BSC Business Magazine - page 11

Alumni News
Spring 2013 9
Trey Echols ’96
Trey Echols is the Director of Business
Development at the Charlotte, North
Carolina, office of McColl Partners,
LLC, an investment banking firm. His
responsibilities include helping manage
the firm’s client relationships, business
acquisition strategy, industry group
development,
and marketing.
Prior to joining
McColl Partners
in 2011, Mr.
Echols worked
for twelve
years with
Merrill Lynch
in a career that
took him from
Birmingham
to Atlanta and
then to Chicago
in 2008 to
become the
Divisional Bank
Head for the
Midwest. This
post included
managing the firm’s commercial, consumer,
and private banking enterprises before Bank
of America acquired Merrill Lynch. After
this merger, he held management roles
with significant leadership responsibility,
culminating in being named division credit
executive for the central US in late 2010.
In that role, he managed the structured
credit products business for Merrill Lynch’s
Private Banking and Investment Group for
the midwest and Texas. He currently serves
on Birmingham-Southern College’s Norton
Board Business Advisory Committee.
BSC Business Magazine
:
“How have
your experiences at Birmingham-Southern
College benefited you in the workforce?”
Echols
: “I believe that the College’s liberal
arts curriculum develops a student’s critical
thinking skills. By combining arts-based
Echols
and science-based classes, a BSC education
requires students to engage in a variety of
subjects. I remember taking tough electives
while my friends were taking comparatively
easy courses at large universities. These
courses, however, helped me develop
strategic thinking skills that have proved
essential for my roles at Merrill Lynch and
McColl Partners.”
BSC Business Magazine
: “How did the
College’s business department prepare you
for your career?”
Echols
: “The business department did
a great job of deomstrating a parctical
perspective on how businesses operate. The
focus of my BA 499 class on every aspect
of the automotive industry was particularly
beneficial. In this class, my peers and I
assessed General Motors’ Saturn Plant
from managerial, marketing, and finance
perspectives. It was a comprehensive,
challenging, and very rewarding experience.
Taking Phillip Jackson’s real estate class
was another memorable experience. Under
Dr. Jackson’s guidance, we spent the
semester completing a mock real estate
transaction from start to finish. I still
value this experience – it accelerated my
understanding of real estate finance when I
was in commercial banking.”
BSC Business Magazine
: “What advice
do you have for business majors?”
Echols
: “Students should complete an
off-campus internship during the academic
year. While at BSC, I interned at a wealth
management firm during my sophomore,
junior, and senior years. Even though not
all of my responsibilities were exhilarating,
the internship certainly enhanced
classroom learning. For example, I learned
how to use a financial calculator while
calculating bond yields at work. Gaining
this skill helped me avoid calculating
time value of money by hand in Dr.
Cleveland’s finance classes. In my view,
a college internship is like driving with
a permit – they let you see ‘career life’ in
action. Working in an office environment
as a student is priceless and is particularly
valuable for a business education since
such opportunities let students test-drive
a career. Interning also goes beyond
skill development: they build long-term
relationships and can forecast a student’s
ability to perform roles. The internship
experience made a difference when I
interviewed for my first job at SouthTrust
Bank. References from the firm were able
to vouch for my work ethic and skills.”
BSC Business Magazine
: “How
should business majors maximize their
education?”
Echols
: “Students should take advantage
of a variety of experiences to complement
their business courses. Students who
engage in their community and gain
leadership experiences will certainly benefit
from this time investment. I see the value
of such experiences when interviewing
student applicants for my firm’s two-year
financial analyst program. Many graduate
with honors from prestigious universities,
but non-classroom leadership experiences
help distinguish candidates in a pool filled
with students with equally impressive
academic records. Stand-outs demonstrate
leadership, self-motivation, courage, and
work ethic.
Students would be well-
served to seek challenging
service opportunities. They
might be surprised where
the most profound lessons
are learned.”
Alumni Spotlights
By: Zach Hesson, a senior from Marietta, GA
1...,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 12,13,14,15,16
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