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When Martin Lawlor ’05 (Morristown, N.J.) graduates this spring, he’ll have two internships, two externships, and a wealth of knowledge about financial services under his belt.

Lawlor, who is working toward an A.B. degree in mathematics-economics, also has the experience of participating on the CIRCLE team, a small group of students who organize an annual series of lectures on entrepreneurship and free enterprise. Speakers present their experiences on topics such as company turnaround, business start-ups, and family-run businesses. George H. Becker Jr., a former CFO at Prudential and NYLCare Health Plans, spoke on “Anatomy of a Turnaround” in the first talk of the 2004-2005 series.

“CIRCLE gives us a chance to work as a team and have responsibility,” Lawlor says. “There are no ‘positions’ on CIRCLE; each member does his part in order to make our presentation successful.”

Last year, he took part in the Students in Free Enterprise team (SIFE), which competed with counterparts at other colleges and universities that presented their work and accomplishments in free enterprise. Lafayette’s team was awarded second runner-up in its first season at the New York regional competition.

While Lawlor’s involvement on campus is providing him with valuable networking skills, off campus experience has also come into play. He spent this summer rotating among the relationship management, investment strategy, and corporate services groups at Merrill Lynch in Manhattan.

“Since Merrill Lynch is a large company, I had exposure to many different divisions, such as global markets, investment banking, and Merrill Lynch Investment Managers,” he says. “I got to sit on trading desks and see an IPO go public.”

Dara Brown ’97, private wealth adviser at Merrill Lynch and Lawlor’s internship supervisor, says Lawlor, who spent most of his time working with the corporate services group, was eager to learn.

“He was extremely inquisitive,” she says. “He asked a lot of good questions.”

For Brown, the mentoring experience has become familiar, and she’s always prepared for her interns, issuing each a copy of The Wall Street Journal Guide to Personal Investments and giving them reading assignments.

Lawlor’s summer included a visit to Merrill Lynch’s corporate investment offices in Princeton, N.J., with a group of fellow interns, including economics and business major Alexis Anastos ’05 (Franklin Lakes, N.J.). But he says he was most fascinated by his experience on the firm’s global markets trading floor in Manhattan.

Lawlor says both Brown and Chris Allora ’97, also a member of the firm’s investment strategy team, were helpful throughout the internship.

“It’s a great atmosphere to work in,” he says. “You feel comfortable. It’s not a cutthroat environment.”

Lawlor adds that the experience helped him hone his social skills.

“I learned to interact with high-net worth people — I learned the appropriate way to behave [in that setting],” he says.

Lawlor spent the summer before his junior year interning at Allstate Insurance in Bridgewater, N.J., with financial analyst Tom Estes ’81. He also served as an extern with George Jenkins ’74 at APAX Partners, a private equity firm in Manhattan, during the January interim session of his junior year, and with Tom Orecchio ’90 at Greenbaum and Orecchio, a private wealth management firm in Old Tappan, N.J., during January of his sophomore year.

Lawlor, who is interviewing for entry-level trading positions, says he chose Lafayette because of its mathematics-economics major.

“No other school I looked at had a program like that,” he says.

A graduate of the Delbarton School in Morristown, Lawlor spent three weeks during summer 2003 studying in Eastern Europe. On campus, he’s a member of the Investment Club and the Zeta Psi fraternity and an associate representative to Student Government.

Categorized in: Academic News