The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association has teamed up with Texas Southern University, Houston, to launch an online, interactive program that connects SIMFA member firms with TSU students considering a career in financial services.
The program, called SIFMA Invest!, provides TSU students with educational, research and development resources to help them pursue a career in financial services. These services include virtual events, webinars, student forums and resume assistance. It also provides opportunities to study for and take the FINRA Securities Industry Essentials exam, an introductory-level exam for prospective securities industry professionals that tests knowledge of basic securities industry information.
In turn, SIFMA Invest! connects SIMFA member firms to a broader and more diverse pool of potential future employees.
"We've been trying to enhance financial firms' outreach and connectivity to a more diverse demographic population, and we came up with the idea to partner with historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions and other minority-serving institutions," said Kenneth E. Bentsen Jr., president and CEO of SIFMA. "The idea was to create an online, interactive platform with HBCUs and minority-serving institutions where SIFMA could put up content from our member firms and also host a resume databank that our firms would have access to," he added.
David Yen, dean of the Jesse H. Jones School of Business at TSU, said that this partnership with SIFMA will be a great boon to its students and connect them "to a number of diversified stakeholders" in financial services. "We want to integrate textbook learning with real-world cases," Mr. Yen added. "We think this will give our students a competitive advantage."
This partnership with TSU is "the beta test," Mr. Bentsen said. If the program is successful, SIFMA will launch similar online platforms with other HBCUs, Hispanic-serving institutions and other minority-serving institutions throughout the U.S., he said. SIFMA is currently in discussions with three other HBCUs.