By Arial Starks
Love Patel graduated from The University of Kansas with a degree in Finance and Business Analytics in 2021, after which he took on an Analyst role with Arvest Bank. Over the course of a year in the position, Patel found that while he liked the banking industry, he wanted a bigger challenge, like Investment Banking. He ultimately decided to return to school to pursue a Master of Science in Finance degree.
“Some of my friends from Kansas went through the MS Finance program at Vanderbilt the year before me, and they all spoke highly of the program,” said Patel. “As I started researching programs, Vanderbilt definitely stood out, with their exceptional student outcomes, the faculty, and the overall environment the school provides for the students.”
The summer before the Vanderbilt MS Finance program, Patel spent a couple months in his home country of Kenya, working as an Investment Banking Summer Analyst at Equity Bank in Nairobi. His time at Equity Bank confirmed his interest in an Investment Banking career.
“The internship definitely provided me with more background in finance and showed me just how diverse the field is,” said Patel. “It really solidified that this was how I wanted to spend the next 25 years or so of my life. Just seeing that transition from one area of finance (Commercial Banking) to another area (Investment Banking) was amazing and really helped me make up my mind that investment banking is what I want to do.”
Patel entered the MS Finance program in August 2022 and received a job offer by the end of September. He leveraged the Career Management Center’s mock interviews and resume review expertise during the recruiting process and landed a role with Canaccord Genuity’s New York City office, as an Investment Banking Analyst.
“Ginny Ling was my CMC coach, and she is just phenomenal,” said Patel. “She came from an Investment Banking background, and she was a great resource when it came to me figuring out my career trajectory.”
He also credits much of his success and speedy recruiting process to the exceptional faculty at Owen.
“We talk a lot about the student-teacher ratio at Owen, and that has honestly been the best part of the program for me. With the MS Finance program being such a small size, everyone can get that personal attention from the professors, which is phenomenal for a masters program.”
“When I took corporate valuation in undergrad, I remembered it for being a boring class. But the way Professor Lewis structures his class, with a more hands-on approach, really showed me how I will apply what he is teaching into my everyday work-life.”
Patel is most thankful for the Vanderbilt Business network of peers, and alums that he was able to lean on for support even before entering the program.
“Everyone was talking about the Owen culture when I was looking at different programs, and now that I am a part of the Owen community, it definitely makes all the difference,” Patel said. “You can just feel it. You feel like you are a part of a family essentially.”
Click through the timeline below to see a visual of how Love Patel got the job.