By | Alexandra McLaughlin ’16

 “Mac fosters creative problem solving, something Wall Street can’t get enough of.”  —Kunal Chauhan ’15

As a sophomore, Kunal Chauhan ’15 (Stockholm, Sweden) decided to enroll in a popular introductory Investment Banking course taught by Professor Joyce Minor. He entered the course without knowing exactly what Investment Banking was; today, he works on Wall Street as an investment banking analyst at Lazard, a financial advisory and asset management firm.

The introductory course enthralled the economics major. Minor, noticing Chauhan’s interest in the industry, introduced him to Macalester alum and Lazard employee Tristan Loiselle ’12.

“Tristan and I clicked immediately,” said Chauhan. “I was fortunate enough to become his mentee for the next few months, a time period that involved intensive coaching from Tristan and multiple in-person interviews with Lazard. I was offered a summer internship with Lazard after my junior year, which led to a full-time offer that following September.”

His position at Lazard involves analytical and presentational work. He puts together financial models in Excel to analyze companies’ financial statements, performs detailed industry research, conducts due diligence, and compiles client presentations in PowerPoint.

“Macalester really taught me how to think and look at things from a critical point of view,” said Chauhan. “Professors at Macalester never guide you to the answer straight away; they force you to consider multiple solutions. Mac fosters creative problem solving, something Wall Street can’t get enough of.”

The fast-paced industry challenges Chauhan at times, especially when he works up to 100 hours per week. “It can also be difficult finding the correct answers, since they usually don’t exist in this industry,” said Chauhan. “Every company we work with is different, which makes proper judgement an incredibly important trait.”

Chauhan’s experience at Lazard has reaffirmed his desires to work in finance and study businesses. “I’ve come to realize that companies are much more than just brick and mortar institutions,” he said. “They are very complicated networks of people, products, capital, and markets that need the right amount of attention to survive.”

October 20 2015

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