Spotlighted Economics Student: Jesse Turkson '21
Jesse’s thesis entwines social justice concerns with the financial investment industry.
Native Philadelphian Jesse Turkson ’21 has a passion for basketball. When he was looking at colleges there were three criteria; strong academics, playing on a Division III basketball team, and staying close to home. Recognizing that Haverford checked off all three boxes, Jesse visited the campus and was immediately smitten, upon which he applied Early Decision.
Initially Jesse planned on majoring in Political Science but after taking Introduction to Economics with Professor David Owens, he liked that economics was more analytical, extolling its practical applications. He wanted to pursue issues related to inequality, with an added interest in finance and business, so declaring a major in economics fit well with his aspirations. He has enjoyed every economics class he’s taken, and he has a strong admiration for the department and all its professors.
Jesse would like to highlight Professor Shannon Mudd and his Advanced Corporate Finance class. Professor Mudd was wholeheartedly accessible, with assignments that were fascinating and engaging. In fact, the course was an ideal primer for his career path.
Post-graduation, Jesse will be going into finance as an investment banker at Jefferies, in New York City. This hire is a continuation from last summer’s internship as an Investment Banking Summer Analyst. He will continue with some of the same responsibilities from his internship, such as performing analyses of company financials and generating PowerPoint presentations for strategic business decisions.
The summer following his Sophomore year Jesse interned as a Fixed Income Summer Analyst for The Haverford Trust Company. Working long rewarding hours, he helped manage fixed income assets in client portfolios, assisted in daily portfolio management and trades, and presented research findings on fixed income markets.
Interning at Haverford College’s Investment Office from November of 2018 until last semester, Jesse executed projects researching and comparing developed market index funds, examined allocations and investment distributions, and generated briefings for the Investment Committee.
Jesse’s thesis entwines social justice concerns with the financial investment industry. “In times in which environmental responsibility and social justice are increasingly brought to the forefront of attention, [he] wanted to explore these implications in the investment world. It is well known that Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) considerations in portfolio composition are rising in popularity, likely attributed to heightened demand from investors. However, [he] wanted to build on previous literature regarding ESG performance and focus on performance in “good” vs. “bad” times. In other words, is it possible that investors may flock to highly rated ESG companies because they may be seen as “safer” investments? Or do they ignore corporate responsibility considerations and rather invest only through traditional valuation measures, ignoring ESG due to the uncertain investing climate. With the recent COVID-19 induced recession, as well as the 2008 financial crisis, [he] saw an opportunity to compare, using the volatility index as a measure of uncertainty.”
In addition to being a Senior Leader on the Varsity Basketball team, Jesse is a board member of the Haverford Finance Initiative, as well as a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. He was also a Treasurer of the Black Student’s League.