Sam is a full time MBA candidate graduating in May. He is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and has lived in Washington, D.C. and Newport Beach, CA before coming to Stern. Hobbies include golf, tennis, traveling, and poker. He is passionate about all things finance, holds a CFA charter, and garnered more than 2 million page views as a writer for Seeking Alpha (prior to graduating college). He is focused on using his skills to help make the world a better place.
“Everyone knows that Sam is one of the smartest students in class, but his niceness and generosity make him stand out in a class crowded with amazing people. He is quick-witted and undeniably funny, but most importantly, Sam always brings out the best in me. Grab a drink with Sam (the first one’s on him I’m told) and be glad that you did!”
“Sam is one of the people who I’ve spent the most time with at Stern. He’s ambitious, intelligent, and a true friend. While he doesn’t brag about it, Sam is an avid golfer, savvy poker player, and world traveler. He’s the type of friend who we enjoy grabbing a beer with after a long day or going to dinner parties on weekends. Sam’s resolute to his passions and loyal to his peers. You may not know it, but he’s even won a national case competition at school (ask him about it!).”
“Sam’s commitment to the MBA experience is indicative of his character. He’s fun-loving and always up for a vacation (we met in Turks & Caicos), golf tournament, happy hour, and more! On top of that, Sam is thoughtful and looks out for those around him.”
Sam! How are you? What made you want to be a Stern Single?
I am good. There are a few reasons. Firstly, someone has nominated me, so I hope they come forward! Second, I have been so impressed with all the work done by The Oppy in general and on other Stern Singles. Third, there are so many eligible singles at Stern across the different programs MBA1s, MBA2s, Langone, 1 year specialized MBAs. So I think Stern Singles is a great way to promote dating cross-pollination across programs. Fourth, I am a little tired of sorting through the barrage of dating app matches and messages so it would be fun to meet someone a different way.
That may be the BEST response I have ever gotten to that question. Flattery will get you everywhere at The Oppy. And cross-pollination?! That is an incredible description of Stern Singles. I wonder if we can copyright that into a slogan. Anyway, you have come to the right place. All MBA students from the different programs are about to learn so much more about you! What is your background and what did you do prior to coming to Stern?
I am originally from Pittsburgh, PA.
I have always been passionate about finance and started writing for Seeking Alpha and founded an investment fund during high school. For undergrad, I went to George Washington in DC and studied finance and international business. While there, I studied abroad in Paris and interned at the Department of the Treasury. After that I went to work in asset management for PIMCO in their Newport Beach, CA headquarters before coming to Stern.
Most of us in high school were trying to figure out how to talk to boys or girls (or both!) and here you are starting an investment fund as a teenager. You sound very passionate about finance. Do you know what you want to do next?
After graduation, I will be working in investment banking doing restructuring, but my long-term plan is to run my own firm on Wall Street. After that I’d consider public service roles such as becoming a member of Congress or other senior government role such as Secretary of the Treasury or a Fed governor.
So low-hanging fruit jobs? What three words best describe you?
Ambitious, compassionate, intellectual
What have been some of the best parts of the B-school experience so far?
The trips and getting to meet and become friends with so many amazing people at Stern!
Amen to that. Go on.
Turks & Caicos, the Hamptons bankers trip, the Breckenridge Ski Trip. This is actually where we first met! We were seated in the same row on the flight but you were sleeping the entire trip. I didn’t know you were on the trip until we were waiting for the bus. Remember that?
OMG Sam, I am dying. I do remember that! You looked too professional to be an MBA student, and I was feeling antisocial. Let’s just say I was, um, tired at the time. Have you gone anywhere since that epic Breck trip?
Most recently I did the Spain DBi and the Senior Trip to Aruba, which were both so fun!
My Aruba invite got lost in the mail. Any non travel highlights?
All the events put together by the amazing organizers we have here at Stern! Playing in the recent Gotham Cup event, the numerous beer blasts, and the Yankee game as a part of senior week just to name a few. Being part of the Stern team which ended up winning the inaugural national TMA (Turnaround Management Association) case competition was also a highlight.
I love me a good humblebrag. Obviously, you are so much more than an MBA student. What are some of your favorite pastimes?
I enjoy playing golf and tennis, traveling, reading, movies, dining out at nice restaurants, and anything to do with history, finance, or investing.
Such adult answers. No wonder I didn’t think you were an MBA on our JetBlue flight. Give us a random fact about yourself?
I know the stock tickers for a lot of public companies. While at my old job, two of the senior people on my team made a wager on how many of the S&P 500 companies I could name if given the stock tickers. Turns out, I was able to name over 350 of them.
Please hold as I Google “stock ticker.”
WOAH! That is an insane ability. Ok, time for a deep question. How do you want to make the world a better place?
Initially, I want to make the world a better place by putting my financial creativity skills to use to help companies in need of financial restructuring. Major restructurings often involve companies with thousands of employees globally so the difference between a successful restructuring and a liquidation event can be quite substantial in terms of the economic impact. Later on, I would like to build a company that disrupts the financial services industry to make it work better for the average person. After that, I would look to make the world a better place by starting an NGO or seeking public office or maybe both.
Any fun plans coming up?
I am going to Vegas soon for a bachelor party and then hope to do some more traveling before starting work later this summer.
I love Vegas. Okay, let’s talk about the ladies. What are you looking for in a partner?
Someone who is smart, outgoing, compassionate, resilient, witty, likes dining out, and traveling, of course. It wouldn’t hurt if she was Jewish (but am open to and have dated all religions!)
What’s your ideal first date?
Dinner at a nice restaurant or drinks at a fun cocktail bar.
What are your biggest pet peeves?
People who take for granted how lucky we are to be here at Stern. There are A LOT of smart people in this world and a lot of people who work very hard day in and day out but will never have the opportunities we do here, so it’s important to keep in mind how fortunate we are to be here and the responsibility we have to pay it forward and make the world a better place.
Also people who ghost someone they have gone out with, especially after going out on multiple dates. No one likes ghosting! Agree?
Completely agree. Especially after multiple dates. No one wants to have that awkward conversation but it’s the right thing to do. Any deal breakers?
Someone who would not want to have kids
Any advice for the ladies who are inevitably going to slide into your DMs/email/Teams?
Don’t dither and delay because often the early bird gets the worm.
Hahaha. Amazing response. Is there a worm emoji? If so, someone should just send you that. No explanation. Like the bat signal for batman. (Editor’s Note: There is a worm emoji 🪱)
We know I love my rapid fire questions. Give the first answer that pops to mind for these questions:
Favorite Class at Stern?
Business Law with Rich Hendler
I’m in that class now! He’s the best. Dress up or dress down?
Sleep on the right side or left side of the bed?
Are you more analytical or creative?
Coffee or tea?
Sweet or salty?
You should have said both for that one too! Organized to the smallest detail or “controlled” chaos?
Minimalist or hoarder?
Sunrise or sunset?
Agreed. It’s too early to be sipping a martini while watching the sunrise. Music or quiet?
Sam Pollack, ladies. The man that is so well dressed that you may not infer that he is an MBA student, who is a finance connoisseur (at least in the eyes of someone who has to Google the NPV calculation each time), and an avid traveler. Find him on Instagram or LinkedIn. Or better yet, just email him.