Using Poli Sci to Kickstart a Career in Finance –  Peter Espy ’00

Using Poli Sci to Kickstart a Career in Finance – Peter Espy ’00

Interviewed by Sophia Gourley ’19

SG: What have you been up to since leaving Trinity?

PE: Where to start? How about the beginning?  So, I was one of those fortunate seniors who had a job lined-up prior to graduating.  Thanks in no small part to my summer internships, which I’ll come back to, I landed a position with Credit Suisse in their investment banking division.  I spent the next 16 years at the firm working across a variety of industries, products, functions, and roles, the last of which was as the Chief of Staff to the CEO of the firm’s U.S. Operations.  After 4 years in that role, I knew it was time for something new, so I left Credit Suisse to found Event Driven, a business development and events consultancy.  It was awesome!  Any given week might start in mid-town (NYC) advising a top-3 global asset manager and end on Miami Beach overlooking the VIP section at an EDM festival.  Then I turned 40-something (he chuckles).  So, after making sure that all my staffers found new opportunities, I wound down operations and once again set my sights on something new.  It wasn’t long before I landed at Oliver Wyman, a leading global management consulting firm, where once again I’ve found myself in a Chief of Staff role, responsible for the firm’s Technology and Financial Services practices.

SG: That’s awesome! Now since this we’ve titled this “Using Poli-Sci to kickstart a career in Finance,” can you tell me a bit about how your studies at Trinity contributed to your career?

PE: Of course!  As I mentioned, my summer internships played a key role in my landing my fist job.  And one of those internships included time working in the New York City Counsel and later in the Office of the Mayor – neither of which would have been attainable without my budding Political Science credentials.  Once at Credit Suisse, and particularly in my role as Chief of Staff, I spent a great deal of time working on regulatory affairs and public policy initiatives.  Again, without a strong foundation in Poli-Sci, I’m not sure if I’d have been the right man for the job.  And now at Oliver Wyman, arguably the world’s leading Risk and Reg Affairs consultancy, I know my Trinity education will come in handy!

SG: That sounds really cool. One of the reasons students pick political science as a major seems to be because alumni go on to do such a wide range of things. It just goes to show you can do a lot with that degree.

PE: No question. For me it was the catalyst to a job in finance, but for others it has served as the springboard into wide variety of career paths.  In my class alone, I have seen poli-sci majors venture into careers in computer science, insurance, energy, wealth management, and law – ok that last one makes a lot of sense, but you get the idea.

At a minimum, it helps those lucky enough to study it to become better informed, and often more engaged, citizens.

SG: Do you have any interests or passions outside of work, or is there anything that you’re involved in that you’d like to share?

PE: Trinity College of course. While I have already completed tours on the college’s Alumni Association and Board of Trustees, I’m always looking for other ways to stay connected. Currently that’s as a Class Agent, but I hope to add student mentorship and career advisory to the list very soon. Outside of that, I try to never miss a good concert or music festival.