A Q&A with Carson Bowlin (’11), young Zag on Wall Street, who is drinking from the firehose when it comes to learning about the finance industry.

Q: Tell us about your job.

A: I work as an analyst in the Capital Markets Division at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. The focus of my role is to help maximize a multi-billion dollar balance sheet through our Sales and Trading operations centered on Fixed Income products to bring value to our clients. This role requires broad product and global market knowledge that ranges from high yield debt, to structured securities, to precious metals trading.

Q: Please share a memory from the NY Trek.

A: The world of high finance is very relational and can be difficult to grasp in all its intricacies when applying for positions as a college student. The NY Trek I attended in 2010 provided me with an insider’s view into a handful of highly regarded banks, mutual funds and hedge funds which brought clarity to my perspective. The time spent at Deutsche Bank with Gonzaga alum Kevin McQuilkin stands out because we were able to meet with his first and second year analysts. The caliber of these individuals and the impressive backgrounds they possessed set a high bar and showed me what it would take to compete.

Q: Are you happy with your work life?

A: My job represents more than a stream of income. It provides an environment that is both competitive and has an incredibly steep learning curve. The strong brand that Morgan Stanley represents is supported by a firm commitment to teamwork and a conviction that value is being added to our clients at every step along the way.

Q: What should GU students know today?

A: To be direct, I think the most important piece of advice for students coming out of Gonzaga is to own the next chapter of your life. Regardless of the trying economic times there are still incredible opportunities to be had. Complacency must be rejected and goals have to be set. It takes a fire burning in your belly to compete in this global economy and if you don’t want to commit to what it takes, there is a student your age in India, China, or sitting in the desk next to you who will. This process must be well on its way by a student’s junior year and should be optimized with a strong network of industry related relationships.

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