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    Photo Declan Braun

    September 26, 2022

    When Opportunity Meets Preparation

    Of all of the lessons Declan Braun ’23 has learned over the course of his time at Le Moyne, perhaps the most valuable is this: to be open to new possibilities. When Braun first arrived on the Heights, he planned to become an orthodontist. However, the Camillus, N.Y., native soon found himself drawn away from that field and toward the complexities of the financial markets. He changed his major from biology to finance. That was the start of what he now calls “a three-year-long journey of learning, networking and strategic planning” in order to secure a job in the field of investment banking. 

     

    Braun recently completed an internship at Brown, Gibbons, Lang and Co. (BGL), a financial services advisory firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. He essentially served as an analyst-in-training, combing through financial models to find and correct errors, conducting in-depth industry and market research, assisting his colleagues in preparing marketing materials for potential buyers or management teams, and completing any other miscellaneous tasks. He began his experience as an intern with a solid grounding in finance, as the finance program in Le Moyne's Madden School of Business is ranked number 44 in the nation. He also carried with him invaluable experience from having participated in Le Moyne's Green and Gold Fund. Independently owned and valued at approximately $1 million, the Green and Gold Fund is the 46th largest student-managed fund in the nation. Its aim is to be profitable, but also educational, preparing students to make sound, ethical decisions as they grow in knowledge and experience. Following his graduation in May, Braun will join BGL full time as an investment banking analyst. He will start his work at BGL as a generalist, which strikes him as an ideal at a time when the industry is going through a whirlwind of changes and the economy is dominating much of the news worldwide.  

     

    Perhaps more than anything else, Braun’s story is a classic example of what is possible when opportunity meets preparation. Braun credits his internship with teaching him about the industry, for example, how to build granular and comprehensive financial models. But more than that, the experience also taught him how to become a much more efficient worker and to contribute to a team. Both will be invaluable as he launches his career. He feels fortunate, he says, to have landed in a place that is “a good fit,” filled with people who are ready and willing to help him as he takes on this new role, in a way that reminds him of his time at the College.

     

    “Le Moyne has strengthened my values in hard work and lending a helping hand to others,” he says. “The professors and faculty have driven home this idea of ‘continual improvement’ in academics and life in general. I welcome constructive criticism, and I think this has allowed me to significantly improve the work that I do. Also, professors, faculty, and one alum, in particular, gave me advice and resources that enabled me to be in the position I am in today, and I can't thank them enough for that. It is because of them that I want to help other students the same way they helped me.”

     

    This story is part of a series on Le Moyne students who completed internships in a variety of fields, including politics, risk management and insurance, and media, during the summer of 2022. Le Moyne's Office of Career Advising and Development works closely with students to help them find these kinds of opportunities, which will serve them well post-graduation.

    Category: In the Field