“When I stopped positioning ourselves to financial services firms as a diversity partner and more so as an early career recruitment asset, that is when the lightbulb clicked on for many,” notes Wall Street Bound Founder & CEO Troy Prince. “At the end of the day, firms want to talk about finding top recruits, diverse or otherwise, who can help them. Our students walk into interviews with FINRA certifications, now that’s a different conversation!”
Wall Street Bound is quickly emerging as a source to find well-trained talent from unexpected places. Founded in 2019 when it held its first class on the campus of CUNY Medgar Evers College, Wall Street Bound realized that curriculum is key in helping create a real avenue of opportunity to Wall Street for Black and Brown students. Its mission is to provide diverse college and university students with the skills, experience, and social capital that empower them to reach their full potential through “front office” financial service careers. Wall Street Bound trains urban youth ages 16-24 in finance technical skills and the all-important corporate professional skills.
Wall Street Bound offers its students a six-month, five-module program that starts with the introduction to Wall Street Boot Camp, a 20—25-hour capital markets and finance career path introduction, held virtually or live on college and university campuses nationwide. Subsequent modules provide hands-on training and expert instruction that, when successfully completed, will have helped confer FINRA© Securities Industry Essential certification and the CAIA Fundamentals of Alternative Investments© (FAI) certification upon its students, with the goal of gaining competitive Wall Street internships, and later, full time jobs after graduation.
“Troy and his team are really changing lives by giving these young people the tools to deserve – not just gain – access to the banking and Wall Street world,” said Mizuho Americas’ Wayne Wright, a Tech, Media and Telecom banker who worked with Troy early in their careers and now serves as Chairman of the Board of Wall Street Bound. “I find working with the students refreshing, because they are engaged and motivated to try and make their lives better. They ask questions that are on point and they have both the aptitude and attitude to be an asset to any firm they join.”
Mizuho supports this emerging nonprofit with, what Troy calls ‘all three legs of the stool.’ Namely, Wall Street Bound is a two-time recipient of a Mizuho USA Foundation grant, three of their interns are joining Mizuho’s banking summer internship program this year and Mizuho volunteers have provided career and academic advice.
“We had executives who held resume review sessions for the students,” said Adrian Banks, Co-Chair of the Mizuho African Descent Employee network and a member of Mizuho’s global trade finance team. “It was invaluable for these young people to sit across from someone who has hired people into the very spots they someday hope to win.”
Mizuho and Wall Street Bound also hosted a livestream workshop featuring representatives of its five employee resource groups who provided advice and tips to students throughout the country on the varied pathways of entry to financial services. “We should have taped that,” muses Adrian. “It was an insider’s view of Wall Street that was really interactive and lively.”
Troy has spent significant time abroad. He has lived and worked in 5 countries and speaks 4 languages. Upon his return to the US in 2019, it quickly became clear to him that the time to execute on his idea of 15-20 years had arrived. By cultivating the next generation of finance professionals, Wall Street Bound hopes to grow the number of people of color in finance and give underrepresented youth a chance to become future leaders on Wall Street.