The Biz by Bentley University

By Kristen Walsh

In middle school, Emily Niditch and her classmates competed in a stock market competition with contestants across Pennsylvania, including local government officials. The challenge was to manage a hypothetical $100,000 portfolio through a trading session. Her team won with the highest portfolio valuation, and Niditch discovered a passion for finance that would eventually bring her to Bentley.

Her appreciation for networking and Bentley’s many opportunities for internships were a perfect match: Niditch landed a pre-internship at JP Morgan and internship at BNP Paribus during her first two years, allowing her to explore her interests in investment banking and mergers and acquisitions.

When it came time to find a summer internship after her junior year, she did what many Wall Street professionals do; she hustled. After calling nearly 100 investment banking professionals in New York City, she secured interviews at six firms. She recalls waking up at 3:00 a.m. every Friday for a month to catch a 6:00 a.m. flight to New York for a day of interviews before returning to Boston on an evening shuttle. It paid off with offers at each of the companies where she’d interviewed.

“This is an industry that really appreciates people able to work hard for what they want,” she says, “and they knew how hard I was working to get an internship.”

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It also helped that Niditch walked confidently into each interview, in large part because of her preparation at Bentley. “Working as an analyst in the Trading Room at Bentley was an amazing experience because I could tell potential employers that I already knew Bloomberg and FactSet — widely used programs — and they knew that I could hit the ground running,” she says. “That was a huge advantage.”

Niditch, a Corporate Finance and Accounting major, believes she was able to beat out candidates from Ivy league schools that lack accounting programs. Many interviewers also asked about an eight-week immersion program she did to learn Chinese after her first year, which she continued with a Chinese language minor at Bentley. “They liked the fact that I was comfortable throwing myself into a new situation.”

Niditch ultimately chose an internship as a mergers and acquisition analyst at Lazard, the financial advisory and asset management firm, which led to a full-time post-graduation job offer in their competitive two-year analyst program even before she entered senior year. Since starting there as an investment banking analyst in 2017, she has grown to value the company culture.

“I get to interact with very senior people and clients on a daily basis,” she says. “I remember bumping into the CEO in the elevator and he asked me about my job. It made me appreciate what I was doing and feel like my work had an impact on the company.”

Also in Niditch’s heart are her Pennsylvania hometown values. She grew up with parents who worked in medicine but made family a priority. And she knows she will also be looking for that same kind of work-life balance.

“At Bentley I learned that your relationships with people matter tremendously,” says Niditch, who was vice president of operations for the Bentley Investment Group and VP of finance and accounting of the professional fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. “I learned that through student clubs, working as an analyst in the Trading Room, and having professors who worked in the field and cared about my well-being. Hearing about their life experiences really guided my decision-making.”