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Ryan Ledbetter
Bus 101
Writing Prompt: Dream Job

My biggest fear in life is to be an average person and be just like everyone else. I strive

to accomplish feats that average people will never get the chance to achieve. Not only am I a

big dreamer, but I pursue my dreams hoping to turn them into reality. One of my goals is to

become a large corporate investment banker on Wall Street. This profession not only satisfies

my big dreamer mentality, it also conforms to my love for finance, investing and


My passion for finance stems from a time period during my childhood where America

and the rest of the world were experiencing an economic recession. I witnessed news programs

on TV reporting about large corporations that were laying off thousands of workers. At the

same time as all the layoffs were happening, there were bankers on Wall Street receiving

million dollar bonuses. It fascinated me that while so many people were struggling, there were

others who were able to use their knowledge of financial markets to flourish. For me, my love

for finance is not about the money, instead it is about the exclusiveness that comes with being

able to achieve things that the average person cant.

The role of an investment banker is to provide their clients with financial advice and

direction that leads to profits for their clients business. Investment bankers are also

responsible for investing money in stocks and other financial instruments they think will

generate economic growth for their company. Most large companies engage in proprietary

trading where they trade stocks using their investors money. Proprietary trading can be a risky

method of investing since it usually involves large sums of money and is funded at the expense

of investors. For these reasons, it is essential for investment bankers to have extensive

knowledge of the world economic markets in order to create handsome profits for their

company and its investors. It is important for the bankers to have strong sales techniques and

persuasive communication skills in order to influence potential lenders to invest with their


Because Goldman Sachs is one of the worlds leading investment banking firms, it

provides a potentially intriguing career path for me. Goldman Sachs not only has a massive

domestic presence in the United States, they also have an extensive existence internationally.

Working for such a large company would provide many business opportunities and investment

ventures that many smaller firms dont have access to. Another advantage of working for a

renowned company like Goldman Sachs is the prestige that comes along with being one of their

employees. Many of the workers at Goldman Sachs are well respected in the business industry

and often use that reputation to launch careers as CEOs in top corporations or become notable

political leaders.

If I had the opportunity to be employed at Goldman Sachs, I would be interested in

being a member of their financial and strategic investors sector. These employees constantly

analyze the stock markets and help their clients make wise investments. In such a role, I would

be in charge of researching the market and developing investment strategies for things like

private equity or high-flying hedge funds. This career path appeals to me because I would have

the ability to improve the lives of my stakeholders while potentially effecting hundreds of

millions of dollars.

Patrick L. Anderson is the business leader I chose to interview. Mr. Anderson is the

President and Founder of Anderson Economic Group (AEG), based out of East Lansing, MI. His

company has other locations in New York City, Chicago, and Istanbul. Anderson Economic

Group offers a variety of services, but they specialize in financial strategy and business

valuation. Few public policy initiatives with significant financial implications are considered in

Michigan without a detailed economic analysis produced by AEG which explains the economic

impact to the state.

What initially intrigued me about Mr. Anderson was his high-profile notoriety among

both top political and industry leaders, which includes an office on Wall Street. But also

notable, is that he is married to Madhu Anderson, who was Chief Deputy Treasurer under Gov.

John Engler from 1993-2001 and is also recognized as a top leader in financial circles.

I originally met Patrick and Madhu Anderson at the Republican Party State Convention

in February. I thought he would be an excellent finance professional to interview due to his

business background and impressive international credentials. Following our initial encounter

at the convention, I called his office in East Lansing (517-333-6984) to set up a phone interview

with him. He can also be contacted by email at

The first question I asked Mr. Anderson during our phone conversation was what his

career goal was while he was working towards his undergraduate degree at the University of

Michigan. This question was important because I was curious if starting his own economic firm

was a goal he was pursuing at the outset of his undergraduate experience. Mr. Anderson

explained that while in college he initially studied history and English. He said he didnt know

what career he wanted to pursue. He knew that he didnt want to just be a student of history,

but ultimately his goal was to create his own. Mr. Anderson told me his interest in economics

didnt surface until his later years at Michigan. I asked if he was involved with any internships or

clubs while in college that helped him pursue his goal of changing history. He said he didnt take

part in any internships or clubs, but instead he focused on buying and selling cars to make

money for college. I found that admission enlightening, as it suggested a traditional focus on

immediate concerns as opposed to lofty, immediate out-of-reach goals.

When asked about his career prior to starting his own company, Mr. Anderson

explained that he spent a few years working for Alexander Hamilton Life under the venerable

Dick Headlee, a political anti-tax legend and former candidate for governor in Michigan.

Following his work for Headlee, he served as Budget Director and Chief of Staff for the

Secretary of State of Michigan.

What inspired Anderson to start his own company? He said it happened organically due

to his circumstances. He explained that while working for the state of Michigan, he developed

many connections and was doing work for several businesses that he decided it was time to

create his own company to focus on all these relationships he built. He also noted that during

the time period when he was developing his own company, starting a business wasnt

necessarily the cool thing to do, like it is now.

I asked Mr. Anderson how things he learned in college helped in his business endeavors.

Mr. Anderson said that although having a college degree is important, many things arent

taught in a classroom and are learned through experience on the job. He also mentioned that

he authored a book called The Economics of Business Valuation which he jokingly claimed

would teach me more in the first few chapters than I would learn while pursuing a MBA degree.

Im looking forward to reading the book, as he offered to do a follow up meeting with me to

talk about his book and the world of finance once I read it. Having someone of Patrick

Andersons caliber as both a professional and intellectual mentor would be a huge benefit to

me personally, as I work to create a strategy to launch my own career.

I asked Mr. Anderson what kind of things he considers when hiring a recent college

graduate and if he had any advice for a college student pursing a degree in business. He

answered these questions by stressing the importance of hard work and good character. He

explained that he doesnt hire someone based on a history of impressive internships on their

resume, but rather would prefer someone who did work for a church group because it

demonstrates their capacity for hard work and that they have a strong set of values at the

foundation of their life. Mr. Anderson said when it comes down to a final decision, he is

ultimately hiring a person, not a resume. He recognizes that he will have to work closely with

this person and thus chemistry and shared values are helpful to professional compatibility. Mr.

Anderson told me that he would consider me for a potential internship at his office on Wall

Street if I explore his website, read his book, and email him with a review of what I read.

As part of this assignment, I also reached out to Lt. Gov. Brian Calleys office in an

attempt to set up an interview with him. His office said that he was willing to meet with me on

Monday, February 27, but couldnt meet sooner because he was currently traveling out of

country on a trade mission, so I was unable to accept the offer. Brian Calley would have been

another excellent interview, because of his experience as a banker prior to taking public office.

It would have been interesting to find out how his background as a banker influenced his

policies and success as a Lt. Governor.