The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) floor can appear to be a crazed channel of activity, but it was a trip to hurricane-ravaged Broad Channel, NY that was the most memorable moment for Wright State students making their annual visit to the city in March.
Students swapped their business attire for work gloves and boots when Doreen Mogavero offered to connect them with her administrative assistant, Jo-Ann Loftus, whose parish was in need of help after being ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.
For several years, Mogavero, one of the most senior women on the NYSE floor and cofounder, co-owner, president, chief executive and floor broker of Mogavero, Lee & Co., the Big Board’s only brokerage firm managed exclusively by women, has made special arrangements for Wright State students during their annual trip. She was also presented last year with an honorary doctorate from Wright State and serves on the business college’s Dean’s Corporate Advisory Board.
“Words cannot describe how incredible the students were during their time with us in Broad Channel,” said Loftus.
Students helped clean up around St. Virgilius Church on Long Island. They wiped up surfaces inside the church and discarded debris outside for hours.
“We cleaned the pews, candle holders, we swept floors, we filled an entire 20 foot building dumpster to the brim with trash and debris that still hadn’t been taken care of,” said Jonathon Mahilo, senior, finance with dual concentration in investments and financial management, President of Finance Club.
Students said they were awestruck driving into the area, which was still in the midst of a massive cleanup with dumpsters at the end of every street filled with debris.
“It’s amazing that four months after the storm and still an area looks like that,” said Dobie.
Fresh off a trip to the world’s most influential trading center, students said they cherished their visit to the NYSE too.
“I know a lot of students around the country who go to big-time schools who get a chance to go to the exchange but they just get to see the floor and what’s going on from above. We actually got to get down on the floor and talk to the traders, which students never get to do,” said Ryan Dobie, senior accounting and finance major and treasurer of the Finance Club.
Ten students made the trip to New York, which is now an annual event in its 14th year. Students spent three days in the city visiting, among other places, BlackRock investments and investment research firm International Strategy & Investment (ISI).
“This experience on Wall Street is unique and intense,” said Bill Wood, senior lecturer, Financial Services Degree Program director and Finance Club faculty advisor. “We spent 2.5 hours on the floor of the NYSE talking to traders. It really does, in a very real way, bring the classroom knowledge to life.”
The trip is designed for students to be a complementary example of how their classroom work is applied in the real world. But both experiences, visiting Wall Street and the streets of Broad Channel, served as a dose of reality.
“To meet with company heads, director heads and executives within research, portfolio managing, corporate governance, it’s such a valuable asset to know what it’s like in the real world,” said Mahilo. “But leaving Broad Channel that day I was so glad we got to help, but I also felt so shocked because of the damage by the hurricane, which we just don’t get in Ohio.”
The students’ efforts also left a lasting impression on Loftus and members in her parish.
“Not only did we have the benefit of their helping hands, but witnessing their compassion and concern brought tears to my eyes. We were sorely in need of this visit,” said Loftus.