Credit Suisse Looks To College Recruits At IT Expo

Seniors are being targeted to join Credit Suisse's analyst program for entry-level professionals, while juniors are being recruited for 10-week paid summer internships.

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee, Senior Writer, InformationWeek

October 21, 2008

4 Min Read

For several years, Credit Suisse has put on annual IT Expos to showcase to its employees and clients some of the innovative technologies it's working on. But this year the financial services company is using its two U.S. IT Expos to recruit college students for entry-level analyst jobs and summer internships.

Credit Suisse recently wrapped up its annual IT Expo at its Raleigh, N.C., location, and an IT Expo in its New York City office is slated for mid-November. The company decided this year to expand its campus recruiting efforts at local schools by inviting select students to take a closer look at Credit Suisse during the Expos.

"Students get to see some of what we're doing in IT, get to meet with managers, tour the booths, sit down at lunch with senior-level people," said Sharon Brophy, global head of operations campus recruiting and U.S. head of IT and shared services campus recruiting. The effort helps "to sell candidates that we're an interesting place to work," she said.

Attendees also heard firsthand from Credit Suisse IT executives, including keynote speaker Richard Zaloom, head of IT Americas.

"We want students to know that Credit Suisse is a bank with a secure future offering bright opportunities in technology careers," Zaloom said in a statement to InformationWeek.

"Attracting and retaining top IT talent is one of Credit Suisse’s priorities, and a full day of activities at our IT Expo is one unique way to differentiate ourselves from the competition," he said.

The 50 or so candidates invited to each event include undergrad seniors and juniors majoring in business tech-related or financial-related fields at about five to seven colleges in Raleigh and New York, said Brophy. The seniors are being targeted to join Credit Suisse's analyst program for entry-level professionals after they graduate in next year. The juniors are being recruited for 10-week paid summer internships for 2009.

If the students decide to join Credit Suisse, they'll be part of a company effort to groom future professionals in many areas of IT, including application architecture and development, IT operations, IT risk management, quality management, and testing, said Brophy.

At this year's Expos, innovations showcased included a system from the company's derivatives IT, including a product called LOCuS, which provides a live, interactive, multiproduct platform for clients, sales, trading and research within fixed income. Also displayed is a newly created Credit Suisse Virtual World Island, a visually rich and engaging communications tool, said a Credit Suisse spokesman.

Credit Suisse also spotlighted its Client Trading Technology, "a Credit Suisse electronic trading mainstay with new platforms such as Prime Trade, an Internet-based, real-time global trading platform," he said. The recent meltdown on Wall Street didn't influence the decision to open up the Expos for recruiting opportunities, but rather the company decided it would be a good way to forge earlier relationships with prospective new employees from local pools of promising college students.

Many colleges across the country have long complained about dwindling numbers of students entering tech-related majors, and Credit Suisse thinks the Expos are a good way to get some of those students' attention and seal the deal with others considering starting out their careers with the company.

"We'd like the pool to be bigger, but it’s a decent pool of candidates," Brophy said. While the number of U.S. students pursuing tech degrees has been falling in recent years, she said one fear is that the recent Wall Street crisis will end up discouraging kids from pursuing careers in financial services industries. However, it's possible that could result in some unintended benefits for tech employers, Brophy said, as more students reconsider tech-related fields. "Technology may become hot again," as a career choice for younger workers, she said.

In the meantime, Credit Suisse is witnessing some of the aftermath of Wall Street's recent troubles. "We're getting more resumés from entry-level analysts who had jobs at Lehman Bros. and Bear Stearns," she said.

Credit Suisse also holds annual IT Expos in its London, Singapore, and Zurich offices; however, the company hasn't yet opened up those events for recruiting.

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About the Author(s)

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Senior Writer, InformationWeek

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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