Chicago Fall Break Trip

Author: Connor Milligan

“The sheer volume of perspectives gained from visiting 15 banks was incredibly helpful in narrowing down which firms would be a great fit for me… Actually visiting the offices in Chicago and meeting so many people was an amazing opportunity.” – Joe Lanzel, Class of 2017


While most Notre Dame students were beginning a week of relaxation after an exciting victory over rival USC, 17 juniors started their fall breaks with a schedule that was a little less conventional: three full days of networking and learning about the investment banking industry.


The annual Notre Dame Fall Break Recruiting Trek, this year stretching from Sunday, October 18th through Wednesday, October 21st, provides an opportunity for a number of interested juniors to explore the investment banking industry, learn more about top firms and gain an understanding of what it’s like to work in Chicago. After receiving nearly 80 applications, Wall Street Club leadership selected 17 highly qualified students to attend the trip, with the goal of exposing talented Notre Dame students to the many opportunities available within investment banking, particularly in Chicago.


The majority of the trip consisted of visiting a variety of bulge bracket banks, middle market banks and independent advisory firms – 15 in total. Most visits began with a short sales pitch by the firm, followed by a Q&A session and a period of networking with Notre Dame alumni that are currently employed at each bank. However, not all of the trip was “work.” As told by one of the trip attendees, Joe Lanzel, “As someone from the northeast, it was nice to get to experience the city of Chicago. We stayed in a hotel in the heart of the Loop, got to know other students on the trip over local deep dish pizza on Sunday night and I even tried an Italian beef sandwich from Portillo’s…Although the trip only lasted a few days, it provided enough of a sample to confirm my interest in the city.”


Attendees also commented on the visible impact of current Notre Dame students and alumni with respect to putting together events such as the Fall Break Recruiting Trek. “From the Wall Street Club helping organize the trip to the alumni at each of the firms that hosted our group, I’m continually impressed by how those with ties to Notre Dame are willing to go out of their way to help fellow members of the Notre Dame family,” Lanzel noted. “I’m just hoping that within a year or two, I’m in the position to do the same.”