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W&L Outcomes: Michael Ott ’24 After a summer internship, Ott landed a full-time job as an investment banking analyst with Houlihan Lokey.

Michael-Ott-scaled-600x400 W&L Outcomes: Michael Ott ’24

Michael Ott ’24
Major: Accounting major; classics minor
Hometown: West Newbury, Massachusetts

What will you be doing after graduation?

I will be working as an investment banking analyst at Houlihan Lokey in their aerospace, defense and government services team.

How did your career plans evolve over the course of your time at W&L?

As I entered the accounting major, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in finance. During the fall of my sophomore year, I entered the recruiting process for investment banking and ended up with an offer from HL. Since then, I have been developing my skills in finance, hoping to excel in my role at Houlihan Lokey.

What internships or other summer experiences did you partake in, and how did those experiences shape you and your career plans?

In the summer between my sophomore and junior year I worked as a server at a local seafood joint in Savannah, Georgia. I had a great time meeting local and visiting clientele.

After junior year, I joined Houlihan Lokey’s ADG team and helped facilitate the team’s work in this space. After a great 10 weeks I decided to join the team full time.

How did the Office of Career and Professional Development support you, and which resources did you find most helpful?

The CPD office was incredibly helpful in connecting me with job opportunities and alumni in the space that I was interested in.

What did you study at W&L, and what are some skills or learnings you will take from your academic experience into the professional world?

I studied accounting and classics. In my accounting major, I developed skills in analyzing financial statements and developing an understanding of a company’s financial strength. In my classics minor, I was able to dissect the writing of ancient poets and gain insights into the daily lives of people who lived in ancient times. I have greatly appreciated the ability I possess to translate the Latin language and gain an understanding of daily life in Ancient Rome.

What clubs, organizations, athletic teams or other extracurriculars were you involved in that had an impact on you?

I have been a four-year member of the men’s lacrosse team and a three-year member of Washington and Lee Student Consulting. Through these extracurricular activities I have gained fantastic professional experience and team-building skills.

Who or what has inspired you along the way?

I would say that the culture at W&L has sparked a lot of my inspiration. Older students have helped tremendously in encouraging success.

Did you connect with alumni during your career development process?

Yes, alumni were very impactful in my career development. I would not be starting my career where I am if not for the help of multiple passionate alums who guided me through the recruiting process.

What career-related advice would you give to next year’s graduating class?

Find something that you’re interested in. With passion feeding into your work, you will be the most fulfilled.