Name: Tim Shimotakahara
Current position: Financial Analyst, Investment Banking, D.A. Davidson & Co.
UW degrees: B.A. Business, 2002
What activities were you involved with at the UW?
I was part of a number of different clubs, including Dow Dawgs, an investment club.
Why do you volunteer with Husky Career Network?
I'd like to do everything possible to raise the esteem of UW graduates in business. I want Foster School graduates to have greater visibility, to be considered the cream of the crop, and to be sought after by high-profile companies around the world. I want to help raise expectations, so that UW graduates can expect to compete with anyone and work anywhere.
As a financial analyst, what are your job responsibilities?
I work at the junior level of a middle-market investment bank, structuring mergers and acquisitions, IPOs and secondary offerings, restructuring and private placements. I'm responsible for financial modeling, due diligence and research on companies. I contribute to different functions and stages of the deal-making process by preparing financial models, offering memoranda and compiling pitches on specific opportunities.
What do you find most challenging about your work?
A keen understanding of finance is obviously critical, but you also need to have a detailed understanding of complex industries. We target a lot of specific industries, dealing with everything from semiconductor design, to food and beverage, software, and basic manufacturing. I need to understand the entire value chain—what motivates customers, suppliers, etc. I have to be able to look at an industry and decide what's different about the particular company.
Has networking played a key role in your career development?
Yes, in terms of being able to draw on networking to solve problems. Familiarity opens doors; people like to work with those they know and like. I recommend doing your best to know and remember everyone you've met and trying to extend your network. The decision-makers you're trying to reach get lots of e-mail and calls, and you want to be able to get noticed above the crowd.
Do you have any advice for students and alumni using Husky Career Network?
Getting a job at a top-tier financial services firm requires great internships, a specific plan, and the right timing. If you want to work on Wall Street, your resume and cover letter need to be perfect and ready to send by the first day of football season your sophomore year. Internship decisions are made in December and on some campuses even earlier. With the UW starting in late September, we're sometimes a month behind other schools in the process. So start early and aim high.