Toigo

Toigo (pronounced Twee-Go) offers minority candidates interested specifically in finance careers (which they generously define) after their MBA. The $1k fellowship (which can be augmented in your second year with an additional application) will offset some MBA program expenses (and would be eagerly accepted by anyone entering school), but the true value of the Toigo Fellowship lies in the exclusive network and career access. Although I was not admitted to the program (400+ applicants for 60 spots), I look forward to learning about the program through friends who received the fellowship.

Toigo details the five distinct benefits as:
 

  1. PREPARATION – Fellows attend two intense training weekends during each year of their MBA study. We welcome Toigo Fellows to the industry’s most vibrant network.
     

  2. LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT – We help MBA students assess their career focus, and provide mentoring not just early in their careers but later as they seek career advancement.
     

  3. NETWORKING – Fellows and alumni have access to a dynamic network of 1,300 (and growing) minority MBA graduates working in finance. Toigo fellows agree that this powerful web of support throughout their careers is the by far the biggest benefit of the fellowship.
     

  4. PRESTIGE – Our fellows enjoy stand-out distinction in the eyes of employers and industry leaders.
     

  5. CAREER CONNECTIONS – We offer lifelong introductions, professional development and employment opportunities for careers in private equity, hedge funds, investment banking, investment management, venture, real estate, public service—and more.

 

Based on their website, approximately 80 fellows are selected each year from over 400 applicants. Interested applicants are required to submit an application and essay detailing interest in a finance career following their MBA as well as their understanding of the Toigo mission.

 

There are two phone screens conducted after the application is submitted and then the waiting begins. The new class was announced on June 1st.

 

Toigo Catapult 

After submitting my application and completing the phone screens, I had the great fortune of attending the Toigo Catapult event in Philadelphia this April. The four-day event was a wonderful opportunity to network with the awesome diverse students also entering MBA programs this fall who are interested in careers in the financial services industry. The event covered Investment Banking (by far the most popular target industry), Investment and Asset Management and in networking conversations during the opening day reception- sales and trading and equity research.

Many attendees traveled far and wide to attend and though I, unfortunately, could not attend the entire event, I had 2 truly incredible days down in Philly:

 

Day One:

  • The day kicked off with an excellent breakfast and panel conversation discussing corporate finance careers. It was awesome to learn about the finance career possibilities in consumer/healthcare goods and the energy industry.
     

  • After breakfast, the break out panels began! The Investment Banking panel was packed and offered some incredibly real conversations about navigating the industry as a person of color, as a woman and as someone with a family.
     

  • Following the panel, I was able to spend time with 4-5 banks and learned more about some target BB and MM firms on my radar and got to know recruiters and bankers (#ProTip always collect business cards to say thank you notes)
     

  • Lunch was also delicious and featured a conversation on Private Wealth Management, a career I had never even considered and really appreciated learning more about
     

  • For my second breakout session in Venture Capital, I was pleasantly surprised to experience an all-female panel! I enjoyed hearing about each woman's path to VC and the unique investment approach of their firms.
     

  • After our second breakout session, there was a great cross-continent panel on emerging market investing. As a newbie to the private side of finance, it was really helpful to learn more about the career possibilities outside of the country
     

  • Day one was truly action-packed and concluded with a delicious networking reception featuring TWO carving tables!

 

 

Day Two:

  • Breakfast also featured a conversation on the PWM career path which was helpful to better understand the career path
     

  • After breakfast was the big event of the week, the career expo! My new friends had mapped out where firms were located in the hall and strategized on how best to approach each interaction and it was an absolute blast! I appreciated every conversation with the down to earth bankers and recruiters present, the stories shared were sincere and they were all genuinely interested in getting to know us. I am still in touch with many of these initial contacts as I proceed in the financial services pre-MBA recruiting process.
     

  • Lunch featured a wonderful panel on best practices for career strategizing that really opened my eyes to the pros and cons of accepting an early internship offer for next summer and best approaches to  securing a role that I will be happy in (hint: it's not only about the money...)
     

  • Toigo truly blew things out of the water after lunch with the Quant Camp experience though! An Excel junkie, I had no idea about the investment banking modeling world and was amazed at how Pillars of Wall Street and Brainceek broke everything down in a digestible format. I still have questions of course, but on the whole, it was such a great first touch! 

 

Although I wasn't able to return for the final day, I am still in touch with the new friends I made at Toigo and can't express how grateful I am for my first dive into private finance and MBA conferences! The bar has been set incredibly high thanks to Toigo!

 

 

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