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During a typical fall morning in my second grade year, I came across my dad contemplating an endless list of blurry numbers that covered the pages of his newspaper. Looking up at me, he pointed to a sketch of man’s face. “This is Warren Buffett,” he explained. “This is one of the richest people in the world.” He went on to describe this wonderful system whereby a person could purchase a stock and steadily earn increasing sums of money. As my dad handed me the paper, those previously blurry numbers miraculously transformed into the most glorious, crystal clear information I had ever seen.
This illuminating conversation sparked a keen interest in the stock market, which over time led me to develop my own portfolio, share my love of investing with my classmates through the establishment of Green Mountain Interactive Investments, and complete an internship with Balyasny Asset Management (BAM). Although I clearly lacked the proper financial schooling to qualify for this position, after conveying my passion, discipline, knowledge, and maturity to the firm, I successfully gained a role as the first high school intern at BAM in company history. Over the course of my summer internship I performed duties designed to provide me with general exposure to the operations of a hedge fund. Working closely with the analysts on the energy team, I aided the company in performing basic modeling and fundamental research by meeting with senior analysts from major banks such as Credit Suisse and management at firms such as Petro Bank Energy. In collaboration with the Business Development Team, I mapped out thousands of potential candidates, conducted preliminary interviews for various positions within the company, and redesigned the template for firm-wide emails in order to more effectively and efficiently disseminate information. I also enjoyed the opportunity to shadow various members of the senior management team in order to increase my understanding of firm operations.
Although my interest in finance and investing dates back to that momentous day in the second grade, the incredible atmosphere of possibility at BAM as well as the opportunity to work in an industry that is constantly evolving has solidified my desire to pursue a career within the hedge fund industry. In short, I love the idea of working within an environment that has no definite solution, and the constant challenge of predicting market movements greatly intrigues me. In addition, I see investing as the ideal avenue through which I can actively help others. I would take great pride in the ability to draw upon my resources to invest in companies and enable them to develop and flourish. My involvement in the financial industry will also lead to wonderful philanthropic opportunities. Just as I desire to see businesses succeed, I take great satisfaction in helping the various organizations to which I donate my time and money. Thus, just as those once fuzzy numbers on the Wall Street Journal have become clear to me over the last 10 years, so have my goals for studying economics at Tulane University become solidified.
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