M.S. in Commerce 2009 (Finance), University of Virginia
B.A. in Economics-Commerce 2008, Hampden-Sydney College
After: Robert W. Baird & Co., Investment Banking Analyst (Tampa, FL)
Now: SearchOne Advisors, Managing Director (New York, NY)
Leveraging economics and business
When most people think of economics, they probably think about Wall Street or international trade. My Introduction to Economics textbook defined economics as a theory of choice and its unintended consequences. Thinking about why people make the decisions they do and the resulting positive and negative externalities of those decisions fascinated me early on. Four years later, I brought this “Economic Way of Thinking,” literally the title of my first textbook, with me to McIntire, and I found that my economics background applied to business well beyond the time value of money and discounting cash flows in my finance courses. I think the same applies to any liberal arts discipline, whether it be economics, history, or psychology. A group of students with different academic backgrounds allows the group to draw upon each individual's unique experience and perspective.
Most memorable class: Strategy & Systems
Despite starting my career as an Investment Banking Analyst, one of the most valuable courses I took at McIntire was Strategy & Systems. Although Excel modeling, accounting, and financial valuation are important skills to master for finance careers, it's equally, if not more important, to understand how a business works before you start looking at its financials.
Preparation for a job in executive search
There are many successful people in executive search who did not study business, but I believe my business education and investment banking experience give me an advantage in connecting with candidates and clients, as well as understanding the work they do. Further, McIntire helps you develop the soft skills necessary to succeed in a client-facing role.
The value of Commerce Career Services
One of McIntire's greatest advantages over other business schools is the quality and quantity of companies coming to Grounds to hire UVA/McIntire students. You need the right preparation for those interviews, and CCS provides access to alumni and partner companies for mock interviews and resume reviews.
What makes the job great
Executive search is more than just relationship building. I love when we get a new search to work on because it's like a puzzle waiting to be solved. You have to understand what your clients are looking for, and you have to get to know your candidates beyond just their resumes.
A typical day at the office
I usually wake up at 6 a.m., so that I can get a jog or workout at the gym in before work. When I arrive at work around 8:30 a.m., I inevitably have emails in my inbox and other messages to attend to from the previous evening. Many of my candidates work late hours, so I often receive emails at 2 or 3 a.m. My day is typically a mix of meetings and phone calls with candidates. Some days, I have five meetings on the calendar, and others I have none. I have been in the business for almost four years and have known some of my candidates for just as long. We work on searches from analyst to partner level, so building long-term relationships is an important part of our business. I'm usually answering a few emails from work every evening. In a client-facing business, you always have to be reachable.
Importance of the Global Immersion Experience (GIE)
We have candidates and clients from all over the world. Whether it's working for a client based in Hong Kong or meeting a candidate who grew up in China, it's nice to have some context. They are often surprised to learn that I spent six weeks in China a few years ago.
Most memorable GIE company visit
Before visiting Foxconn in Shenzhen, I had no idea that most of the consumer electronics we buy in the United States are made side by side in a facility in southern China. The Shenzhen factory is Foxconn's largest worldwide, with hundreds of thousands of workers living in an enclosed campus that is like its own city. To this day, I'm still surprised that McIntire was able to get us access.
Most memorable GIE cultural visit
At the Olympic Village in Beijing, we ran into tourists from other parts of China who were thrilled to have their picture taken with Americans. It made me realize how lucky I was to grow up in a country as diverse as the United States.
One of the best things about the program was the amount of group work involved in the Integrated Core Experience (ICE) and Global Immersion components of program. Compared with my undergraduate studies, the group projects at McIntire were more like those of an actual work environment, as everyone was more engaged, and the projects were more interesting. It was excellent preparation for the real world.
Life after graduate business school
Outside of work, I love to travel and play golf whenever I can. After graduating, you cherish your down time more than ever.
Favorite Charlottesville activity
Living in Manhattan, it's tough to get out to a decent golf course. Birdwood at the Boar's Head is a course that I always enjoy playing.