Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Blog #1 – Hello

Hello All!!

My name is Ryan McNamara and I am going to be a junior at Babson in the fall.  I am currently in week 4 of my internship in investment banking, and will begin by telling you a little bit about me personally, the company I am interning with, what my job description is, and how I came across this internship to begin with.

So…I am from Buffalo. NY and came to Babson in the fall of 2008 because I wanted to learn business from professionals who have had successful careers in their respective industries, as many Babson professors have had.  I wanted to take advantage of small class sizes which would allow me to engage my professors, get to know them personally so that I could pick their brains, listening to stories and gaining insight. And this is what I have done.

Some time near the end of my freshman year, having run my FME business, met a variety of ambitious, entrepreneurial students from all over the globe, and finished my first year in college, I decided I would pursue a career in Investment Banking, specifically mergers and acquisitions.  For those who don’t know, mergers & acquisitions, commonly referred to as M&A, is the business of advising a company on either buying another company or advising a company on selling itself to another company.

There are a few components of M&A that draw my interest.  Firstly, M&A is about deal-making.  If you can’t successfully close a sale/ make a deal for your client, whether on the buy-side (advising a company on a purchase) or the sell-side (advising a company on selling itself or one of its business divisions), then you don’t make your commission, and if you have a history of being unable to make a deal you will be out of business.  On the flip side, those who are most successful at putting together deals, make the most commission, and the sky is the limit.  It is a highly competitive environment, and I am a highly competitive person.

Secondly, a significant component of advising a client in M&A is determining how much the business being purchased, or target business, is worth.  This process of valuation combines a variety of techniques, depending on the size and nature of both the business being purchased, and to some extent the purchaser.  I like breaking down financial statements and evaluating the components of a business, and so this is right up my alley.

Thirdly, I am still young and unsure of what I want to do with my career.  In M&A a deal may take a period of 6 months to a year, and often times you’ll be working on multiple deals at a time, exposing you to many different types of companies and industries, a variety of business management styles, issues, and strategies.  M&A can also be a strong foundation for other careers in finance, such as jobs in Private Equity and Venture Capital, both of which I find attractive for their engagement in the businesses they own stakes in.

The company I am interning with is called Paramax Corporation, is located at home in Buffalo, NY, and services small – mid market companies, generally with a value of between $5 and $ 300 million.  Buffalo is a smaller market, but Paramax is the major player, and in my short time here already I have had some very good exposure.  But I will talk some more about that next time.

I found this internship through networking, and actually created an internship where there wasn’t necessarily going to be one.  I read a statistic the other day that said 70% of all jobs come from networking.  I personally am surprised its not higher.  Networking is a skill, or maybe more accurately an art, which I have been developing at Babson and which I have learned at Babson is one of the most important skills to possess in business.

I will expand on how I networked to get this position in my next blog, and will talk in depth about my experience here thus far and what I have been doing.

Until next time,