David L.

New York City

I was home from college for Spring Break contemplating what to do for a summer job.

Prior to then, I’d been a waiter at a couple local restaurants and had worked at a car wash for a few years in high school. Sure I’d done well academically, but to say I was inexperienced professionally was an understatement.

My parents were loving and supportive, but they didn’t have the professional connections I now enjoy.

Mom and I were “surfing” the Internet (the old dial up screeching kind…) and she asked: “why don’t you email a lawyer at a big law firm and ask for an internship?”

I said: “no WAY mom. I can’t just email.”

“Why not?”


She had a point.

So I visited the website of the one Big Law firm I knew in Houston and looked at the pictures of the lawyers. The second guy looked nice, so I decided he was the one.

I wrote an email mentioning I was interested in law, had good grades and asked whether his firm ever had interns.

I felt foolish and expected never to hear back.

But the next day he wrote saying they had an internship program and was I interested?

Mom was right. Again :-)

That internship changed my life.

I went downtown to the big office building and learned how to be a professional. To show up on time, act the part, do good work.

That experience paved the way the next summer’s investment banking internship, which led to NYC and a successful career on Wall Street.

I guess I had a “summer up”; when a famous lawyer took a chance on me and changed my life.

Since then I’ve had other folks take chances on me: my first job in investment banking. My first job on the buyside. My first startup experience…

As I think about it: life has been a continuous series of “Year’s Up” and I’m forever grateful to those who have helped me along the way.

And that’s one reason I always reply to email :-)

See More #MyYearUp Stories

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