Student Profile: More than a Number
Joseph Pettit ’12
Co-chair, Christian Fellowship
Summer internship: Barclays Capital
I grew up in a small town in Iowa, where my family has owned and operated the bank since 1886. I've always been interested in finance, knowing that if someday I return home to be bank president, I'll be the fifth generation to run it. I have deep respect for what they do at the bank, primarily lending to farmers and basically on a handshake. But I didn't want to go back right after college, so I moved to Chicago and got a job in J.P. Morgan's commercial banking training program. I eventually transitioned to the investment banking division and later worked at Bank of America.
When I decided to get an MBA, it was really important that wherever I enrolled, I wouldn't just be a number. After a large university and living in Chicago, I was searching for a school that felt more like a small town, where you can't just melt into the crowd, where small classes challenge you constantly and there are tons of leadership opportunities. I have no doubt this is the place where I'm supposed to be.
I'm fairly religious, so it was a happy surprise to come across the Christian Fellowship here at SOM. I hadn't really thought too much about how to be a Christian in the workplace. I think most people divide their lives between work and home. What I found here was a community of people dedicated to making their religion a seven-day-a-week commitment. Now that I've been here a while, I see I shouldn't have been surprised to find Christian Fellowship. The Yale SOM mission is to educate leaders for business and society, which in some ways is the same as the mission for the Fellowship. People at Yale think hard about the society aspect.
This summer, I interned at Barclays Capital. Being an investment banking intern is a lot like going through the first semester at Yale SOM, in that you are learning many new things in an extremely short amount of time. Stress levels are often high, but it is very rewarding in the end. I was in the Communications and Media Group, which allowed me to directly reference a case from the Competitor course about the auctioning of the wireless spectrum. I knew the subject in great detail, which gave me a distinct advantage over other interns. Throughout the summer, I reached back to things I had learned in school, and even as someone who had worked in banking before, I was amazed at how much I had learned and absorbed. It didn't hurt that the hurricane of events, courses, and group meetings at Yale SOM perfectly prepared me for the rush of working on Wall Street.
Interviewed on February 2 and September 6, 2011.