Quinn Leous ’23 — First, I would like to thank the Dill Small Business Fund for funding my summer internship experience. Internship opportunities are one of the experiences that help Wabash students grow the most, and without the Dill Small Business Fund, none of that would be possible.

This summer, I was fortunate enough to work as an analyst at Peakstone Group out of Chicago, IL. Peakstone Group was recently ranked the #1 lower middle market U.S. investment bank for the second quarter of 2021. In particular, I worked with fellow intern Liam Thompson ’23 while being mentored by Michael Dockendorf ’72 and Tim Trela ’72. Both employees are Managing Directors at Peakstone Group. Liam and I have learned a lot about the professional and business world.

The experiences that I have been a part of and the skills I have gained this summer have been nothing short of unbelievable. I have learned the ins and outs of what it is like to be an analyst in the investment banking world. I was allowed to make an impact on the company from the first day. Beyond researching various venture capital and private equity deals, I created a two-page teaser. Potential investors looking to increase their investments viewed the teaser. The process helped introduce Liam and me to various terms and models that someone in the investment banking industry should understand.

Another valuable part of my internship this summer beyond technical experience has been seeing how industry leaders communicate with each other. Liam and I have had plenty of opportunities this summer to listen in on calls between Chief Financial Officers, leaders in the venture capital space, and others. Hearing how Dockendorf ’72 and Tim Trela ’72 conduct cold calls has taught me so much about communication and emotional intelligence in the business world. Additionally, they both make time in their schedules to debrief us after cold calling. I often view these cold calls as a similar experience to learning in the classroom at Wabash, taught to share my opinions even though the person instructing me has much more experience.

Overall, I learned so much about the finance world, which encourages me to pursue a career in finance after Wabash. This summer has shown me how to be a gentleman in the investment banking world while still being as successful as possible. I want to thank Michael and Tim for being the best mentors I could have asked for this summer and being people that I know I can reach out to whenever I need advice. I want to give a special thanks to Associate Dean Roland Morin ’91 for putting me into contact with Peakstone Group and helping me get my foot in the door. I believe my internship this summer will catapult my professional career after Wabash.