Brett Bakies

As commencement neared, Brett Bakies spent some time reflecting on his college experiences.

Four years ago, Brett started as an aerospace engineering student at Ohio State, but he realized that his interests didn’t fit engineering. He eventually found that fit in the Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Scholars program. Besides the ICE program, Brett later interned at a small start-up company and enjoyed working on the predictability of social media sentiment in the stock market. This cemented his major switch from engineering to finance.

After finding the major that interested him, Brett began to develop his career path, first by putting himself in various business environments. Learning from previous internship experience, Brett found an affinity for a fast-paced work environment, such as investment banking, in a big city.

However, the decision wasn’t smooth sailing. Brett wasn’t accepted into an investment club at the college. Shortly after the rejection, Brett seized the opportunity and resolved to improve himself. Brett was later accepted into the Fisher Futures Investment Banking Program, an investment banking preparatory program run by the Office of Career Management. He also received plenty of rejections while applying for an investment banking internship, but he never gave up. Finally, he was selected to Mizuho’s Investment Banking Summer Analyst Program. While at Mizuho, he worked long hours, but he took pleasure in it and believes that working more allows you to learn more. He will be joining the bank as an Investment Banking Analyst in New York City following graduation.

As a fourth-year student at the college, Brett was named the recipient of S. Maurice Bostic and Birch S.M. Bostic Memorial Award, a special Pace Setters Award presented to the outstanding male member of the graduating class. For Brett, his favorite memory from Ohio State was a win over Michigan during his second year, after which he rushed the field and celebrated with Brutus and other Buckeye fans.

Brett’s best advice to his classmates is to be opportunistic and optimistic. You may get thousands of rejections in life, but never give up and be ready to take advantage of opportunities when they're presented.

You don't need to follow a single path — your life is full of possibilities