Student Profile: Investment Management
Andrew Weinman ’09
Summer internship: American Century Investments
After college, I went into business consulting at Arthur Anderson. I did some consulting engagements for some very big firms like AOL and Houghton Mifflin, and I really loved the financial aspects of it. After a couple of years, I found an opportunity at a macroeconomic research firm on the sell side of Wall Street. I worked with mutual fund managers and hedge fund managers, and I realized that I wanted to be in their shoes — I wanted to be the one that was actually managing the money and making the investment decisions. So I started thinking about going back for my MBA and focusing on investment management.
From the moment I set foot on the campus and met people here, Yale felt cooperative and collegial. I had this feeling that everyone was looking out for each other. All the administrators I met really seemed genuinely concerned about my well-being and about the well-being of the school — you can tell, right away, that this school is very mission-driven. I also liked the small class size — my incoming class was 180 students. That's the size of one lecture hall at a lot of the other universities. And I liked that the university was on the cutting edge, that the School of Management was leading the pack, not following others. The mandatory International Experience was something I thought was important in today's global business world. It felt like the right place to be for me.
My internship was at a big mutual fund company called American Century Investments in Kansas City, Missouri. I spent the summer working as an equity analyst on three different mutual funds, evaluating potential stock investments and providing recommendations to my portfolio managers. Coming from Yale, I was prepared for the task at hand when I showed up on day one. A lot of what we learned in the core curriculum was extremely relevant —finance theory, portfolio theory, accounting, as well as classes that wouldn't seem relevant for picking stocks, like State and Society, which has a lot to do with how companies impact not just themselves or their own industry, but the greater community, whether it's the country or city or continent. I looked at a lot of international companies this summer and State and Society was very useful when I was evaluating these companies. The elective Security Analysis, which I took in the second semester of my first year, was also unbelievably valuable. It taught me how to do discounted cash flow analysis, multiples analysis, how to evaluate a stock, how to research underlying assumptions — a bunch of different techniques that helped in my internship.
One of my favorite classes since I returned for my second year has been Transforming Events with Professor Manson. One thing you don’t learn very much of in business school is history, and right now we're living through history. That class was all about history: the major events of the last century in the economy and the markets. I also loved Hedge Funds. Professor Metzger, who teaches that class, is a life-long hedge fund practitioner. He brings in practitioners all the time. We're so close to southern Connecticut and New York, and he has leveraged every contact that he has to make sure that we get access to those people in the industry who he feels can really help educate us. We had to create our own plan for a hedge fund — that was our big project for the semester. That was such an incredible experience, thinking about what strategy we would be likely to employ and how we would go about putting it into practice. I can't imagine getting a better education anywhere else.
My daughter was born during finals week last year, and the administration here was so flexible and helpful, making sure that I didn't have additional stress as I was anticipating the arrival of my child. I really feel a tremendous amount of respect and warmth for the school itself for helping me get through a very chaotic time. Having a family here has been awesome. There are a handful of classmates that have young children, and there's a Partners Club, which has events all the time. I never feel like I'm an outsider because I'm a student with a kid here. It's been the best year and a half of my life on all fronts.
Interviewed December 18, 2008.