Interviewed by: Sophia Gourley ’19
SG: My first question is what have you done since graduating from Trinity?
JL: When I graduated from Trinity, I had a job in banking. I was in an executive training program at a bank called American Security and Trust which was the second largest bank in Washington DC. After I finished the program, I had various assignments but I wanted to get into the commercial credit department. I was able to do that by taking some courses. I became a commercial credit analyst. Next I transitioned to another bank in town called First American and was head of their commercial credit department. I was going to night school for pretty much all this time and was able to finish my law degree. I was offered an associate position at a law firm, which is where I am today, still practicing law.
SG: Sounds like you’ve accomplished a lot since graduating! You talked about writing and public speaking. Is there anything specifically that you learned at Trinity that you think would help you in your career besides those two things?
JL: My years at Trinity were formative ones, because you are on your own on campus. And you have to make a lot of decisions. I took courses and then tried to decide where I wanted to focus. When I first started, I played three sports: soccer, ice hockey, and tennis. I quickly learned that that was too much for me, and I dropped soccer and ice hockey. I stayed with tennis, though, which was a great experience for me. I had the challenges of the academics, and tennis provided the balance physically and I enjoyed the social aspect. I took advantage of the semester abroad through IES, Institute of European Studies. The experience matured me and helped me learn about other countries and culture. I enjoyed that exposure, and the knowledge I gained helped me make my decisions and plot my course.
SG: Did you feel prepared for graduate school coming out of Trinity?
JL: No, and the reason was that Trinity didn’t have any business courses when I was a student. During the summer of my junior year, I had a job as a bank teller and was advised to take business courses. I took a course at University of Hartford in accounting and that helped get me ready. Back then, there weren’t many business-type courses offered on campus. I was a double major in political science and psychology. Going to Vienna was fantastic because it was a center for those fields at the time. When I started on my business, I went to night school for the specific courses I needed.
SG: It sounds like you made the most of it even though there weren’t specific business related courses.
JL: I wouldn’t change it. You might say that I took the long way around but that’s OK. After Trinity, I took a few courses at a community college, which turned into a second undergraduate degree in finance. Then I went to graduate school and got my MBA. Along the way I took a writing course and a speed reading course and a resume writing course. I even took some automobile mechanics courses. I felt lucky to be at a place that offered all these things. It was all so interesting and had a great balance for all my interests.
Additional note: John liked the tax work that he was doing at his law firm so much that he went back to law school at night and obtained an LLM in taxation.