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David Zickler was a pre-med student three years ago. But life has a funny way of steering us toward true professional happiness.
"I shadowed doctors and hated it," said Zickler, a Florence, Ala., native who is also captain of the Auburn University men's golf team. "My dad (Jim Zickler) encouraged me to double-major." Enter the Auburn University College of Business and the world of finance. Last spring, he dropped his major in Bio-Medical Science.
Now Zickler the Finance major, will not be working with hospitals or medicine. Instead, he has a future as an investment banker.
Zickler has been offered and accepted a job as a corporate and investment banking analyst with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey in Nashville and will begin his assignment there in June. Zickler will be working with senior bankers to compete capital raising and corporate advisory transactions by performing company and industry research, building and analyzing financial models and preparing client presentations. His assignment with the middle market group serves clients with revenues between $100 million and $5 billion.
"I researched different careers and decided the investment banking was where I wanted to get into," Zickler said. "I will be able to work with larger financial clients."
Zickler credits the staff within the Finance Department, primarily department chair Lee Colquitt for helping him land this important job.
"Formerly, investment banks didn't recruit here," he explained. "But SunTrust came in here recently. Some of the faculty made relationships with the recruiters and my résumé happened to stick."
Colquitt has every reason to believe Zickler will succeed in the business world.
"David was an outstanding student, demonstrated leadership on campus, and did more to network and survey the landscape of employment opportunities than any student I’ve ever known," Colquitt noted. "David was very well prepared for the job search and he did everything we ask of students who are approaching graduation. It’s no surprise to me that he found and landed such a great opportunity. He is very deserving."
Zickler also credited the Finance Department's curriculum for preparing him for the job interview.
"They (SunTrust) asked me three or four technical questions and if not for my accounting classes, I would not have been able to answer them. I would tell other students in my position to learn the material and your grade is important, but learning the material is most important because it will help during your interviews."
On the golf course, Zickler considers himself to be somewhat of a "plotter." "I try to hit it into places on the golf course that give me the best chance," said Zickler, who first started playing golf with a set of plastic clubs when he was 2 years old. "I hit it short, but I'm in 80 percent of the fairways. Golf has taught me to stay patient and stick to the plan. Stuff doesn't happen overnight."