Interview with Elle Lichter ’16

Interview and article by Alumni Relations Chair, Christine Bachek ’17


Colgate Women in Business recently sat down with Colgate alum Elle Lichter to ask her about her experience in the banking industry and graduation. Here are the highlights:

Christine: What is your current position and what does that entail?
Elle: I am a Commodity Derivative Corporate Sales (it’s a mouthful)!

Christine: Can you break that down a little?
Elle: Basically it means that I sell securities, whose price is derived from the price of the real , physical commodity (hence the term derivative), to corporate clients (producers and consumers of those commodities. Producers (e.g. Southern Company) and consumers (e.g. American Airlines) need to hedge their exposure risk, aka insure they can receive a certain price for x% of the commodity they need. We provide different financial products, ranging from swaps to vanilla option structures, to help our clients manage their risk

Christine: How did you come to realize your interest in the industry/ your specific desk?
Elle: I knew I wanted a social and fast paced environment that kept me on my toes and constantly learning – this is exactly it!

Christine: What steps did you take while still at Colgate to land your internship?
Elle: I emailed as many alumni as possible in iCAN, submitted resumes and cover letters to all openings on Navigate, and contacted alumni from BNP

Christine: What is a typical day like?
Elle: I arrive between 6:30-7:30am (most people are in by this time, the markets open early!)
Usually, I send out updates to clients about what’s happening in the market and prepare prices for clients
Mornings are super busy! I’m on the phone and on chats with clients the whole time filling orders. This is the fun part – everyone’s shouting on the desk for prices, the market is moving, people are calling in…. it’s super fun, social, and adrenaline pumping. You have to have a big personality to keep up!
In the afternoon, once the markets close, the traders clean up their positions and try to get most things to neutral/safe. The sales side works on their research projects or spreadsheets (all the long term work that can’t be done during the day). I’m out of the office by 6pm/7pm!

Christine: What are some actionable steps young women (and students in general) can take now to best prepare for a career in this field?
Elle: Email Colgate alumni in the field! Ask to set up informational coffee catch ups and communicate with them to see what you can do to specifically target a position.


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