In most cases, a rising junior studying mechanical engineering would think they had their life all but figured out when they secured an internship with ExxonMobil. Jordan Carr found himself in this situation a few years ago, but he had no idea that by the end of his senior year, he would find himself pursuing a career in investment banking.
After a friend invited him to a private information session with a representative of Goldman Sachs, Carr started to reconsider what he wanted to do. He went into the internship with the mindset that if he didn’t love engineering, he would pursue investment banking.
Although he enjoyed the experience and people at Exxon, Carr realized engineering wasn’t for him. On his return to Auburn, he decided to keep the mechanical engineering major and pick up a minor in finance.
“It was either I stick with
The story of Carr’s transition to a radically new career can’t be told without telling a story of his involvement on campus, which began with being elected president of his fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta, his sophomore year.
The presidents of fraternities are typically upperclassmen, so the experience taught Carr many lessons for future endeavors.
“I grew up a lot during that and made a lot of mistakes, but I think that’s what you learn from,” Carr said with a chuckle.
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Carr’s long list of involvements throughout his time at Auburn also included serving as a treasurer for IFC, a director of ODK, member of SGA Elections Board and member of his fraternity’s judicial board.
“That’s when I started with the coffee,” Carr said pointing to his large iced Americano.
However, one of his prouder experiences at Auburn has been getting involved with Financial Management Association, a growing student organization meant to optimize finance students’ pursuit of their career.
FMA is where Carr had the realization that finance was the career that he really wanted to pursue. He found mentors in FMA, which Carr said was key for him finding his feet.
FMA started at Auburn nearly three years ago. According to Tracy Richard, faculty advisor of FMA, there were many talented students interested in a career in finance, but there was no structure to help get them competitive in the workforce.
“Three and a half years ago, Auburn finance grads would never really place at the top firms,” Carr said. “Never. It was just out of the question. And it wasn’t because they couldn’t. It was because they didn’t have the resources, and they didn’t know what they had to do to get there. No one was going into investment banking or private equity, so how would they know about it?”
This past year, he decided to give back to the organization that had given him so much, and he was elected president of FMA. He was ecstatic about being able to help form an organization that was still in its infancy.
“That made it really fun — getting to apply what I feel like I’ve learned from other things and now getting to make such a substantial change, hopefully, on the organization,” Carr said.
Through passion and hard work and with the aid of peers and advisors, Carr helped bring the organization to new heights, which recently won him the award for Male Student Leader of the Year at the 2018 Involvement Awards.
Currently, FMA has about 75 of the top students pursuing a career in finance. It graduates about 20 students a year and plans to take in 20-25 new students a year in the coming years so that resources aren’t spread too thin.
The average starting salary for graduates of Auburn’s [Harbert College of Business] is $56,000, whereas FMA’s graduates have an average starting compensation of $92,600. This has risen from $64,000 in FMA’s first year.
In addition to creating a preparation program specifically for investment banking and instituting the inaugural Financial Leadership Summit, Carr was pleased with the work of this year’s executive board because it set the agenda as a structure that will breed success for years to come.
Carr is, of course, proud of the work he and his team have done, but he said the
“At some universities, it seems like it’s a negative thing to be involved, but for me, I wouldn’t have had the entire student experience if I didn’t get involved, and I think involvement at Auburn has radically changed my experience at Auburn, but also what I want to do for the next for years of my life and has taught me more than the classroom,” Carr said.
This past summer, Carr had an internship with an investment bank in Houston, which validated his interest in his newfound career goals.
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