Vanderbilt University MSF Update – May 2019

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The Vanderbilt University MSF program continues to be very active with updates and news for prospective students. This time I saw a great posting talking about where the class of 2016 is now. I think this is great since we are about 3 years out from graduation and people generally are promoted or move jobs at this point. I know things had changed for me a lot 3 years from when I graduated and these type of follow up exercises are really useful for showing students how your career develops over time.

For their look back, Vanderbilt profiled 3 students and talked with them how their career has been since graduating. I have known students in this program for nearly a decade now and can tell you the people I know have seen their careers go from banking to private equity, banking to top MBA programs, progression within consulting or Fortune 500 careers and progression from analyst to associate to Vice President in banking. Contrary to what I think many students believe, the vast majority of people do not go back for their MBA (this holds true at Vanderbilt as well as other programs I follow). I think this shows the value of the MSF and the good job market as well.

I will include a summary below, but you can read the full post here (Where Are They Now? Catching Up with the MSF Class of 2016).


Austin Curley, Investment Banking Analyst, Perella Weinberg Partners

Now after nearly three years at Perella, Curley is making a transition to private equity (commonly referred to as “PE”). He will be joining Trive Capital, a Dallas-based middle-market private equity firm, as an Associate in July. “(Investment banking) has always been somewhat of a step in the direction of private equity,” he said, citing the exposure he had to PE firms during his asset management internship. “The investing we were doing on the PE side and learning about growing the businesses, helping CEOs and Board Members grow the ideas they had, that was all extremely interesting to me.”

Curley credits Vanderbilt with helping him develop hard skills that put him on equal footing with his peers that interned in investment banking and soft skills that afforded him “a mature view of the (analyst) role, interacting with MBAs in class, and frankly, (an) extra year to grow up a little bit,” he said. “I had less of a fresh-out-of-college approach to the work we were doing, and I think that’s the reason why (Perella) put me in client-facing roles more quickly.”


Catherine Pisarczyk, Investment Banking Analyst, Lazard Middle Market

Like Curley, the third-year analyst is moving to the world of private equity. She’ll be joining Peak Rock Capital — a middle-market firm based in Austin, Texas — in July. Private equity recruiting can begin for banking analysts as early as 3-4 months into their job; Pisarczyk spent more than two years at Lazard before deciding to begin the recruiting process. “I was very qualified to talk about my real experience and why I was interested in (private equity), because I knew the things I was missing in investment banking that I was still looking for,” she explained.

Pisarczyk is excited about the transition to private equity; “it could potentially be a long-term career path for me,” she said. In time, she could see herself taking a leadership position at one of a private equity firm’s portfolio companies.

She credits Vanderbilt with introducing her to group project work that mirrors the small team environments common to banking and private equity. The variety of electives was another benefit. “I took a class on tax in (mergers and acquisitions) that I use now,” she said. “It’s helpful to have some background in that area even though I’m not doing tax work per se.”


Connor Hamilton, Investment Banking Associate, PJT Partners

After graduation, Hamilton joined Deutsche Bank’s Oil & Gas team, where he worked for nearly two years before returning to London last summer to work as an analyst for PJT Partners. “I always wanted to try London,” he explained. “I joined PJT not knowing what to expect, but I’ve really enjoyed it so far.”

Hamilton was promoted to associate at the beginning of the year. He didn’t find the jump to be a dramatic one — as a second-year analyst, he was already managing the work of interns and first-year analysts — but the expectations have changed.


These three examples show how your career can progress once you finish your masters in finance. More importantly, I think it highlights the continued value of a Vanderbilt University MSF. Check out the link above for the full story and continue to check back here for additional information.


Here is a link to the Vanderbilt University MSF Program


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