Introducing the TFN Student of the Month: Ben Ferris, A15
Ben Ferris is a rising junior majoring in Quantitative Economics. Originally from Essex, VT, Ben is the Financial Sector Leader for the Tufts Financial Group, a student-managed $122,000 fixed income and equity profile. Also a member of the Tufts Varsity Basketball Team, Ben was recognized as the NESCAC Rookie of the Year in 2012, and this year, he was the third leading scorer on the team that qualified for the NESCAC Tournament for the second year in a row Although Ben won’t be able to study abroad because of athletic commitments, he hopes to one day visit Argentina as both an academic and a tourist. Ben's current professional experiences include Trust Company of Vermont, an asset management firm, and Coastal Medical, a medical service company in Providence, RI. This summer, he will be interning for Goldman Sachs in Boston.
We recently sat down with Ben to discuss Tufts and life beyond the Hill.
Have you connected with any Tufts alumni in your job and internship searches?
"I connected with Tufts alumni in almost every interview that I had the past couple months. Meeting with alumni has been so helpful because they are really pulling for us to do well and work for their firm. Almost everyone is extremely welcoming and willing to offer guidance. After I accepted my offer at Goldman Sachs in Boston, I got four or five congratulatory emails from Tufts alumni that I had never even spoken with before. It just goes to show how compassionate our alumni network is."
"I also want to thank David Leach, A95, personally. He was the most helpful person throughout the whole process for me. He showed true devotion and commitment to helping current students get internships with Goldman Sachs. He coached me through interview tips on the phone, was available by email at all hours of the day, and was sincerely invested in helping me. This came on top of everything else David had on his plate as an investment banker. Even though I didn’t end up working in New York, David was still extremely happy for me to be a part of the Goldman Sachs team. That really speaks to his character and unselfishness. So, thank you David."
How has Tufts prepared you to apply for internships in today’s competitive professional landscape?
"The internship application process has been grueling. Every firm is looking for the best and the brightest because it seems that the financial industry attracts talented young individuals. This makes it a very intense and competitive environment. I have witnessed students much stronger than me academically struggle to find opportunities, which leads me to feel extremely lucky and very grateful. That being said, the Tufts Financial Network and Tufts Financial Group have certainly given me and my fellow students an advantage. Tufts Financial Group has taught me a ton about security selection and has given me something tangible to talk about in interviews. The Tufts Financial Network has also provided an amazing support system and I wouldn’t be employed this summer without them."
What do you think of the new minor in finance?
"I think this is a great idea and certainly beneficial for future Tufts students. I wish it came a few years earlier so that I could have taken advantage of the curriculum. I think that at a liberal arts school, students interested in finance and business must sometimes find their own routes and areas of opportunities to explore these fields. However, with the initiation of the finance minor, I think students will be able to achieve the same goal in an easier, more structured way."
Outside of the classroom, who has influenced your interest in finance?
"It's a toss-up between Benjamin Graham’s classic value investing approach, and following the markets on a daily approach. Reading the "Intelligent Investor” and “A Random Walk Down Wall Street" has taught me the importance of true value, net-net, investing and the power that indexes and compounded annual growth rates have. On the other hand, I really like following markets and seeing trends develop in certain industries that shift the tides of investing."
Do you have a role model or mentor that has helped to shape who you are today?
"Chris Cassidy. He was my AAU basketball coach growing up and I've known him as a coach, a boss, and a friend for the last six years. He is one of the most unselfish human beings I've ever known. He has taught me the value of hard work, being humble, and helping others."