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My Story: From Big Banking To Stanford

Peter Nurnberg - Stanford-PoetsAndQuants

Peter Nurnberg is the quintessential quant who lives and breathes finance. A double-major undergrad who studied economics and mathematics, Peter started his finance career by working for Goldman Sachs’ investment banking division in New York City after graduating from Williams College. He worked on deals across many industry verticals, including specialty finance, asset management, and finance technology. After two years, he made his way to San Francisco to work with TPG Capital’s private equity team.

There, he studied everything about investments, from cradle-to-grave. He learned the ins-and-outs of business deals by facilitating TPG’s buyout funds and managing a portfolio of mature businesses. “My whole life, even as a kid, I always wanted to know how everything worked and it was the same here,” Nurnberg noted. “I learned how business deals and industries worked and how teams got their jobs done.”

After two years with TPG, Peter arrived at Stanford GSB where he has continued to soak up more financial knowledge and grow as a leader. He is the co-president of the Finance and Investment club; the graduate student representative on the Stanford University Board of Trustees Finance Committee; a teaching assistant for the Corporate Financial Modeling class; the assistant to the professor for the Value Investing course; a Siebel Scholar; a Global Study trip leader; and an Impact Labs Associate in the Non-Profit Board Fellows program. That extraordinary track record of success in the most highly selective MBA program in the country is why Peter was among Poets&Quants’ Top 50 graduates in the Class of 2015.

After graduation, the 28-year-old Nurnberg will return to TPG’s Private Equity team to work as a vice president.

My Story

I knew I wanted to go to business school when I saw how my colleagues with MBAs tackled complex business problems. My long-term professional goal is to become a great investor who is able to add value to businesses as an active shareholder. I chose Stanford because I thought the GSB would push me to develop new skills outside of my comfort zone, particularly leadership development and entrepreneurial skills.

One of my roles is serving as the co-president of the Finance and Investment Club. We do a bunch of things for people who are passionate about finance. We organized a few treks to San Francisco, New York City, and Omaha to meet with great investors and financiers. We also brought some of these people to campus for brown bag lunches to speak about how they evaluate investment opportunities. One interesting investor to visit us was Ayman Hindy, who worked as an analyst for the colossal hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management, which infamously collapsed in the late 1990s. He gave us insight about the specific obstacles that the firm ran into and how they got passed them. We learned just as much, if not more, from speakers’ failures as successes.

We also run sessions for people who want to learn financial modeling, practice stock pitches, and prepare for hedge fund interviews. These are hard skills that students can directly utilize to take the next step in their careers.

I was excited to learn how a big institutional organization worked so I became the graduate student representative on the Finance Committee of the Stanford University Board of Trustees. Seeing how decisions for a huge university budget were made was an incredible learning opportunity.