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Jim Larocque
Odette grad Jim Larocque, ’02 BComm, Senior Associate with the Carlyle Group in New York, speaks with students from Dr. Keith Cheung’s Financial Markets and Institutions class.

Persistence pays off

Have persistence, perseverance, and passion in what you know you do!  That was the message given to Dr. Keith Cheung’s Financial Markets and Institutions class by Odette grad Jim Larocque, ’02 BComm, Senior Associate with the Carlyle Group in New York, as he spoke of positioning oneself to be competitive in the job market following graduation. Recalling stories of perseverance as he worked for months to get his name known in the field of investment banking, Jim made quite an impression on these third and fourth year students with graduation on their minds. Among the highlights of his message were stories of all the difficulties getting into a field as competitive as investment banking entails, as well as an insider’s rundown of the investment banking industry. His journey from Odette to Wall Street made an immense impact on the students as they pondered their future.

The students learned some valuable lessons about pursuing dreams. Mr. Larocque spoke of the unbelievable amount of hard work just to break into the lower rungs of investment banking, followed by great risks and more hard work being undertaken to continue pursuing his dream. Networking was the key as he proceeded, and being proactive in creating a network was even more important. If the drive to be noticed isn’t there, it is going to be very difficult to get a career off the ground. Differentiate yourself in any way that you can and be firm in your intentions. Take any course that may be relevant, because you may get a piece of incredibly valuable information. And be willing to put yourself out there in a vulnerable position. It was that advice from Jim that made such an impression on these students: know your passion and do whatever it takes to follow it, because you may just get rewarded by having a lifelong dream fulfilled.