Rishi Dani ’05 Shares Tips About Careers in Finance
An executive director with CIBC World Markets, Rishi Dani ’05 works with interest rates derivatives sales. The mathematics and economics double major shares advice about Wall Street and your life after Denison.
What was your career path like?
After Denison I joined JPMorgan as an analyst in their Interest Rate Derivatives Sales team, working with large Corporate clients in the US. In the time since, I have worked at several large multi-national banks including RBS, Nomura and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. During that time I have focused largely on Interest Rate Derivatives and Structured products, marketing them to large Corporate clients both in the US as well as Latin America.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love working in sales as it allows me to interact with clients and has afforded me the opportunity to travel extensively through the US, Latin America, and Europe. At the same time, covering Interest Rate Derivatives means I have to follow closely the macroeconomic trends in the US as well as other major economies of the world which is of strong interest to me. Finally, providing derivative solutions entails coming up with creative ideas and involves a high degree of structuring and problem solving which is a stimulating challenge.
What surprises you most about your career or career path?
While I was at Denison, I always figured I would work in Finance but looking back now, I was woefully unaware of the different opportunities available within finance (investment banking, sales and trading etc). When I was interviewing at JPMorgan, I thought I was interviewing for an Investment Banking job and it turned out I was interviewing for a sales role and that too selling Interest Rate Derivatives - I had no idea what that meant. So looking back now, I had never imagined I would be doing what I am doing today.
How did Denison prepare you for the world after college?
While I was a student, I never appreciated the well-rounded education that a liberal arts degree provides. Most of my peers in banking were from Ivy League schools and yet Denison prepared me well enough to keep up with them. For me, Denison gave me the ability to think differently and to think outside the box which really set you apart from students who have spent their entire college career focused on just their main degree. On a lighter note, one of the experiences from Denison that helped me immensely was my time working at the Annual Fund which made me very comfortable talking on the phone - something a lot of kids out of school had a tough time adjusting to.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received throughout your career or what piece of advice would you like to share with others?
I would strongly encourage students to start thinking about what careers they might be interested in and to use the summers between Sophomore and Junior and Junior and Senior years to find relevant internships. I was surprised when I realized the different opportunities within finance and I wish I had a better understanding of those opportunities and maybe I would have pursued a different group. I think Denison's biggest asset is its Alumni network and I strongly encourage students to use the career center to reach out to alumni in companies they are interested in - as a student, I got invaluable advice on jobs, resumes etc from Alumni and in the end I got the interview at JPMorgan through an alum.