I’ve had many days at DRW – I’ve been here for over 15 years – and no two days are the same. I remember how uncomfortable I felt on my first day. I had a lot ahead of me – not only learning how to trade, but also navigating my first professional experience out of college. It was daunting, but I figured my only choice was to give it my all.
That same day, I had to go to the CME to gain access to the floor. This trip included a few very long and silent elevator rides with our CEO Don Wilson. I’m happy to report every day (and elevator ride!) since has been much more comfortable. I really feel at home here. I’m surrounded by intelligent and kind people all working towards a common goal.
Although I spend about eight hours a day thinking about trading, I’ve connected with my coworkers through the activities I do outside of my actual job responsibilities, particularly our charitable efforts.
About six years ago, we created the philanthropy committee – a group of employees who recommend how to allocate donations from the DRW Trading Group Foundation. We also coordinate volunteer activities for employees around the world. I was involved in a lot of philanthropy on my own time, so a partner asked me to join the committee.
We view our charitable contributions as we do any investment: we assess the impact of a donation as well as the leadership, efficiency and scalability of the organization. We target our efforts at providing people with opportunities to learn and increase self-reliance. Primarily those efforts take shape through the funding of education initiatives – from pre-kindergarten to college persistence.
One highlight for me was our first meeting with the leadership of the Noble Network of Charter Schools to discuss opening a new school in an under-served neighborhood in Chicago. Noble excels at providing education and opportunity to students across the city. We are in totally different industries, but Noble and DRW share similar values including embracing data driven decision making and fostering a culture of responsibility and entrepreneurship. We are honored to support their mission, and support the scholars at DRW College Prep.
I’ve been really involved with the school since the doors first opened five years ago. All of the students I’ve met have impressed me with their drive, intelligence and maturity. It has been incredible to share in the excitement of college acceptances with so many of the students. Hearing from the students at graduation and watching them walk across the stage was particularly moving.
All of this reminds me that I work with some very generous people whose actions – not just words – are helping make a difference in our community.