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Brad Chandler

Nicholas Center Chicago Trek

by Brad Chandler Monday, November 27, 2017

The Nicholas Center for Corporate Finance and Investment Banking recently completed its Chicago trek to network with key employers in downtown Chicago. The Chicago trek provided students with an opportunity to meet with companies at their offices, to learn about their businesses, to learn about what they look for when hiring candidates and to network. It was a beautiful fall day, and we all enjoyed walking around downtown Chicago and visiting some of the best companies in town. We are also looking forward to our next trip which will be a New York City trek in the Spring!

Key Benefits for Nicholas Center Students

Some of the highlights of our trip include:

  • We met with 5 employers and ensured there was a mix of investment banking, corporate finance and consulting firms given the breadth of interest we have in our program
  • The list of high quality employers shows the reach of the University of Wisconsin network. And we could have met with many more employers in the area, but we chose these 5 given the interests of our students
  • We had the privilege of meeting with high quality companies, including senior leadership at most of the team. For example, we met the #2 person at BDT Capital and the CEO, CFO and Chief Public Affairs Officer at MillerCoors
  • Our students got the opportunity to learn about each of these companies while sitting at their offices in downtown Chicago
  • Our students now have contacts at each of these companies that would welcome follow-up interactions
  • Since the firms were hosting us, they gave presentations and sought to make a positive impression on us – this “turned the tables” a little bit for our students who typically have the responsibility of impressing the employer in these interactions!

Key Benefits for Nicholas Center Students

The list of employers that we visited included the following:

  • BDT Capital Partners: this is Byron Trott’s organization that is a combination of an advisory firm and a merchant bank. Warren Buffett has said that Bryon Trot is the only investment banker that is worth his fees! Although somewhat under the radar, BDT focuses on family-controlled businesses and owns assets such as the Wrigley Building and Panera.
  • MillerCoors: great company that was recently fully consolidated into Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP). UW has a number of alumni in senior positions at the company.
  • Lazard Middle Market: a leading middle market advisory practice that has the global perspective and broad resources of Lazard.
  • ConAgra: $17Bn public company (NYSE: CAG) based in Chicago in the Merchandise Mart; a global business that is looking to modernize its iconic food brands.
  • Deloitte Consulting: a consulting firm that provides strategic advisory services for global clients.

Meetings and Topics Discussed

Our meetings lasted up to an hour and included a full range of topics including:

List of Chicago employers