Could you give us a bit of background about yourself? What did you study and where?
I'm originally from Franklin, a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee. It’s where many of the country music stars live (Miley Cyrus went to my high school for a year before moving to Hollywood!).
I've always loved sports. At the end of my sophomore year in high school, I had the opportunity to go to Bradenton, Florida to be a part of the Men's US National Under 15 soccer team. I ultimately chose to focus on football and later accepted a full athletic scholarship to University of Kentucky. There I played a sport I loved, whilst studying finance and marketing at the same time.
After putting football behind me, I knew I wanted to make career in banking for several reasons: the ability to work on needle-moving transactions in a dynamic environment, to learn as much about the business world as possible, and to work with motivated and interesting people. Investment banking, and specifically UBS, provided this platform.
What do you do here and what do you like the most?
My role as a Global Banking analyst can be difficult to define. To sum it up, our responsibilities include almost all aspects of advising a company on large scale capital decisions. These include raising additional capital through an initial public offering (IPO), advising the company through a sale of itself or acquisition of another company.
Generally, our responsibilities include providing financial valuations based on the company's historical and projected future performance.
I'm currently on four projects that challenge me to be knowledgeable in different areas of technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) to help mediate and inform the companies we work with.
What does diversity and inclusion mean to you and how do you think companies should approach diversity in practice?
To me, diversity suggests a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs.
I think the next step in creating a more accepting and diverse work environment is to move past the goal of acceptance of diverse opinions and to truly understand the "why" behind these opinions.
How are you engaged with diversity and inclusion here?
I'm currently involved in the Pride network. Already during the interview stage for my current role, I was introduced to someone in the group. He, along with other team members I met, were a large part of why I chose to join. Throughout the summer, we get together at various social events to provide insightful mentorship. Whether it be advising students on the recruitment process or speaking to them about what it's like to work in an inclusive environment. Two conferences we recently participated in and recruited at were ’Out 4 Undergrad’ and ‘Reach Out MBA’.
Working for a company that promotes diversity is important to me. Diversity at UBS is crucial to create an accepting, innovative, and collaborative environment where we are able to provide our clients with the best advice.
What are your future career plans?
I went into this job with the intent to learn as much as possible and to meet fascinating people with hopes of progressing within the company. A career in finance opens so many doors. The two most important questions, when it comes to career moves and choice of employer, are: Do I like the culture and the people? And, will I be challenged to grow professional and personally?
What's your advice to students that are at the beginning of their career and might be interested in banking?
To LGBT or other under-represented minorities, I would suggest finding their respective business conferences to attend. Businesses attend these events to meet people from under-represented groups. These are excellent places to interact with firms, meet friends, find a mentor, and potentially find an internship!
To any student interested in banking, try to self-develop your finance technical skills and think about why you would like to start a career in banking. From there, you should reach out to anybody you can find at a similar level that you could speak to and help guide you.
I advise any student to reach out to alumni, friends, former teammates, and people at potential employers to learn more.