Guest Blog: Investment Management at Darden
Second Year student and blogger, Rohan Poojara, reflects on the investment management opportunities during his time at Darden. This summer, he will be joining JP Morgan full time as an investor.
“Investment management fascinates me because of my passion for the markets and desire to work closely with clients to address their most complex financial needs. My father is a stock broker and I developed an interest in the equity markets at a young age. This curiosity evolved through undergraduate internships in real estate finance and full-time jobs in investment banking and economic research. After a very intellectually stimulating and enjoyable summer at JP Morgan, I am excited to be joining the firm full-time as an investor.
It is critical, especially for international students, to start researching the landscape of the investment management industry in the U.S. early, but at the same time be patient because the recruiting cycle for most jobs in this space is later in the process compared to the traditional I-banking and consulting roles. Additionally, a lot of investment management recruiting occurs off-campus necessitating extra networking efforts through participation in the New York, Boston and Baltimore job treks.
Finally, it goes without saying that a demonstrated interest in the space through active participation in Darden Capital Management, a student-run investment club that manages more than $9 million of the school’s endowment, and staying on top of market news is essential to convince potential employers that the student is truly passionate about investment management.
In my opinion, finance in general, and asset management in particular, are strengths of Darden that get overlooked given the dominance of consulting and general management recruiting that accompanies the school’s case study method of teaching. However, the finance faculty is terrific and offers classes ranging from global financial markets to trading and portfolio management that have been critical in my preparation for a career in investment management.
Besides classes, experiential learning as a senior portfolio manager of the sustainability-focused Rotunda Fund in Darden Capital Management has helped me learn the dynamics of managing money. Finally, the opportunity to interact with several industry veterans and thought leaders has been very helpful. From the University of Virginia Investing Conference to classes/events with investors such as Dick Mayo, Kyle Bass and Bruno Bertocci, Darden has provided several opportunities to learn the art of investing. With continued investment in this space through the establishment of the Center for Asset Management, opportunities for prospective students are only going to increase.”
Rohan grew up in Mumbai, India before moving to the U.S. for his undergraduate education at Washington and Lee University. Prior to starting his MBA, he worked as an investment banking analyst, a consultant at the DC Public School System and an economic policy researcher at the American Enterprise Institute. Rohan has passed all three levels of the CFA exam and will be joining J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank as an investor upon graduation.