Launched in fall 2018, undergraduate students are now able to explore the wide world of finance and banking through Gateway practica. The Finance & Banking Practicum gives students first-hand knowledge of positions in business analysis, credit analysis, financial analysis, investment banking, commercial real estate, and private equity and venture capital. Students learn about financial markets, accounting, financial software, valuation, cash flow analysis, and business networking.Â
Joining Gateway to lead the Finance & Banking Practicum is Julio Cacho, Ph.D., lecturer in Rice's Master of Energy Economics program. Julio is Chief Investment Officer of Quantor Capital in Houston, Texas. He has more than 15 years of combined professional and academic experience, specializing in optimal portfolio selection, statistical analysis, risk management, and trading. He received a Bachelor of ScienceÂ in Actuarial Science and a Masterâ€™s of Arts in Economics with highest honors from ITAM in Mexico, and Masterâ€™s in Finance and Doctor of Philosophy in Economics from Princeton University. Cacho has taught and been a seminar speaker at top universities and financial institutions, and is providing students with expert lectures on relevant topics that can be translated directly into their on-site experience.Â
Practicum students are placed with alumni and community mentors at some of Houston's premier financial institutions to participate in real world activities like financial modeling, valuation, and data analysis. They work with mentors to understand what a career in finance really looks like, and make valuable connections to advance their career aspirations. The experience is enhanced and supported by their in-class work with Cacho learning the academic principles behind what they see on-site.Â
The Finance & Banking Practicum joins the existing programs in consulting, health, and law. All practica are designed to provide undergraduates a firm academic understanding of their career field coupled with real world experience at a local organization. In addition to the professional practica, Gateway offers students travel support to attend conferences and hosts monthly networking lunches through the OwlConnect program.