Offseason Opportunities: Noah Karras

No. 5, Noah Karras, Intern for Chicago CRED

A junior from Lake Forest, Illinois, Noah Karras is hard at work in Chicago this summer.

“This summer, I’m working as an Intern for Chicago CRED. CRED is an acronym for ‘creating real economic destiny.’ It was started by Arne Duncan as an organization to combat the staggering gun violence going on in the city of Chicago, funded by the philanthropic organization Emerson Collective in California, begun by Lauren Powell Jobs, Steve Job’s widow.

Chicago CRED is currently working with After School Matters, a non-profit organization that provides life-changing after-school and summer program opportunities to more than 15,000 Chicago high school teens each year. There is a program in place which I’m a part of called Peacemakers, designed to teach teens how to promote peace in their community. Peacemakers is led by both instructors and interns like myself, and helps participants learn a basic set of teammate and communication skills, to better achieve their goals of peace.”

So why did the guard choose CRED?
“I really love being able to work with these teens, not just mentoring them in a specific topic, but also hopefully having a positive impact on their lives as a whole. I also deeply care about the city of Chicago and the people that live in it, so this is a perfect way to try and give back to both.”
But Karras is also committed to staying in shape this offseason.
“On top of working with CRED, I also lifeguard on the weekends. I’m the head lifeguard at the pool I work at, so I’m counted on being in top condition. This, along with playing in a men’s summer basketball league, is helping me physically prepare for next season. The league also allows me to play against college guys, ultimately letting me keep up with the pace and level of competition we will be facing in 2017-18.”

Offseason Opportunities: Jake Fenlon

No.14, Jake Fenlon, Investment Banking Summer Analyst at Credit Suisse

A senior from Rochester, New York, Jake Fenlon is making things happen back home this summer.

“This summer I’m working at Credit Suisse in New York, as an Investment Banking Summer Analyst in the Mergers & Acquisitions group. Here, we essentially help our clients either sell their business or buy another one. When it comes to my day-to-day work, this consists of financial modeling, putting together presentation materials for potential buyers of our clients’ businesses, and various other tasks that assist the M&A process.”

So how did the guard land at Credit Suisse?

“I spent my summers after freshman and sophomore years interning at different finance-related firms. My goal was to learn about different aspects of the industry and gain experience that would help qualify me for whatever it was that I wanted to pursue after college. Ultimately, I’ve decided on investment banking because I believe being an analyst at an investment bank is a great opportunity to both learn a lot, and build a solid foundational skill set out of undergrad. Over the last several weeks I’ve learned so much and thus far, my internship experience has confirmed that I do want to pursue this upon graduation.”

And what does he like best there?

“I love working hard and being challenged, which I think makes me a good fit for banking. I’m constantly learning new things on the job and very rarely get bored. It’s an exciting, fast-paced work place, and I’ve really enjoyed it so far.”
Fenlon certainly credits his time at UChicago for helping him gain such great opportunities.

“Investment banking is a pretty competitive industry to break into, as there are more qualified applicants than there are positions available… but attending a school like UChicago exponentially increases one’s chances of landing such an opportunity. Firms love recruiting undergrads at UChicago because they know that we have experienced a rigorous academic curriculum and we are comfortable being challenged. Being a student-athlete in particular, I am comfortable being constantly busy and having very little free time to myself, which is what the lifestyle is in this field.

At this point in my life, I could not be more thankful to my 17-year-old self for deciding to attend UChicago. It has contributed both directly and indirectly to many of the opportunities that I’ve been fortunate enough to take advantage of, over the last few years.”

The fourth-year is also making sure to stay in shape this summer.
“Although being an Investment Banking Summer Analyst has kept me extremely busy, I have also done my best to keep up with my strength and conditioning regiment. This includes focusing on both cardio and lifting. Additionally, I try to hoop a couple of times a week, to keep developing my skill-set on the court. The good news is, my internship actually ends six weeks before the start of fall quarter, so I’ll be able to completely zero-in on preparing for the upcoming season then.”

Offseason Opportunities: Ryan Shearmire

No. 30, Ryan Shearmire, Investment Banking Analyst at Lazard

A senior from West Linn, Oregon, Ryan Shearmire is spending his offseason in Chicago.

“This summer, I’m working at Lazard as an Investment Banking Summer Analyst. My main responsibility is to assist the team with mergers and acquisitions transactions.

Last summer I worked in investment banking and I enjoyed my first taste of the business, so I knew I wanted to work in the industry again this time around. Throughout the recruitment process, I was impressed by the people I spoke with at Lazard and felt that this would be a good place for me to learn and grow, moving forward.”

So what has been the forward’s favorite part of this opportunity so far?

“I’ve really enjoyed the everyday challenge that the position itself entails… however, my favorite part of the job is learning every day from the Lazard team. I have an enormous amount to soak in, but I feel that I’ve started off on the right foot with the help of my co-workers taking an interest in my development.”

And how does Shearmire think his time at UChicago has helped him prepare for the role?

“Being a student-athlete at UChicago has given me vital skills in time management and discipline, as well as continuing to learn to put the team and your teammates above yourself. In addition, the overall environment of being around the people at the university, has been crucial in broadening my world view, and I have learned so much from my fellow students and teammates.”

The fourth year has also made preparing for the 2017-18 season a priority this summer.

“My teammates and I have made it a priority to continue to get better throughout the summer, so that we can hit the ground running when we get back to campus in the fall. We couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming season and people will see that our work during the offseason has paid huge dividends.”

Offseason Opportunities: Max Jacobs

No. 12, Max Jacobs, Summer Intern at Ariel Investments

A junior from Short Hills, New Jersey, Max Jacobs is spending his summer here in Chicago.

“This summer, I’m working as an intern at Ariel Investments, an investment management firm in downtown Chicago. Having worked last year at an education non-profit in Newark, NJ, I really wanted to use this summer to get my feet wet in finance to test out if I would like it or not.

What I specifically love about Ariel is that while the they have been extremely successful in their niche of small/mid cap value approach to investing, the company has never lost sight of its civic and social responsibility in giving back to the City of Chicago. What I also found particularly interesting is that Ariel has major ties to the I Have a Dream Foundation, the education non-profit I worked for last summer.”

So how did the guard find this opportunity?

“Fortunately, through a UChicago basketball connection, I was able to secure the internship in early spring.”

And what has been Jacobs’ favorite part of the job thus far?

“Although I’m only a couple weeks in, my favorite part of the job has definitely been the exposure to senior members of the Ariel team. Whether it has been sitting in on an investment committee meeting with CEO John Rogers or getting taken out to lunch by an associate, Ariel’s culture highly stresses its older employees to take the time to teach and mentor the interns. This is something that I am extremely thankful for.”

The incoming third year is also making sure to keep in basketball shape during the offseason.

“I have been really dedicated to staying in shape and working on my shot this offseason. Although I’m working Monday-Friday, I typically rush out of the office to the nearby gym during lunch breaks to lift. And after work, I usually head to Ratner to shoot on the shooting machine. Also, I’m in a summer league team in the northern suburbs with Jordan Baum, Justin Jackson and Noah Karras.”

Offseason Opportunities: Sam Sustacek

No. 33, Sam Sustacek, Finance Intern at THOR Companies

A sophomore out of Plymouth, Minnesota, Sam Sustacek is taking on the finance industry this offseason.

Sustacek credits the university for preparing him for the opportunity.

2017 Offseason Opportunities: Ryan Jacobsen

The University of Chicago men’s basketball team may be in the middle of their offseason, but that does not mean the guys are not still hard at work. Keep on reading for more information on what the Maroons are up to this summer…

No. 45, Ryan Jacobsen, Summer Analyst at Torreya Partners

A junior from St. Paul, Minnesota, Ryan Jacobsen is working in Manhattan this summer.

“This summer, I’m working as an Investment Banking Summer Analyst at Torreya Partners in Manhattan, New York. Although every day is different depending what projects/deals are going on, a lot of my job is about gathering information on companies and completed deals in the Life Science space. I then put together case profiles by doing some basic valuation work.”

So how did he attain this opportunity?

“I knew I wanted to do Investment Banking and be in NYC, so I pulled a list of about 100 banks in the Manhattan area and emailed someone at each one, asking if they had any internship opportunities. I first tried to reach out to UChicago alumni, and went from there. I got a lot of replies from bankers who said “call back next summer for an internship after junior year,” but I stayed with it, and was lucky enough to land a pretty solid gig.”

What does Jacobsen love most about the job?

“My favorite part of the job so far has been learning more about the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. I still can’t pronounce most of the drug names I see, but it’s really interesting work. We also are going to the Sundance Resort in Utah for a company retreat in July, which is pretty cool to experience as an intern.”

Like a lot of Maroons, the forward feels as though the UChicago network greatly benefitted him in securing his internship.

“Just having the name “University of Chicago” on your resume helps a lot. Being at the No. 3 school in the nation definitely has its benefits if you choose to take advantage of them. Our basketball program also strongly stresses the importance of an internship, and has helped us all find great ones. Over the past two years I was constantly given advice on how to approach the process and what I needed to do to get the opportunities I wanted, which helped a lot.”

And as for staying in shape over the summer?

“I joined the new Lifetime Fitness in Manhattan and go there almost every day after work. They have a summer basketball league as well, so I play in a few organized pickup games on a weekly basis too.”

Senior Sendoff: Waller Perez

We’ve got our last sendoff, on deck. Let us see what Waller Perez has learned over his four years at UChicago.

Waller Perez, No. 10, Forward

What has been the best part about being a member of the Maroons?
The best part of being a member of the University of Chicago men’s basketball team has been the relationships that I was fortunate enough to develop over the years. In addition, I enjoyed being able to visit the extraordinary locations we traveled to.
What about of being a UChicago student?
I enjoyed the intellectual discourse that I would have with my friends because I believe it has helped me grow as an individual. In addition, I was exposed to people from different parts of the world which I found to be one of my favorite parts of being a UChicago student.
Of all the time you’ve spent playing over the last four years, what is your favorite on-court memory?
There are many. However, one of my favorite on-court memories was when Jake Fenlon poster-dunked an opponent. In addition, I enjoyed beating WashU who was ranked No.1 in the country my sophomore year.
And how about when it comes to off-the-court, with teammates?
Off-the-court, I enjoyed traveling to Australia and New Zealand. That was my absolute favorite experience with my teammates.
Is there a certain matchup you’ve always looked forward to?
I have always looked forward to playing against WashU, Emory, and Carnegie. To me, they were the most physical teams we competed against.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve gotten, during your time as a Maroon?
I was once told by a mentor that work ethic always catches up to you. I have been a huge believer of that ever since.
What words of wisdom do you have for the teammates you’re leaving behind?
Always cherish your time as a UChicago Maroon, because time does go by faster than you think.
What will you miss most about UChicago, as a whole?
I will certainly miss being able to see my friends on the daily. I will also miss the Summer Breeze concerts that I have attended in the past years.
Looking back, is there anything you’d do differently here?
Nothing. My college experience was full of learning lessons and I would not exchange my experiences for other ones.

Senior Sendoff: Blaine Crawford

Another sendoff is here. This time Blaine Crawford takes a stroll down memory lane.

Blaine Crawford, No. 44, Forward

Senior Sendoff: Tyler Howard

Today, it is time for Tyler Howard to do a little reflecting on the last four years…

Tyler Howard, No. 11, Guard


What has been the best part about being a member of the Maroons?

Making lifelong friendships with such an amazing group of guys, and being able to travel the country (and world) with them. We had some unbelievable experiences together, that I will remember for the rest of my life.

What about of being a UChicago student?

The most rewarding aspect about being a student at UChicago is the exposure to so many brilliant people from around the world, and listening to their unique perspectives and beliefs. The discussions with my peers and faculty members have been instrumental to my growth as a person over the last four years.

Of all the time you’ve spent playing over the last four years, what is your favorite on-court memory?

My favorite on-court memory is actually a game I didn’t play in, when sophomore Noah Karras broke the school record and made 11 three’s against Case at home! It was amazing to see him step up and put the team on his back. Every time he shot a three, the entire gym thought it was going in, and it was awesome celebrating with the guys on the bench after each one.

And how about when it comes to off-the-court, with teammates?

I would say the entire Australia/New Zealand trip was the best two weeks of my life. My favorite memories from that trip always started when the song ‘Energy’ by Drake came on… it always put us in the right mindset to keep our energy up throughout the trip, even if we were exhausted!

Is there a certain matchup you’ve always looked forward to?

When I was a freshman, I loved being on WashU’s scout team because their offense was a blast and I always had the green light to shoot! Throughout my career, my favorite in-practice matchup has been with my arch-nemesis: Alex Goose Gustafson. We always matched up when we played one-on-one, and during shooting drills we kept track of our made shots to make it a competition. Even with one leg, Goose always gave me a run for my money! I also can’t forget to mention the rivalry I had my senior year with freshman Cole Schmitz. Cole was much more skilled and physically gifted than I was, so whenever we matched up, I used my veteran instinct and mental edge to gain the advantage… I’m excited to see if he uses any of the moves I taught him next season!

What is the best piece of advice you’ve gotten, during your time as a Maroon?

There are so many incredible words of wisdom passed down from alums over the years, but I think the one that will stick with me the most is something my good friend Adam Butterfield once told me: “call everyone’s bluff.”

What words of wisdom do you have for the teammates you’re leaving behind?

Enjoy every moment with your teammates!

What will you miss most about UChicago, as a whole?

I’ll miss seeing my teammates and friends everyday, and having the freedom to decide what I do with my schedule.

Looking back, is there anything you’d do differently here?

I wouldn’t change a thing!

Any last words?

I can’t thank my parents and family enough for all their support throughout my basketball career, and my time as student. Without them, there is no way I would be where I am today.

Senior Sendoff: Alex Gustafson

As the 2016-17 seniors get ready to graduate, they take a minute to reflect back on their four years as a University of Chicago Maroon. First up? Alex Gustafson.

Alex Gustafson, No. 20, Guard

What has been the best part about being a member of the Maroons?

Definitely the lifelong friendships I’ve made with guys on the team over my entire four years. I can’t imagine being closer with such a large group of guys, and I’m extremely lucky and thankful to call them my best friends.

What about of being a UChicago student?

The learning that has taken place outside of the classroom. I’ve met such a wide variety of people who constantly push me in new ways I had never explored before coming here, and that’s been really interesting and fulfilling over the years.

Of all the time you’ve spent playing over the last four years, what is your favorite on-court memory?

One particular moment that stands out to me was my freshman year, when senior Charlie Hughes physically couldn’t help himself from throwing his hands in the air when he was getting yelled at for something trivial. So we all had to run down and back…twice. Also up there is every Goose-cut Eric Robinson and I connected on, over the years.

And how about when it comes to off-the-court, with teammates?

There are too many to choose from for this one, but if I had to narrow it down I would say our trip to New Zealand and Australia.

Is there a certain matchup you’ve always looked forward to?

I always loved watching our team try to hold the other team’s best player to below his average. That was usually pretty entertaining.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve gotten, during your time as a Maroon?

While a lot of wisdom has been bestowed upon us by alums, what sticks out most comes from 2014 graduate Derrick Davis who constantly told me, “Never speculate – it can only lead to disappointment.”

What words of wisdom do you have for the teammates you’re leaving behind?

Try to not only push through, but also enjoy the tough days of Maroons basketball. In whatever you’re doing, try to make as many memories as possible with your teammates.

What will you miss most about UChicago, as a whole?

I’ll miss all of the spontaneity that comes with being in college, and with respect to UChicago specifically, I’ll miss the plethora of interesting people I would interact with on a day-to-day basis. This school fosters a unique environment that can’t be emulated in the real world, and I’ll likely miss that the most.

Looking back, is there anything you’d do differently here?

I wish I had gotten more plugged into the non-athletic community at UChicago. It was easy to fall into a rut of hanging out with mostly athletes, given that we spent so much time at Ratner. But I wish I had made more of an effort to get to know a more diverse group of people.

Any last words?

Just one last thank you to my family for all of their love and support over the years! Roll Roons!