Originally from San Luis Obispo, Calif., Andrew Federico joined the Red Raider family with a background in agriculture and intentions to study agribusiness. After enrolling in a couple of entry-level finance courses, he decided to earn dual degrees in finance and agricultural business. Federico currently serves as an investment banking analyst for J.P. Morgan Securities LLC in New York City. In this role, he conducts and assesses transactions and comparable companies within the healthcare sector. While in school, he was an active student - maintaining the role of equity research analyst for the Student Managed Investment Fund and helping his team become regional finalists in the CFA Institute Research Challenge. Additionally, Federico interned for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Dallas. Upon graduating from the Rawls College, he joined the company as a global commercial banking credit analyst. In the Q&A below, learn how his time with the Rawls College and professional experience have helped Federico find success in the financial industry.
What has your experience on Wall Street (or in New York) been like and how did you get started with J.P. Morgan?
There are very few places where you can get a robust, analytical and quantitative experience, but Wall Street is one of them. Wall Street has taught me a lot - not only about corporate finance and valuation, but it has developed my character and communication skills as well. Most importantly, New York has taught me a lot about several different cultures and how to adapt and understand people from such diverse backgrounds from all over the world.
After a brief experience in commercial credit with Bank of America in Dallas, I was hungry to be in New York in an investment banking role and began the rigorous job hunt to find one in the world's finance mecca. After 100+ phone calls, a few dozen job applications and numerous interviews, I was fortunate to earn a position at J.P. Morgan on the healthcare investment banking team.
How did the Rawls College prepare you for a career in the finance industry?
The Rawls College offers a very dynamic finance program that, in my opinion, ranks among the best programs available. The Rawls College's faculty includes some of the most talented and experienced individuals I have ever met. Outside of the finance curriculum, the student organizations were instrumental in my development. Communication skills are a must - as much as finance is quantitative and analytical, it is also crucial to be well-rounded in order to communicate effectively and professionally.
When many people hear that a person from West Texas is working on Wall Street, or even has a career in New York, they are often surprised. How do you fight the misconceptions about West Texans' potential for a career in New York?
Sure, it is certainly uncommon for folks from West Texas to make it to Wall Street in a bulge-bracket investment bank, but a Red Raider is no different than any Harvard Pilgrim or Penn Quaker, if you have a strong passion and interest for finance. I came across quite a few puzzled looks and the question always came up, "how and why Texas Tech?" I spent maybe sixty seconds convincing them it is just as good, if not better, than any other finance program in the country, and then quickly demonstrated that a Red Raider is adequately qualified. At the end of the day for any candidate, it is all about convincing the person across from you that you are qualified for the job.
Do you have any advice for those at the Rawls College who might be interested in a career on Wall Street?
Absolutely - do not be intimidated by anything or anyone that may stand between you and any goals you may have to work on Wall Street. Always keep in mind that the Rawls College has provided you with the skill set you need to achieve a career on Wall Street. That said, it is important to always exercise humility and assume that the person across from you holds more experience and knowledge than you do. This means two things: 1) Take advantage of that person's knowledge when possible. That is the best way to obtain free knowledge and wisdom very quickly. 2) Never act as if you know more than anybody else. Make sure you constantly study and prepare so you are ready for when an opportunity presents itself.
Do not be shy to call on your network for guidance and advice along the way and do not forget to have a little fun while you are at it!This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.