After graduating from Bucknell in 2008 with a double major in economics and French, Steve Studnicky worked as an analyst in the Convertible Bond group with Lazard Freres in New York City and then with the their San Francisco office doing Equity-Linked Capital Markets work. In March of 2011, Lazard brought Steve back to NYC, where he now trades Convertible Bonds and does additional work with the Convertible Advisory banking group.
Lazard is a bank with French roots dating back to the 1800s, but it is now based in the United States and functions like an international institution. Steve says that while speaking French had little to no influence on his initial hire at Lazard, his role there has evolved into trading bonds with several European hedge funds, many of which are based in France and Switzerland. Depending on the fund that he is trading with, Steve does business in French, so he gets to use his language skills on an almost every-day basis, which he finds very rewarding. The math behind the trading is universal, so for the most part all the traders are all on the same page, whether they are speaking French or English. He says, “I believe my understanding of the culture and strong grasp of the language has helped me develop relationships and further my career.”
Steve’s experience with Bucknell en France was one of the highlights of his Bucknell experience.
“I would say that my experience studying in Tours in 2007 was the catalyst that helped me become proficient in the language. Studying French at Bucknell was an excellent foundation, but when I was in Tours, I lived with an older French family that spoke only French and I made a real effort to entrench myself in the culture.
While difficult at first to speak uniquely in French (even amongst my American friends from Bucknell), I think the sacrifice was worth it. At the end of the trip, all of us became very comfortable with the language and several of us have used French in our professional lives. Without question, studying in Tours was one of the most enriching experiences of my life.”
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