Alumni Spotlight: Josh DiBiasi, D.A. Davidson & Co.

Eller PDC Alumni Stories

DiBiasi, JoshJosh DiBiasi graduated in May 2014 with a double major in Accounting and Finance with Honors. During his time at Arizona, he held leadership roles with both Mortar Board Senior Honorary and Alpha Kappa Psi, and interned in investment banking, private equity, and accounting. Currently, Josh is an Analyst in investment banking with D.A. Davidson & Co.

What are you currently doing?

Since July of 2014, I have been working as an Analyst in investment banking (“IB”) with D.A. Davidson in Salt Lake City, Utah. We are a full-service investment bank that serves middle market companies throughout the United States. In other words, we advise mid-sized companies on a wide range of financial transactions in the areas of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), public and private equity offerings, debt financings, financial restructurings, and fairness opinions.

A majority of the transactions that I work on are sell-side M&A, which includes pitching D.A. Davidson as the best firm to represent them on a sale of their company, marketing the company to potential buyers, and then advising them through due diligence and closing. So, as an Analyst, I spend most of my time researching companies and industries, analyzing data, building financial models, valuing companies, finding compelling ways to present information, and ultimately creating pitchbooks, information memorandums, and other market materials.

I’m fortunate that my team includes me in far more than basic grunt work. I work on a dedicated team of a few bankers, so my position involves a wider range of responsibilities and opportunities that you may not have at a larger investment bank. As with most companies, the smaller your team the greater the exposure you will have to your company’s operations and the responsibilities of more senior employees. Often, I’m included in pitches for new deals, visits to company facilities, discussions with our clients, calling potential buyers, and other opportunities that aren’t as common for Analysts with larger teams. Being involved in every step of the process has enhanced my experience, as it’s easier to complete grunt work when you can see the big picture.

How did you land this career opportunity?

I spent a pretty significant amount of time networking during my senior year and eventually connected with Davidson through a contact in the industry. I utilized several avenues to find new contacts: cold calling, networking events, alumni, and especially introductions from other IB connections. To put things in perspective, I probably spoke with more than a couple hundred people in the industry, had several email conversations running every week, and I would arrange at least one “informational interview” by phone per week. This was easier than it sounds because I chose to block off a couple hours every weekday where I focused on finding a job; having consistency creates momentum. I had absolutely no ties to the industry when I first started to pursue IB and so a large number of the conversations and contacts I made, though educational, didn’t lead me closer to a job. Persistence is the key to finding a great career opportunity, combined with a dash of luck.

What has your experience been like since graduating?

I’m very pleased with how things have worked out since graduation. I’m receiving great experience right out of school and I have confirmation that my networking efforts have paid off. As expected, I enjoy the work I’m doing because I had a very relevant internship opportunity elsewhere. Finding an internship during college is critical, paid or unpaid. Not only does it make you a better candidate for full-time positions, but you also can determine if this career path is right for you. An average summer job provides you with short-term dollars, while an internship is an early first step into a career and long- term success.