By Ryan Anzalone ’16
As an Economics major here at Wabash, I spend a lot of time wondering what the real world will look like for a student like me. How do these skills translate to a career in finance, or any other industry for that matter? Thanks to the Career Services office and the Callings Funding, I was able to spend 3 days at an investment firm in Chicago experiencing the real world under the supervision of a Wabash alum. Chad Cleaver ’00 works at a firm called Driehaus Capital Management LLC which is a privately-held investment management firm with $12.9 billion total assets. Mr. Cleaver is the portfolio manager of the Emerging Markets fund, which generally invests in companies of all capitalizations based within countries with emerging markets.
This career test drive was eye opening for me. Due to Mr. Cleaver’s position in an emerging markets fund, I was fortunate enough to shadow him during many meetings with analysts from around the world. I gained valuable insight into different cultures and how different people view the problems facing the world economy. I arrived in Chicago with wide eyes and hundreds of questions and I left with lots of answers, and a much clearer view of the equity research industry as a whole.
“I found this experience to be highly valuable and it helped me decide which direction I wanted to continue pursuing as a career. These three days were some of the best spent three days of my college life so far.”
This test drive was a new experience for both Mr. Cleaver and me, as it was the first test drive of its kind at Driehaus. I spent my time each day reading about emerging markets and listening to industry professional’s talk about their hopes and concerns in each country. Analysts from Korea, China, and Turkey did their best to answer the questions Chad’s team had about their respective economies. The purpose of these meetings was to give the analysts at Driehaus a clearer picture of what is happening in these emerging markets, so that they can make more educated investment decisions.
On the first day, I felt like they were talking to each other in a different language. By the end of the test drive, I noticed I was able to follow along in these meetings much better and even found myself having questions for the traveling analysts. I was also given a company from Kenya to research in my free time, with the end goal of presenting my research to Chad at the end of my trip. The company I was researching was called Safaricom, and it is one of the leading telecommunications companies in Kenya. I read countless pages of news about Kenya’s economy and how the telecom industry was projected to change in the coming years.
My independent research, paired with my exposure to the types of questions which needed to be asked to make an educated decision, allowed me to make a final investment decision about Safaricom and present it to Mr. Cleaver. I found this experience to be highly valuable and it helped me decide which direction I wanted to continue pursuing as a career. These three days were some of the best spent three days of my college life so far.