Ever wonder what happens in the finance lab at 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday?  Welcome to the Telfer Capital Markets Mentorship Program (CMMP) and Telfer Capital Fund (TCF), a program that pushes you to learn.

If you want to know the technical information about the program, you can find it all on the Career Centre website. I would like to share with you my personal experience in this program and why I think it is important that there is more gender diversity in the program as the cohorts progress.

First, back to what happens every Wednesday. If you were to walk by the lab at 5:30 p.m., you would see a group of 30 students, all professionally dressed, listening to a speaker. These speakers are the mentors that we are able to leverage long after the talks are done. Topics range from wealth management to professional and personal development. Personally, I have always learned something (or many things) from each of the speakers. These speakers are experts in their fields and each have more experiences than all 30 students combined. They also don’t sugarcoat the truth; it takes a lot of hard work and passion to be successful working in capital markets.

At around 7 p.m., the speaker leaves and the second part of our meeting begins. This is when we transition from CMMP to TCF (aka Telfer Capital Fund). We are in charge of making sound investment decisions to provide a return that will be used towards the finance lab, and therefore benefits all Telfer students. It’s in coming up with these investment ideas that, I believe, the most important mentorship is present. There are students of varying knowledge levels within the program. Because of this, we mentor each other to better our investment ideas and how we defend our choices. It truly is an incredible opportunity to be surrounded by 30 dedicated students who are always willing to help, even when they’ve finished the program.

As you can tell, this experience has been very rewarding. But one challenge that has always plagued this program is the lack of interested women. This has stumped our board of directors and leaders for the past three years. Perhaps this program is viewed as the “boys’ club” and it can be intimidating seeing 27 guys and only 3 girls. Perhaps there’s just not enough information reaching students of what this program can do for you or how we treat each other within the program. This could all be true but I hope I have dispelled some of these stigmas towards this program above. There is nothing but respect between every student and every speaker involved in TCF. However, there needs to be more gender diversity to further our thinking and create deeper discussions.

Lastly, if you are under the impression that TCF is only for students who want to go into investment banking, you are mistaken. This program will open so many opportunities, will discuss so many topics that you had no idea about, will make you think about what you’re in and where you’re going and will keep you focused on continuing to learn