Alumni of the Week: Brett Kaplan ’15

BrettKaplanTo sum up my four years of college is quite the challenge. If you compared my frame of mind as a freshman to today, there would barely be a resemblance. As I began my freshman year, I very clearly knew I wanted to get into investment banking after graduation. There was only one problem–I had no real idea of what investment banking was or the skills it demanded. So during my freshman year, Jerry Huang 14’ and myself started an organization called the Financial Management Association (FMA) aimed at promoting financial education and networking for all Whitman students.

Beginning every summer after my freshman year, we organized a trip to Wall Street during which we visited firms such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and others. Through this program, Whitman students have secured internships and full-time offers at investment banks.

FMA helped me develop professionally, polish my networking skills and build my self-confidence while learning all aspects of the trade. Through the connections and experiences gained at Whitman and the opportunities it provided me, I was able to secure my job at Raymond James.

As I write this, I feel great pride and gratitude. I am thankful for the connections I have made with classmates from every corner of the world and for the commitment of the faculty and staff to ensure the success of every student. My collective experiences and relationships have opened my mind and broadened my horizons.

If I had to impart advice to those who will walk the halls of Whitman after me, it would be to believe in yourself even if no one else does. To remain laser focused, especially during the tough times. With desire and discipline, you can achieve anything. And remember, it’s not failing unless you give up.

Brett Kaplan
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