Max Wasserman knew from the age of nine that he was going to become a Marine. On September 17, 2010, he fulfilled his childhood dream by officially enlisting. Sometime later he found himself in San Diego undergoing 13 weeks of training that was structured to the minute. By the end of the training, he received his insignia and officially became a Marine for life.
Max’s enlistment lasted a little more than four years and included two deployments. During his first deployment, Max spent time in Afghanistan as a Squad Automatic Rifleman. He described his first patrol there as stepping into a whole new world. Although temperatures averaged well above 100 degrees during his time there, he enjoyed the experience seeing and experiencing a different world. The culture was completely different than anything he had ever previously known. He met children, families and villagers, and gained the perspective that everyone — everywhere — is just trying to do the same thing: live their lives.
After Afghanistan, Max had the opportunity to remain home for the rest of four-year enlistment. But that wasn’t what he signed up for. Instead, he extended his enlistment by two months and was deployed to a Marine expeditionary unit in Japan as a crew man on a Light Armored Vehicle.
The decision to leave the Marines was not an easy one for Max. He was very close to re-enlisting and had already filled out some of the paper work. Max had taken leadership courses and by most measures he was ahead of his peers. He had a nice path set up in the Marines. However, this path starts to get very linear as one rises through the ranks, narrowing to only one way up. Max ultimately made the decision that it was time to seek new opportunities. With an excellent set of transferrable skills and leadership experience, Max applied to Ohio State.
His transition to the university was a process and involved learning new cultural and workplace norms. At first, he was quiet and reserved, but he eventually became comfortable. Having already researched and strategized his involvement plan, Max knew exactly which clubs and programs he wanted to join. However, the application process for these clubs and programs came and went, leaving Max with no acceptances. Faced with these disappointments, he decided to take a step back and reflect.
Things ended up working out for Max. He was accepted into the Fisher Futures Investment Banking Program and became a Fisher Ambassador. He had an internship with Ikove Venture Partners and, this past summer, he worked at JPMorgan Chase as an Investment Banking Summer Analyst. Max has now turned his attention to the asset management industry, a field in which he is currently interviewing.
Max lives by a philosophy of having no regrets, and if he could give a TED talk it would be on mental strength. He is fascinated by the concept of pushing oneself farther than the mind wants to go. On any given day, you can find Max leading tour groups through Fisher’s campus and making them laugh with his — occasionally — hit-or-miss jokes.