Undergraduate Business Society
UCLA's premier business organization since 1981

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GET TO KNOW UBS: Russell Carpenter

Name: Russell Carpenter
Grade: Senior
Major: B.A. Economics
Career: Investment Banking Analyst at Moelis & Co. in Century City upon graduation

Q - What got you interested in investment banking?
A - I entered UCLA as an Electrical Engineering major but after a few quarters and joining organizations like Bruin Consulting and UBS, I realized my interests in finance and business had surpassed my desire to continue in engineering. Surprisingly, the strongest influence came from within my fraternity, SAE, where many of the older brothers held elite internships in finance and provided me with a vast amount of resources on the subject.

Q - Any memorable internships or professional experiences?
A - My first internship was in commercial real estate–a career that doesn’t get a lot of attention at UCLA but actually has close ties to investment banking and provides an excellent starting point for anyone who enjoys investing. I also participated in various case competitions throughout freshman and sophomore years. These were a great introduction to valuation methodologies and always provided a fun way to see the various banks’ offices in a somewhat informal light.

Q - What did you do last summer professionally or for fun?
A - I was an investment banking summer analyst at Moelis & Co. in LA last summer. For fun, I enjoyed a few weeks with my family in Hawaii, then traveled with good friend Jake Ksendzov to South America to enjoy a two week trip backpacking through stunning scenery and wildlife in Patagonia, Chile.

Q - Any advice to students pursuing the same career path?
A - Start early. Multiple internships on your resume are a necessity leading into junior year recruiting. Don’t be caught cramming in off-cycle internships during the school year because you didn’t start reaching out to potential employers early enough in the winter or spring quarter. Secondly, smile. Anyone can pick up the technical aspects of investment banking with enough time spent studying, but interviewers are quick to pick up on subtle personality traits that demonstrate your ability to hold a conversation and act professionally in front of clients.

Q - What networking tips do you have?
A - Again, start early. No one wants to be asked to coffee the day before the interview. Plan ahead and contact professionals well in advance with succinct, polite requests to connect. Moreover, know your audience. Finance professionals are often very busy and might not be able to respond right away. Incessant emails and calls will only diminish your chances.

Q - What are your 1-, 5-, 10-year goals?
A - 1 year: Diversify my investment portfolio—if you’re reading this and you have any great ideas, please reach out! Also, get a few triathlons under my belt. 5 years and beyond: Continue pursuing my passion for investing in one form or another, hopefully all while staying in Southern California. Maybe back a restaurant or two–KBBQ on the Westside, anyone?

Q - What has been your greatest challenge at UCLA so far?
A - Changing majors came with its setbacks, and plotting out my career trajectory early on proved to be more challenging than I expected.

Q - What are your best memories of UBS?
A - My time in UBS has been a whirlwind of industry nights, excel modeling workshops, and recruiting cycles. I’m incredibly thankful to have met so many ambitious, talented individuals who continuously work to give back to the undergraduate population at UCLA. While the best memories are always made at our annual retreat, I can’t help but think of Fall 2015, when the A/C conked out in the midst of our annual Financial Services Industry Night at the Career Center. Anyone who’s ever been in a full suit and walked across campus for an interview knows the feeling…nothing worse!