University of Southern California

Neil Dewan
Title
Gaining a Well-Rounded Education
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Graduating Year
2008

Neil Dewan interned at Bank of America Investment Securities in San Francisco and, by the end of the summer, received an offer of full-time employment. Now an analyst there, he says knowing his post-graduation position was secure before starting his senior year was “a real advantage.”

His father is a civil engineer, and his mother a doctor who wanted her son to follow her in the medical profession. “I can’t handle blood,” Mr. Dewan confesses. “Every time I get a blood test, I faint.” He describes part of his reason for attending business school as “rebellion,” but what drew him in was the flexibility of a business degree. “I liked that it was very broad,” he says. “There are so many different concentrations that can lead to so many opportunities.”

He also quickly became enamored of USC’s Trojan spirit. “It was important to go to a school that was well-rounded, where I could get involved in many aspects,” says Mr. Dewan, who served as president of the Marshall student government his senior year. “For me, it was the school spirit that really sold me on USC.”

Choosing investment banking as a career was a tougher decision. A summer internship at Smith Barney in New York City helped put him on the path. “I didn’t know what to expect,” he says. “The internship showed me it was something I could do. I really enjoy the excitement of it, the fast-paced nature of it and the quantitative aspects of it – and just knowing you’re pushing yourself to your limit.”

He gained additional practical experience through Professor Julia Plotts’ Financial Analysis and Evaluation class. “She brought in a panel from Credit Suisse Investment Bank to grade one of our projects, which was cool because it gave you exposure to what you’re actually going to be doing in the real world making presentations,” says Mr. Dewan.

Other opportunities at Marshall included trips to Omaha to meet with financier Warren Buffett, to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and to Atlanta to represent the school at the Undergraduate Business School Leadership conference. Of that last experience, Mr. Dewan says: “Seeing how far advanced we are compared to a lot of other schools was something that really made me proud to be from Marshall. I have a lot of friends who went to Ivy League schools and, in terms of opportunities, I don’t think there’s any difference in the opportunities at Marshall and at the Ivy League schools.”