Melissa Rose ’15 BSBA (Finance)
Melissa Rose knows the power of hard work and perseverance. As an undergraduate student at the University of Arizona, she used both to help achieve her dream of working on Wall Street—a dream she didn’t even know she had until one fateful day during her junior year.
Rose, who at the time was still deciding between an economics or finance major in the Eller College of Management, attended a campus event during which an Arizona alumni from Goldman Sachs was speaking. She was enthralled.
“When he was talking about being in sales and trading within finance, I was sitting on the edge of my seat,” Rose says. “I liked thinking about a client-facing and market-facing role and being in the middle of a fast-paced environment.”
Her solid networking skills and persistence landed her an interview for an internship with the alumni, which eventually led to a coveted spot as a sales and trading summer analyst in 2014. She put in 16-hour days to prove her interest and dedication and earned herself a full-time seat as an analyst the following year.
“Once I set my eyes on Wall Street, I knew New York was where I wanted to start my career,” says Rose, a New Jersey native who grew up in Southern California. “Thinking about how hard I worked to get that internship, to get that dream opportunity, reminds me of why I wanted to be here originally and why I still want to be here today.”
Rose was promoted to associate in 2018, and says she is most proud of growing in her role in the securities division of the firm.
“I’m on a multi-asset platform sales team, which has given me the opportunity to trade a number of different products—equities, equity derivatives, as well as high-yield credit,” Rose says. “I love having the ability to learn about so many products.”
Her day, which now averages only about 12 hours, typically starts around 6:30 a.m. She checks news about how markets performed overnight in Asia and Europe, researches sectors her clients are interested in and consults with her firm’s trading desk about flows and earnings.
“When the market opens at 9:30 it’s pretty much a craze of excitement,” Rose says. “My head is on a swivel from then until 4. We can have clients calling about what’s going on in the market, or I might be pricing different structures for clients looking to trade—that always keeps me on my toes.”
The last few hours of her day are mainly spent writing summaries and follow-ups, or going to client dinners in the city.
It’s a lifestyle she has been preparing for since her days at Arizona, when Rose juggled work in the classroom, a part time job in Eller’s Undergrad office, and an impressive amount of extracurriculars—including a member of the Investments Club and treasurer of the Eller Leadership Board.
For students interested in a path similar to hers, Rose recommends getting involved with Eller’s Wall Street Scholars Program and utilizing the college’s faculty and alumni. The Scholars Program helped 16 Wildcats attain Wall Street summer internships in 2018.
Goldman Sachs’ New York office currently has 15 Arizona alumni across divisions helping to recruit more Eller students to the firm. Rose is thrilled to give others the same opportunities she had as a student. She mentors students and has come back to campus to speak about her journey to Wall Street and to help Eller students pave their own career paths.
“I had an amazing experience at Eller,” she says. “There are so many people there to help you grow and prepare you for life after graduation. I worked hard, and although the UA was a non-target school for typical Wall Street programs, I was able to earn the same seat as people who went to Ivy League schools.”