RTSWS At The Nashville Public Schools Career Fair

RTSWS At The Nashville Public Schools Career Fair

Over 100 ninth graders sign up with RTSWS to envision a career in finance! 

The “My Future. My Way. Career Exploration Fair” featured more than 120 employers and organizations. This massive event happens through the committed efforts of Alignment Nashville, the five Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) Partnership Councils and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. TOGETHER, they pooled their knowledge and resources to provide this excellent opportunity for OVER 6,000 ninth graders to see their future selves. 
The majority of dropouts occur during freshman year. This event raises awareness and generates excitement that shows freshmen the relevance of their studies and the opportunities their future holds. 
The exploratory event empowers students to make informed decisions about which type of academy to choose for their remaining high school years. MNPS offers students a Banking and Finance Academy, in which RTSWS has a particular interest. Over 100 girls signed up with us to learn more about the programming we offer in MNPS.

DO THE MATH. WIN $100,000!
How Much Is This Car? 

Students guessed the price of a Mercedes S Class automobile and were then presented with various lending schemes to pay for the car. Variations of lending packages included length of loan and various interest rates.

They then were asked how does one afford a Mercedes? That’s when the girls learned about the stocks all RTSWS students followed this semester, GOOG, APPL and FB.

They saw how the price of each of these stocks has increased over the years and how, if they had invested in them, they too, could afford to lease or own a Mercedes. Students were handed $100,000 candy bars and Smarties for getting in the game. 

We were thrilled to meet so many girls who want to learn more about being financially fit. Visit The Ford Next Generation Learning Hub to learn more about Nashville Academies’ success.

And now for something completely different… 

Dr. James Bailey welcomed our founder, Maura Cunningham, to Whites Creek High School in Nashville where she was Principal for the Day. Maura learned about students’ success in making a soy based fuel, (they won $30,000 and were flown up to meet with Ford executives in Detroit) – Alternative Energy, Sustainability and Logistics Academy. 
She saw, too the classroom courtroom that the students built themselves to hold court certified, binding hearings. – Education and Law Academy. 
HCA – RTSWS Students Visit Fortune 100 Company

HCA – RTSWS Students Visit Fortune 100 Company

RTSWS students from John Overton High School a Metro Nashville Public School and one of the most diverse high schools in Tennesseetook a field trip last week to the corporate headquarters of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), a Fortune 100 Company. Unique from the financial institutions RTSWS typically visits, HCA manages 174 hospitals around the world and hires tens of thousands of people into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. Our girls are candidates for future hiring at HCA into financial roles as it transacts billions of dollars across international borders and institutions as well as invests billions in its employer sponsored retirement plans. 

Overton sophomores, juniors and seniors started the day learning about the importance of a first impression from Sunny Powell, Senior Communications Specialist with HCA.

After lunch, a panel of HCA female financial professionals shared their college and career paths, leadership skills and how they use math in their current roles. They then offered advice on pursuing financial independence and a career in STEM. 

Students toured the offices, meeting more women along the way, received a “Certificate of Participation” for completing the RTSWS financial workshops taught by HCA professionals since September. Students also received the widely used reference book, the S & P’s Guide to Money and Investing and of course, this year’s cool RTSWS t-shirt.

And Coming This Spring

HCA mentors will team up with Overton students and join the ranks of the mentor/protege teams we have across 5 cities in the U.S. where we offer RTSWS programming. Mentors and proteges will meet face to face once per month and will be offered the eye opening opportunity to job shadow women in finance.  During this component of the RTSWS full-year program, HCA professionals will provide ongoing guidance to the girls on the importance of being financial responsible, college major/minor preparation, staying motivated, life challenges, resume building, job readiness skills, leadership and career paths.

These relationships may last for years to come as they have for some of our past students.

When it comes to making an impact, HCA rules.

Thank you!

Owen Graduate School of Management – Vanderbilt University – The Future is in THIS Room

Owen Graduate School of Management – Vanderbilt University – The Future is in THIS Room

Recently, the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management hosted its annual Women in Business Symposium, an opportunity for alumni and prospective students to get to know each other and discuss the many opportunities of a career in business.

Our founder, Maura Cunningham, along with Vanderbilt alumni from Exxon Mobil, Deloitte Consulting and Make a Wish Foundation hosted a panel entitled “Go for it”. The panel took questions and commented on:

  • Why go into management
  • The benefits of accessing mentorship and guidance on campus
  • How women who excel at problem solving, analytical and critical thinking, decision making and logical thinking BELONG IN BUSINESS

Maura was delighted to share and hear the questions of young women who are considering a management career in business. This opportunity to connect with tomorrow’s rising business leaders gives us even more insight into the benefits of offering Rock The Street, Wall Street, (RTSWS), programs to high school girls.

At RTSWS, we plant the seed and prepare our students for a life in business by offering:

  • Information on career pathways (field trips in the fall, job shadowing in the spring)
  • Money management skills (hands on financial projects in the classroom in the fall) 
  • Early mentorship and networking opportunities (over 50% of our fall students sign up for our formal mentor/protege program each spring semester)

Our programs find girls across ALL socioeconomic strata and open their eyes and minds to how THEY can rise up and make a difference in business and in the world around them.



First Tennessee Field Trip – “I Change People’s Lives”

First Tennessee Field Trip – “I Change People’s Lives”


“I change people’s lives.”
These were the powerful words of Daisy Casey, Community Bank President, Sumner Co, First Tennessee Bank to Hillsboro High School students during their RTSWS field trip. It was her candid and instant reply to the question: “Daisy, what is the BEST thing about your job?”


The students capped off their semester series of financial education workshops by going to the offices of their volunteer instructors. There, they saw and heard from women in the M in STEM, finance.

Q&A with Former RTSWS Student and Amazon Intern

Q&A with Former RTSWS Student and Amazon Intern

Meet Jenny Sai—one of our success stories. Jenny, a first generation American, participated in the RTSWS program when she was a student at Hume-Fogg High School, a Metro Nashville Public School. When we first met Jenny, she had no idea that a profession in finance was even available for her consideration.

Jenny interned with us at the RTSWS offices in Nashville for the past three years and then, this past summer she interned as a Financial Analyst with Amazon in Seattle. Jenny will graduate next year from Washington University in St. Louis with her Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Economics and Strategy. We sat down with Jenny to learn more about her experiences as an undergraduate studying business, economics and finance.

Tell us about why you were drawn to finance as a college major and career path?
I like finance because it’s analytical and can apply to small and big businesses. If you think about just the numbers though, that is not enough. You need to think beyond them and how learning about basic finance, financial instruments and financial policy can impact your world and the world of those around you. 

What qualities do you believe are most important to be a leader?
I’ve had some really good female leaders. A leader should not be afraid to tell you when you might be on the wrong track. They should give you constructive criticism with encouragement. Sometimes women are afraid to tell you what are doing wrong. We need to change that mindset.

What inspired you most about the women you met as a student in the Rock The Street, Wall Street program?
One memory that really sticks out is when our RTSWS class went on a field trip to the Entrepreneur Center. We heard from two entrepreneurs, (female) who were just launching their products. They shared how hard it is to “make it”. They weren’t afraid to take a chance and they committed their time, money, etc. to making their dreams a reality. It was really inspiring and got me thinking about my future.

How specifically have you benefited from meeting female financial professionals with Rock The Street, Wall Street?
My RTSWS mentor put the financial world in perspective–she opened my world to all the possibilities. Getting a finance degree is really smart for the future. She also taught me that hard work pays off and opening yourself to opportunities pays off. Rock The Street, Wall Street sets girls up for endless possibilities.

Jenny listens to Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, at their summer internal company meeting.

There’s a lot to be said about “getting to the next level” as a potential summer intern. Can you explain how you stood out among the other candidates to get the summer gig as a financial analyst at Amazon?
Apply to everything is my advice. Get ready for rejection, but chances are you will get a couple of opportunities. Talk to your career and guidance counselors. Get used to talking to people in a professional manner. I did all of these over and over so when the Amazon opportunity came along, I was ready, willing and able.

What achievements are you most proud of to date?
Being a good listener is one of my better assets–I consider it an achievement. People respond to that and will tell you more if you give them a chance to talk. Being receptive to other people is imperative.

What is your key takeaway from your internship at Amazon?
One thing I learned is that you can speak up. No one will ding you for speaking up as you are new and learning. At Amazon they instilled their interns to “Think Big”. This is so important for young people. When stuck in your work, you get muddled in details. You have to rise above and think about the big picture.

What would you like to achieve in the next five years?
Entering my senior year at college, there is pressure to find my dream job. This can lead to putting too much stress on myself. I know I have to build to get to where I want to be…put in the work and commit. I’d like to use my analytical skills to do something beyond the numbers, like managing the entire lifecycle of a project. I also want to make an impact on the future of commerce – directing where the industry goes not just short term, but long term, too.