On Jan 24, 2018 from the Fordham University Gabelli School of Business.
What do sacred Christian texts have to do with business? For most people, probably not much.
For a Gabelli School senior, a theology course was the key to learning to listen.
This summer, Sahcha Pierre-Louis, BS ’18, will use that skill as she begins a full-time analyst role in the advisory and client services group at BlackRock.
Since becoming interested in finance, Pierre-Louis noticed that in business, people “always want to have the answer.” While attending theology class, however, she realized how beneficial it is to hear what others have to say. So she started finding opportunities to listen—to peers, professors, and alumni—whenever she could.
“It never hurts to say, ‘hey, do you want to get coffee?’” she shares.
Though she spoke to many people, Pierre-Louis says she found that as a member of a minority group, “within finance, it’s very hard to see yourself represented within the people that are there.”
When she discovered Jopwell, a hiring and recruitment platform that helps link underrepresented minority candidates with top companies, she saw there was a place for her. Using the platform, she secured two internships and also connected with BlackRock.
During the interview process, Pierre-Louis says she got a sense that the executives with whom she spoke valued her identity.
What also stood out was BlackRock’s dedication to corporate social responsibility, or CSR.
“Usually you tend to hear about CSR and innovation as very siloed things in business operations,” Pierre-Louis says. But “we’re starting to see all types of businesses and industries incorporating it in everyday work.”
Forging a path for herself in emerging areas is familiar to Pierre-Louis, having been one of two Lincoln Center-based Compass fellows, now called Social Impact 360, in her freshman year. That’s where she first learned about corporate innovation and intrapreneurship, concepts that kept her motivated throughout her time at Fordham.
In her new position, Pierre-Louis will be working with investors and clients, and, as she puts it, “putting clients first,” which often can lead to consulting roles within financial services.
For now, though, she is looking forward to simply absorbing as much as she can.
She recalls the advice that her Lincoln Center academic advisor, Vincent DeCola, SJ, often gives: “Half of the work is showing up.”
Pierre-Louis is determined to continue showing up. And to get coffee with as many people as possible.