Careers in Public Finance Introduces Students to a New Field

By Sean Conway,
Stillman News Writer  

This past Tuesday Oct. 27, Seton Hall hosted its “Careers in Public Finance” event for the second straight year. The event featured over ten guest speakers all of whom are currently working within the field of public finance.

Although most students have never heard of the niche field of public finance, students whom attended the event on Tuesday night found out all about the extremely large and dynamic field.

The field of public finance involves using finance to fund projects for the public sector, essentially funding projects for the government.  Representatives from Tuesday night spoke about some of their funding projects to build public school buildings, bridges, roadways, and many more.

Specifically, some of the representatives that attended Tuesday night included employees from rating agencies, law firms, investment banks, and financial advising firms.  Two representatives from two different rating agencies spoke about how they rate public debt based on a multitude of factors.

It was really interesting learning about how some specific municipalities in New Jersey are doing really well while others are not.  Furthermore, the lawyer from the law firm that was at the event spoke about how her firm represents townships while they are trying to raise debt in order to legally structure their funding deals.

Moreover, the representatives from the investment banks spoke about how they underwrite deals which help townships receive funding for their projects.  Essentially, they value how much the project will cost the town, how much the township can borrow based on their credit rating, and the interest rate on the debt.

And lastly, the multiple financial advising firms at the event spoke about how they sell the debt that the investment banks help to underwrite to the ultimate investor on the bonds.  These advisors talked about how they try to find investors and then sell them the bonds based on how they are valued.

Overall, attending the Careers in Public Finance event was very valuable. It introduced students to a whole sector of the market which most students never thought of as being glitzy nor glamorous.  But now after attending the event, students can hopefully realize just how large and complex this area of the market can be.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 3rd print edition.

Contact Sean at


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