30 a.m. and I leave around 6 or 7 p.m. This varies depending on the time of year and possible deal we are working on. I assist the senior analyst and associate by checking the newspapers and news wires for news on our companies. I gather research both quantitative and qualitative on the Internet industry and our companies.

What's the best way of learning more about the work you do?
Going to the career center and using the resources they have there such as Wetfeet and Vault publications. In addition, researching the job at the company's website and other industry websites and of course speaking to alumni.

Looking back at your undergraduate days at Rochester, what courses or activities were particularly valuable for your current position?
Taking Econometrics, Money Credit and Banking, and Corporate Finance. In addition, I took many history courses which taught me how to write. Those history classes also allowed me to apply the quantitative skills and thinking skills I acquired in my Economics courses. In addition, being active in the Economics council and Hillel helped me gain the leadership skills, and other skills such as working with others in a team environment, that are crucial in the workplace.

In retrospect, were there things you wish you did more of?
Taken more computer classes and taken language classes, other than that, nothing.

What do you think is the next logical career step for you?
Hopefully graduate school or another job possibly for an Internet company and/or a company that is starting an Internet strategy.

Is there anything that you would like to advise our majors today about their future?
Explore all job possibilities even if it is not in the sector you want. Look for the best job, where you will learn and be exposed to as many different people and personalities as you can. Success is the journey, not the destination.