Alan Mitchell ’85 believes that knowledge about a job in investment banking is key to scoring an entry-level position in the field, he told Business Honors students on his visit to Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.

“It’s important that you are comparable in your knowledge base with other people you are competing against,” he said. “Not just your resume, not just what you’ve done at school, but your knowledge about what the job is. If you don’t have that, that’s a disadvantage.”

Mitchell is managing director of Wells Fargo Securities in New York City with a career in investment banking that spans over two decades. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Mitchell was a managing director at Citigroup. His career first started in the Houston office of KPMG, where he left as a senior manager in 1992. He received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas A&M in 1985.
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He believes there is value in understanding the investment banking field, whether students intend to go into investment banking or not.

“If you’re going to be in business, you’re going to be dealing in some way, shape or form with investment bankers. Understanding what we do as a profession is going to be helpful.”

He took the opportunity to explain to students the different types of positions such as the analyst and the associate as well as the challenges and rewards of the field.

“In his presentation he mentioned that investment banking is challenging because every bank is fighting over the same clients,” said Aniket Patel ’18, Business Honors and finance major. “Because of this, it is crucial to create innovative and creative solutions to win a client.”

Mitchell also cited several ways he sets himself apart in his job. “Creativity, personality, long-term relationships, intellect, unique thoughts – these are how we differentiate ourselves from those other 10 or 15 people trying to do exactly the same thing,” he explained.

Though he admits investment banking requires long hours and a strenuous environment, Mitchell reminded the students that someone with analyst experience could be “one of the most sought-after individuals after that period of time because employers know what that person has been through.”

Luke Wheeler ’17, Business Honors and accounting major, called the presentation “informative and inspirational” and said Mitchell “provided unique insights into the industry in a way that only someone who has achieved his position could.”

Business Honors major Hallie Skansi ’18 called Mitchell engaging and charismatic, and said he explained investment banking “in a way that made sense and opened my eyes to a world of business I had never heard much about before.” She said her biggest takeaway from the presentation was “the importance of familiarizing oneself with an industry before seeking a career in said industry. I can honestly say I learned something from this event, and have another possible career path to consider as a result.”