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Forging relationships with mentors at investment companies such as Charles Schwab and Wells Fargo through opportunities and relationships offered in the Barowsky School of Business has allowed Xavier Williams ’19 to develop industry connections that will extend beyond graduation.

“Dominican is such a small school that it’s a benefit because we are able to get that individualized attention,” says Xaxier, who interned with Wells Fargo Bank this past summer. “We are lucky in the business school to have somebody devoted to helping us find internships and put us in positions to get jobs out of college.”

When Xavier, a student-athlete, came from Southern California to play basketball at Dominican, BSB helped put him in a position to develop business connections. For example, during his sophomore year, Xavier attended a job fair on campus and met Michael Davis, Vice President of Senior Financial Consultant at Charles Schwab. Xavier now calls Michael his mentor.

In 2017, the BSB Director of Internships and Professional Development directed Xavier toward an internship at Maxwell Money. Xavier is one of 11 Dominican students who have earned internships at the local booking and accounting firm, including Audrey Absulio ’15, a tax senior at Deloitte LLP; Fabian Valdez-Mendoza ’15, a business development specialist for the New England Region for Redis Labs Inc. in Silicon Valley; and Kristen Cepriano ’17 and ’18 MBA who is now working as an account associate for Kiva after also interning at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“That was my first experience in an office where you have to wear a lot of hats,” says Xavier, who last fall started an internship with the Small Business Development Center on the Dominican campus. “You get to learn from people and they were all able to take me under their wings.”

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This past year, Xavier was led to an internship opportunity with Wells Fargo by Courtney Budesa, Director of Internships and Professional Development, and Dr. Christopher Leeds, professor of Management and Faculty Athletic Representative. Xavier asked around and did some research before joining Wells Fargo’s Middle Marketing Banking internship program this past summer.

“I was told ‘That is the best possible training you can get,’ ” Xavier says. “It’s definitely added some validity to my resume.”

It’s also helped Xavier learn and decide what path he might take in his financial future during the next two years when he earns his undergrad degree and his master’s as part of BSB’s 4 + 1 program. During the fall semester he began an internship with the Small Business Development Center at Dominican, an opportunity normally afforded to MBA students.

“Banking wasn’t really something on my radar, but it gave me another avenue that I could pursue in finance,” Xavier says. “I think the experiences I gained at Wells Fargo are immensely valuable. Credit is such a vital part to any business, so the fact you have that knowledge it makes you that much more important to a potential employer.”

At Wells Fargo, Xavier worked closely with another mentor, Senior Portfolio Manager Austin O’Malley, and attended field trip tours to see real-world applications at the Foreign Exchange Trading Floor in San Francisco.

“Xavier came well prepared to his Wells Fargo internship. It was readily apparent that he had made considerable efforts to educate himself on the banking industry and Wells Fargo in particular. Xavier has a clear desire to learn, a solid work ethic, positive disposition and proactively found ways to integrate himself with the team,” O’Malley says. “Xavier took time to prepare for meetings, asked thoughtful questions and provided clear, concise and logical responses when sharing his opinion. While Xavier is the only Dominican student I have worked with, based on the impression he left, I would gladly look forward to working with other Dominican students.”

Xavier said one of the highlights of his 10-week summer internship with Wells Fargo was to sit in on and observe high-level meetings and learn the art of the deal.

“The amount of detail and the amount of preparation that went into talking about these deals really opened my eyes to see how people work at the corporate level and how group projects I have at Dominican translates into the real world,” Xavier says. “I was lucky enough to have been a part of some of those deals and it put me in the middle of the process and I was able to learn through experience. I’m totally grateful for that.”

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