Helping to Pave the Way Forward

PROVO, Utah – Oct 23, 2019 – Women are changing the face of investment banking, and BYU Marriott finance alum Estelle Ith is part of the transformation. In a field traditionally dominated by men, Ith hopes to help pave the way for gender parity.

Ith currently works for the Carlyle Group, a private-equity investment banking firm located in Washington, DC, and feels a responsibility to help increase female representation in her profession. “I have a lot of female friends who felt like a career in investment banking wasn’t an option,” says Ith. “I think it’s important for women to realize the possibilities they have.”

As a BYU Marriott finance graduate in 2015, Ith makes efforts to assist the next generation of female investment bankers as she mentors current students. Her role as a mentor includes working with students to help them create noticeable résumés and prepare them to answer tough interview questions. Ith’s personal mission is to help female finance students understand the potential they have, something she learned during her journey in finance.

From a young age, the Singapore native jumped on opportunities to enter the investment-banking world. Ith was exposed to the finance industry growing up as she learned from her father who worked in private-wealth management. In high school, her interest in finance led her to an internship at an investment-banking firm in Indonesia, an experience that solidified her desire to enter the field.

At BYU Marriott, Ith continued to set her sights on her end goal to work in investment banking, taking advantage of every chance to grow. As a freshman, she participated in the Private Equity Case Competition, a competition that gives students an opportunity to learn about the private-equity industry. “The competition helped me understand finance concepts better and gave me my first taste of financial modeling,” she says.

Later, during her freshman year, Ith traveled with students from the finance program on a networking trip to New York City. The trip included an information session with Credit Suisse, a top investment-banking firm. “I introduced myself to the recruiters after the session,” Ith recalls. “The fact that I had already done an internship in high school helped me get my foot in the door.”

After making a personal connection with Credit Suisse employees in New York City, Ith was selected to go through the interview process for the company’s internship program. She was placed in the Singapore office, where she interned for two summers after her freshman and sophomore years.

At the end of her second summer interning for Credit Suisse, Ith was put on the wait-list instead of offered a full-time job after graduation. “At the time, it felt like the biggest failure of my life,” says Ith. However, what seemed like her greatest setback turned out to be a blessing for Ith.

“Not getting the job helped me realize there is a life beyond my career,” Ith says. She decided to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in Leeds, England, for eighteen months. “My mission gave me balance and perspective,” Ith says. “That experience forced me to find value in other aspects of my life.”

When Ith returned from her mission, she still felt a strong desire to work in investment banking, but this time she had gained a new outlook. She devoted her time to meeting recruiters and networking. Ith’s hard work paid off when she was offered a full-time position at Credit Suisse in New York City.

After working for Credit Suisse for two years, Ith made the transition to private equity with the Carlyle Group. Currently, Ith is keeping her options open for the future while simultaneously carving a path for women in investment banking. Though Ith isn’t sure where she’ll end up, she is certain that women can do anything, and she won’t let any roadblock stand in her way.

BYU Marriott finance alum Estelle Ith. Photo courtesy of Estelle Ith.
BYU Marriott finance alum Estelle Ith. Photo courtesy of Estelle Ith.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Nikaela Smith