CUNY partners with top financial firms to launch ‘Futures in Finance’

Adham Elshaabiny, Marketing Director

CUNY announced on Aug. 12 its partnership with Bloomberg LP, Centerbridge Partners and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to launch CUNY Futures in Finance.

“CUNY Futures in Finance is an exciting and ambitious advance in CUNY’s ongoing efforts to expand our graduates’ access to rewarding careers and put more of our students on pathways to economic and social mobility,” Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez said.

The initiative aims to connect financial firms across New York City with the diverse, multi-talented community at CUNY. Through the program, students will gain access to a range of resources, training, internship opportunities and guidance from local financial industry experts.

Over the past three years, Jeffrey Aronson, co-founder of Centerbridge, Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP, and John Waldron, chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, worked together to invest in New York City’s public university system.

Recent research found that there is a need for deeper employer engagement across campuses to support students’ work outcomes and launch them into fulfilling careers. This is why the founding partners took the initiative and came together with CUNY to create the CUNY Futures in Finance program.

“The finance industry is an important engine of economic growth and revenue for our city and nation – and CUNY is an engine of economic mobility and opportunity whose student body reflects the city’s extraordinary diversity,” Bloomberg was quoted as saying in a CUNY press release.

Bloomberg also said that the new partnership will be the pathway for CUNY’s talented students into the financial industry. He highlighted how CUNY graduates had a major role in making his company stronger. He predicts the same for other finance and investment firms in New York City as a result of the new initiative.

Futures in Finance is looking to engage students as early as in their first semester at CUNY to develop the necessary skills to achieve careers in the financial sector, through their wide range of programming.

Within three years, the initiative plans to serve upward of 4,500 students per year, with at least 25% participating in internships. After those first three years, the goal is to see 40% of participating graduating seniors obtain full-time jobs in the financial services sector.

Aronson talked about how this new partnership is essential for strengthening and advancing New York City’s financial industry.

“Our industry is always searching for the best talent,” Aronson said. “Yet right here in New York City, our hometown, there’s a huge pool of untapped talent we haven’t reached.”

Waldron echoed a similar sentiment.

“CUNY and the financial sector are both synonymous with the great city of New York, and we believe that the investments we make in our own backyard are critical to the city’s future success,” he said.

The program launched this fall, starting at three CUNY colleges: Brooklyn College, City College and Lehman College. Each of the participating colleges will be provided with career-development professionals dedicated to the initiative and to improving CUNY graduates’ employment outcomes.

“I am grateful to Centerbridge, Bloomberg LP and Goldman Sachs for creating an initiative that is inspiring, smart and far-reaching,” Matos Rodríguez said. “Our students will benefit from its targeted career development infrastructure and they’ll help diversify the financial industry as it taps into the pool of talented CUNY graduates who will be integral to New York City’s recovery.”

The program will continue to expand to more colleges over time.

CUNY Futures in Finance will be overseen by Lauren Andersen, CUNY’s newly appointed dean of industry and talent partnerships, whose mission is to build on CUNY’s leading record in the development of new talent pipelines for New York City employers, and by Brandi Mandato, CUNY’s director of strategic partnerships and an experienced economic and workforce development leader.