Soon after matriculating at Villanova as a freshman, Dave Lander (Arts & Sciences Economics Major, SBI 2012, Villanova 2014) knew that he needed to adjust his career plans. Dave had planned on pursuing a career in law, but quickly decided that he would be happier pursuing a different path. The only problem was, Dave didn’t know what that other path might be.
After taking SBI, Dave found his answer. He quickly took an interest the finance module of financial management and reporting (FMR). “After taking my first finance course I knew that this was something I enjoyed working in and the job prospects were very lucrative… Also, I would be lying if I said that potential future income didn’t play a large role in my decision to work in finance.” Dave recalls.
Now, Dave has graduated from Villanova and is beginning his financial career in earnest. Dave will soon begin work as a financial advisor for AXA Advisors in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. According to Dave, such a position is “not your stereotypical job within the world of finance”. As an advisor, Dave will help individuals make the financial arrangements they need in order to retire, send their children to college, and meet their other long-term life goals. A career in financial advising (more commonly known as wealth management) requires the advisor to cultivate relationships with his clients over a period of years or even decades. Dave is confident that his education will serve him well in that respect; “My combination of backgrounds in both business and the arts will help me connect with a broader range of potential clients, and the extensive arts curriculum might improve my communication skills, further improving the results from these interactions.”
That’s not to say that Dave didn’t spend a large portion of his time at Villanova preparing for a career in finance. After graduating from SBI, Dave pursued a second minor in finance. This allowed Dave to take more advanced finance courses, including coursework in corporate finance, equity markets, and fixed income markets. Dave also pursued hands-on experience in the industry by interning at Hightower Advisors, another firm involved in wealth management. Dave applied to the position at AXA early in the fall of his senior year, and had to go through multiple rounds of interviews before he received an offer.
When looking for a job or an internship, Dave stresses the importance of patience and persistence. “Be sure to apply for as many internships as you possibly can… also, don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back regarding many of your applications.” When one of your applications advances to the interview stage, Dave notes that being relaxed is a key to success – and that interviewees have a good reason to be relaxed. “If you even get your foot in the door, it means that they like you enough to spend their valuable time meeting with you, so you shouldn’t be too nervous.” Dave Lander’s preparation has paid off, and he now has the opportunity to use his background in finance to build a future for himself and for his clients.