Reflecting on the Importance of Internships with Akshay Joshi, BC MBA ’16

Akshay Joshi, BC MBA ’16, is the sort of worldly student who’s increasingly drawn to the Boston College Carroll School of Management. Born in India, he was raised in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, and is heading to New York for a job on Wall Street with Houlihan Lokey, an investment bank.

Thanks to his upbringing, Joshi grew up with globalization. “Dubai is a melting pot of people from the Middle East, Europe and Asia, including lots of Indians and Southeast Asians,” he says. His father’s work as a structural engineer took his family there and allowed Joshi to witness the city’s emergence as an international commercial center; it has boomed over the last two decades. “It’s become the business hub of the Middle East,” he says.

Joshi, 27, returned to India for college, attending the University of Mumbai. He studied accounting and finance, graduating in 2009, and trained to be the Indian equivalent of a CPA, a chartered accountant. After two years as an auditor in India, he moved back to Dubai, joining the Landmark Group, a retail conglomerate. Working there as a financial analyst piqued his interest in finance and Wall Street. He saw the Carroll School as a springboard.

“I wanted to move toward investment banking, and I knew that the U.S. was the best option and the MBA the best medium. I was looking at strong finance programs, and the BC MBA stood out.”

As an international student, he knew he’d face more obstacles when it came to finding a job. “Not all firms will hire international students because they don’t want to go through the complexities of sponsoring them” for a work visa, he says. “But there are plenty of firms that hire.”

He found one, of course, in Houlihan Lokey, where he interned between his first and second year. He’ll now be joining the company’s financial advisory services group.

Besides his studies, Joshi credits his academic-year internship with G2 Capital Advisors in Boston with helping him realize his goal of working on Wall Street. Internships during the academic year are by design, common at BC, and Joshi learned through networking that they help a job seeker get noticed.

“The most important advice I got was, if you want to stand out as a candidate for a full-time job on Wall Street, a little experience while you’re studying will go a long way to show your commitment to the field.” G2, for its part, is unusual—it hires academic-year interns and puts them on real projects, Joshi says. “They almost treated me like a full-time analyst and staffed me on live deals, which gave me exposure to the end-to-end deal process.”

Part of the reason Joshi was able to fit the academic-year internship into a busy MBA program schedule was because of the design of the Carroll School’s curriculum. Many second-year classes are scheduled for the late afternoon and early evening. That way, students can have big blocks of time during the day for internships.

Another way in which Joshi highlighted his interest in finance was by being elected president of the Graduate Finance Association (GFA). One of the highlights of that post has been bringing Dan Fuss, vice chairman of Loomis Sayles, to speak at the Carroll School, he says.

“I reached out to him after he spoke at one my classes. He’s legendary in the world of bonds.”