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This summer finds Anthony Wesley '16 at an internship with Ayco in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where he is working as a financial planner. Wesley is no stranger to Ayco—a A Goldman Sachs Company specializing in financial counseling and investment management. He has worked there consistently ever since his first internship with them in the summer of 2010.
“I love it here,” says Wesley. “Since my initial placement within the firm in their New York Counseling Region, I have also had the opportunity to work in the Public Relations department and with their Corporate Development Group. After spending time here, I knew that I wanted to intern again during my first year of law school – it was a determining factor in my decision to pursue my J.D. at Albany Law School. The proximity is great, I have been able to maintain a consistent presence here at Ayco throughout my time at Albany Law; I typically work full time during the summer and part-time when classes are in session.”
Wesley credits one of his former supervisors, Jacquie Dunbar Grande, for helping him discover his career path early on. Grande serves as the Senior Vice President in the Office of Corporate Engagement at Ayco and is herself, an alumna of Albany Law School's class of 1991.
“Many people have this stereotypical idea about law school that because you are pursuing a degree in law that you want to be a lawyer, but there is so much more you can do with a law degree than that!”
“She is not just my former boss and supervisor,” remarks Wesley, “she has been a phenomenal mentor and the catalyst that pushed me to discover what a great company Ayco is. She has shown me how exciting this career field can be. She has also shared her personal journey with me—from undergrad to law school to Ayco—and that process has been similar to my own so her insight has been invaluable in that aspect and many others. My Account Manager has also been a great mentor to me and has played a significant role in multiple facets of my professional life.”
Wesley, a native of Albany, N.Y., pursued his undergraduate degree in political science with minors in economics and statistics from the University of Rochester before returning to Albany and continuing his education at Albany Law School. Knowing that he wanted to pursue a career in financial counseling upon graduation, Wesley has tailored his course load at Albany Law specifically toward tax law and estate planning.
“Financial counseling requires a detailed knowledge of tax law and estate planning,” he said. They are two areas that we deal with on a daily basis, so it made sense for me to pursue my J.D. rather than an M.B.A. for what I am interested in doing upon graduation. I hope to complete my tax concentration after this school year and once I find full-time employment within a financial firm, I plan to take my series 7 and series 66 exams which will provide me with career enhancing, financial and investment certifications. Many people have this stereotypical idea about law school that because you are pursuing a degree in law that you want to be a lawyer, but there is so much more you can do with a law degree than that!”
“It was a determining factor in my decision to pursue my J.D. at Albany Law School.”
Although enjoying his studies, Wesley states that he is ready to graduate and begin his professional career. “I have sacrificed a lot of my social life, most of my time outside of school and work, and maybe even a little bit of my sanity to give this everything I've got. I have had to because I don't really have a “plan B” at this point,” laughs Wesley. “It's all or nothing and I can't imagine doing anything else so I am going to take this all the way.”
When asked about his drive and work ethic Wesley says, “I know this sounds a little cliché but it is the truth, I have an immense fear of failure. I know it sounds like a bad movie quote but I cannot stand the thought of letting myself down as well as all of the other people who have believed in me along the way . . . after everything that my family has done for me. They gave me the tools that I needed to succeed, I don't mean in a materialistic way, but the skills, the mindset, the education outside of school, the push to do this. I believe that one day I will be looking back on my life and that all of the hard work, the sacrifice, the debt, and the commitment will have paid off.”
"I believe that one day I will be looking back on my life and that all of the hard work, the sacrifice, the debt, and the commitment will have paid off."