Brian Broadbent's Wall Street world, where he works for Goldman Sachs, is a long ways away from Cache Valley but he and his wife, Natalie, haven't forgotten what it was like to be struggling students at USU.
He remembers when they were a newly married couple, working part time and trying hard to make ends meet. Brian graduated from USU in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in finance and marketing. Natalie graduated in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education.
Now Brian works on Wall Street for Goldman Sachs, as a private wealth advisor, where he is dealing with millions of dollars a day, and yet he said he can still remember when an infusion of $20 in cash could make a big difference in his life.
A scholarship helped them make it through the lean times, and they said that's why they've established an endowment fund at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business so they can, in turn, help out a student in need every year. Their fund supports a needs-based scholarship for a junior or senior, majoring in finance who has at least a 3.5 GPA.
Broadbent said he thinks his education at USU prepared him for his career.
"I felt when I graduated from Utah State, I was as well, if not better, equipped than most of the individuals in my training class at Goldman Sachs and most of the individuals in my training class were from Ivy League schools," he said.
Broadbent paid a visit to USU recently and spoke to the Finance Club.
Broadbent said that USU students often come with a strong work ethic because many of them have had to work part-time jobs to support themselves. That work ethic is needed because, he said, financial analysts can expect to work 70 to 80 hours or more a week for the first two years.
The apartment he and his wife shared when he started at Goldman Sachs was less than 500 square feet, but it was not like they had much time at home anyway. When Brain started his job, Natalie was teaching at a private school and going after her master's degree at the same time. They were both busy, but would make time for each other. Sometimes she would come in on weekends to where he worked, and she would do her homework as he finished up other work projects.
"At times, I didn't see the daylight for weeks on end," he said. "It can be very hard on a relationship."
When he became an associate, he worked even more hours for the next four or five years. Now he said he typically logs in 50 to 55-hour a week which is much more manageable. He said that students who take this career path have to know about the sacrifices they will make in their early years to succeed.
"It can be very demanding and quite challenging at times," Broadbent said in an interview, "but I find it rewarding and I love the work. If there are students who think they might like this kind of work, they may want to explore a career on Wall Street."
He told the students that they need to be in tune with world news because "stocks react one way or the other to just about anything you hear in the news." If the insurance industry is bracing for the impact of a hurricane, for example, the building industry may be gearing up to respond to that event. He said that if there is something that is going to have a negative impact on stocks, that same event might prove a boost to another industry.