Carl Schlotman is only 20 years old, but he's already cold-called more people than most senior investment bankers. The Queens business finance major has always wanted to work on Wall Street - and he's motivated to get there.
In his junior year, Carl estimates he sent up to 80 emails and made 20-30 cold calls to new contacts daily. All while taking a full course load, serving as president of his fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, and interning.
He estimates he talked to 70 or 80 people at Goldman Sachs before his perseverance netted an invitation to Investment Banking Super Day. Carl was flown to New York City for a full day of interviews alongside stiff competition (many from Ivy League schools where the renowned firm has longstanding recruitment ties).
He survived many rounds of interviews that day and was offered a position as an investment banking summer analyst.
Top notch try out
Three months of walking into work on Wall Street? "It was intimidating," he said. "It took a while to believe 'wow, I'm here.' I've always dreamed of working on Wall Street."
This was not a "get-the-coffee-and-copy-these-documents" type of internship. Carl helped advise companies on corporate finance decisions ranging from equity offerings to mergers and acquisitions. "You're thrown into the fire," he said. "It's a try out on both ends. They're seeing if you like the firm and if they like you."
Carl did like it and confirmed investment banking is the career he'll build after graduation.
Carl came to Queens from Cincinnati, Ohio, to play on the golf team and gain access to the financial internships offered by Charlotte's banking community. "Seeing Hugh McColl's name on the business school was a big attraction, too," he said
He landed his first investment analyst internship at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Uptown Charlotte thanks to a fraternity brother's contact. But it was up to Carl to parlay that opportunity into subsequent positions. He worked as a private equity analyst intern at CapitalSouth Partners and an analyst intern at both TPG Growth and then Brookwood Associates. He networked in the community, asking to grab coffee with professionals in the industry, and working the phones and email.
"As a kid I was really interested in financial markets. I've read the Wall Street Journal for as long as I can remember," said Carl, who regularly wears a business suit on campus.
He enjoys the challenge of advising companies and keeping up on corporate structure, financial models, and mergers and acquisitions. One thing he wants to keep working on? "Learning how to advise very senior people on important matters."
In the meantime, he plans to take as many finance classes as he can in his final year. He's also considering another internship. "Gaining more experience and working in different industries will help me be a better and more well-rounded investment banking analyst."
Professor Tim Burson is confident Carl will succeed. "Carl built his own network of contacts and worked them hard, constantly having to convince people that he was as worthy as their other candidates. Getting the Goldman Sachs internship was a testament to his initiative, drive and persistence; the McColl School faculty is very proud of him, and he should also be very proud of himself."
Carl hopes other students can learn from his persistence too. "If you want to go do something, put in the hard work and stay focused on the goal."