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Getting to the More Strategic Stages

Dylan Bright expands his finance toolkit for investment banking

Dylan Bright
Investment Banking Associate, Wells Fargo Securities

Vanderbilt MBA 2018

Toward the end of Mod I in his first year, Dylan Bright experienced one of those moments that reminded him why he came to Vanderbilt. In Professor Bill Christie’s core Finance class, Dylan recalls, “He took a deep dive into how broker-dealers operate and make markets. He highlighted a research project he undertook with Paul Schultz to expose implicit collusion among NASDAQ dealers to maintain wide bid-ask spreads. This lecture drew a direct connection between the academic and the real-world practice of finance.”

After college, Dylan had worked in mergers and acquisitions integration. But he wanted to move to what he describes as “the earlier, more strategic stages of the process.” For that, he knew he needed to expand his finance, modeling and business strategy acumen. And for that, he chose Vanderbilt. “I knew Owen’s culture and top-notch finance faculty made it the perfect place for me,” he says.

Even before he arrived on campus, Dylan was working with the Career Management Center to edit his resumé, discuss opportunities the program might create, and identify target companies. All that preparation, he believes, helped him hit the ground running and land an investment banking internship with Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte.

As much as he has enjoyed the academic work, Dylan says his favorite experiences at Owen revolved around relationships he’s built with classmates. “We obviously see each other every day at school,” he says, “but we also choose to get together to play basketball, grab a beer, or catch a Nashville Sounds game in our free time.

“I’ve learned that it’s important to take occasional breaks and focus on enjoying the experience. While the first position after graduation may last several years, the relationships and experiences you will have at Owen will last a lifetime.”

Fun Fact: In almost any kind of weather, Dylan and his wife enjoy hiking in Nashville’s Percy Warner Park with their dog, Ollie. Dylan has two bronze sculptures of my own head from when I was a kid.

“I knew Owen’s culture and top-notch finance faculty made it the perfect place for me.”