Parent’s Council Hosts Banking, Medicine and Law Panels

—By Valerie Slade, Minisha Lohani, and Alina Gomez

On Friday afternoon, members of the Parent’s Council held panels on banking, medicine and law for interested students.

Mark Bye, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley, and Stewart Burton, Vice Chairman of BBC Capital Markets, met with students to discuss possible careers in banking and finance. Both parents of first-year boys, Mr. Bye is an operating partner in a private equity group and Mr. Burton works with senior client companies and investment banking. As Mr. Burton explained, “I do the selling and he does the buying.”

Mr. Burton (left) and Mr. Bye (right) discuss careers in the banking sector.
Mr. Burton (left) and Mr. Bye (right) discuss careers in the banking sector.

After briefly explaining the paths they took to the banking sector, Mr. Bye and Mr. Burton fielded student questions. Both emphasized that liberal arts students are not disadvantaged against those with business majors; Mr. Bye stressed that Davidson students have the communication and interpersonal skills that many business students lack. He also noted another skill Davidson students possess: “One of the biggest mistakes young professionals make is that they talk too much. So much can be gained by listening.”

Mr. Bye and Mr. Burton told students to find a path in banking that they love, whether that be in analysis and spreadsheets or a more sales-oriented position. They also highlighted the importance of networking and distinguishing yourself from the competition.

In the medicine panel Dr. Mirin, Director of Healthcare at Navigant Consulting, Dr. Grayson, an ophthalmologist and developer, and Dr. McKenna, psychiatrist at Harvard, met with over forty students to discuss a career in healthcare. The three doctors spent time answering a broad range of questions, ranging from what a typical day entailed, technology breakthroughs, and gender and work-life balance. Each had a different story regarding how they got to where they are now.

Students listen as parents present on careers in medicine.
Students listen as parents present on careers in medicine.

Davidson students were also interested in hearing about the future of the healthcare industry as a whole from the doctors on the ground. In a day and age where Obamacare and topics such as end of life care or medical marijuana stymie and cast a shadow of doubt on our system, these doctors don’t feel the shadow or hear the whispers.

All three agreed: “It is a burgeoning field that is continuing to expand—with incredible flexibility and an unending number of opportunities,” said Dr. McKenna, current psychiatrist at Harvard. She added that it is one of the most rewarding jobs as the act of essentially saving another persons life is the ultimate display of selflessness and compassion.

Ultimately the one sentiment echoed was how important it was to go out and spend time with a doctor and see if it is something you can envision yourself doing.  Each of the doctors said they would be happy to have students shadow them. If you would like to contact them or a number of other doctors and medical professionals in the area, contact Frances Alexander at for more information.

At the Law School Talk with students, parents and alumni, three parents addressed the audience.  They shared their personal stories and advice for students considering law school.

Mrs. Pamela Martinson shared her experience with working in the business and financial sector before attending Harvard Law School.  She moved to Silicon Valley and continues to live and work there in a large firm.  Mrs. Andrea Lairson worked as an analyst at Nike, a career placement adviser at Lewis and Clark, and a few other jobs between earning her English degree at Mount Holyoke and attending law school at the University of Washington School of Law.  She clerked in a circuit court of appeals, which she strongly recommends, after law school.  That led her to work in a large firm in Seattle and now she works almost entirely pro bono helping entrepreneurial non-profit organizations implement governance that helps keep them sustainable.

Lairson’s husband, Mr. Robert W. Gomulkiewics went to college to be a junior high teacher because of his passion for human rights.  He was encouraged, instead, to attend law school and realized this would be best for him, so he attended the University of Washington Law School, where he simultaneously earned a Master’s degree in International Studies.  After law school, he worked at the law firm owned by Bill Gates’ father, where he became interested in software and Intellectual Property law.  He then worked at Microsoft, where he participated as counsel on some of the most prominent cases for the company like one against Apple.  He is now a professor at University of Washington Law School, where he founded the LLM program in Intellectual Property Law.

While in law school, the panelists told the students to be very active in extracurricular activities aside from earning high grades.  Join activities that help develop skills as a leader, writer, thinker, and speaker.  Network while in law school in order to optimize  chances for the best jobs.  They also told students to try out different kinds of law while in law school so that they can decide what they do and do not like, as well as involved in clinics to get hands-on experience.

Remember, there are many different paths to law school and after law school.  The panelists advise that students find something they really love and that makes them valuable to a firm or company.

Thank you to all of the parents who spoke to students about careers in banking, medicine and law.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *