Five Questions With: Josh Mandelbaum
Lander finance graduate talks about entering the world of finance in 2012 and financial advice.
It can’t be easy entering the financial sector in 2012. Recent Lander College for Men/Lander College for Arts & Sciences alum Josh Mandelbaum graduated with a class who’d been hitting the books throughout our country’s longest economic recession in decades. Madoff, Lehman Brothers, Occupy Wall Street, the duration of President Obama’s first term—it happened while Mandelbaum plugged away at earning his Finance degree, all the while hoping his path on the other side would be clear.
As it turns out, the enthusiastic number-cruncher is doing just fine. After interning with Arel Asset Management Group, Mandelbaum landed his first full-time gig as a municipal bond analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Heady stuff in a heady time. But as the Great Neck, Long Island native explains, it all comes down to doing what you know, loving what you do and doing it for the right reasons.
Touro: What’s been the biggest challenge about entering New York’s financial industry in 2012?
Josh Mandelbaum: I’d say a lot of uncertainty. Every day, you see that people are cutting jobs. I’ve just started, so hopefully I’ll have opportunities. But right now, it’s hard to see, “Which path should I take? Which path is going to end up being one that will work out in the long run? Which ones are they cutting back on?”
Touro: So while at Touro, what made you confident that you wanted to work in finance?
JM: I like dealing with live data and basic math, like arithmetic and algebra. I found that finance is very analytical. You get a lot of data all together, you get to analyze it, and hopefully end up making the lucrative decision and being successful. That’s what I enjoy doing.
Touro: Do you view part of your job as positively affecting other peoples’ financial stability?
JM: At the New York Fed, the whole point is to promote a good economy, so I hope that’s part of what I’m doing every day, is helping other people. Financial education, I think, is a very important thing—planning retirement, planning for your future and your kids.
Touro: What’s one piece of advice to the average American about ensuring their financial security?
JM: Start saving early and investing early. The first thing to learn in finance is about compound interest. By starting early and investing, that’s really how you enable yourself to have enough money to retire on. Don’t spend more than you have.
Touro: What does Josh Mandelbaum do to relax when not securing others’ finances?
JM: I enjoy hanging out with my family. At work, we have a gym and I get to go play basketball. I like running, exercising, hanging out with friends. Managing stress is something everybody has to do, so I definitely think having a life out of work is important. That’s the whole point of work: Do something you enjoy, but also make sure you create a good life out of work as well.