Playing the market game at CALPERS
What a beautiful Friday morning for a field trip to Sacramento for a visit with the Investment office at CALPERS, the largest retirement fund at $360 billion in the United States. We took four cars up to transport 17 TSS Scholars to find out more about careers at CALPERS. Once we arrived we met up with David Merwin, Investment Manager Engagement Programs at CALPERS. He was so welcoming and escorted us up to the 4th Floor to meet the rest of the Investment team.
We had an opportunity to interact with Clint, Christine, Diego, Bridget, Jewel and Asha from the Investment office. We had many presentations about the work of CALPERS and from Human Resources we found out how to apply for internships and job offerings in both investment and in accounting.
Angela Zheng shares the following comments:
After volunteering to take charge of the interns interested in the CalPERS field trip, I have a whole new respect for people talented at logistics. It was a challenge, but I now have a much better handle at the details and I’d love to have another chance to improve even more.
That being said, once we arrived at Sacramento, it was smooth sailing. Our itinerary was planned out perfectly by our gracious host, David Merwin. It began with introductions from the Investment Office staff; each story unique and full of wise anecdotes.
Two that stood out for me specifically was how Jewel and Christine ended up at CalPERS. Jewel immigrated from China to pursue Accounting and Finance at Purdue, then pursued law. After moving to California, she decided she valued work-life balance more, so she ended up at CalPERS. She shared some words of wisdom, saying that you should always seek to find something you’re more passionate about. Christine had a completely different background, but I derived a similar lesson. She started in corporate pension and moved to public pensions, where she bounced around and finally found what she liked. She told us to explore what makes us curious, which I found extremely wise, because I was always afraid to do just that because I didn’t want to lose stability. However, her life story just shows me that I can both analyze new possibilities and end up with a stable job.
After all of their introductions, David went over what CalPERS does, where the interns are able to ask the more technical questions that Jack, Michael, and I had them prepared beforehand. We played a fun investment game created by Bridgette, which my team unfortunately didn’t win because we held too much capital on hand! And lastly, before our tour of the beautiful campus, Asha led us through the ins and outs of applying to internships and jobs, as well as the perks of working there.
Overall, I had a wonderful time working with Michael and Jack coordinating the students, as well as getting to know the people within CalPERS.