Omar Ascha is an emerging finance professional with an education from UC Berkley who works as a financial analyst. With experience in mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and strategic advisory, he helps his clients achieve progressive, vertical results. Omar Ascha spends time outside of work mentoring college students to help their dreams become a reality.
How did you get started in your career? What inspired you to choose this path?
After graduating from UC Berkeley I knew I wanted to be an investor, but there weren’t many opportunities out of undergraduate school to be a principal investor and so I decided to pursue what I considered to be the next best thing, investment banking. My thought process was that I would gain the core financial modeling and due diligence skills that would sharpen my financial and business acumen.
How do you make money?
From the traditional salary, I collect, but I am also exploring opportunities to invest in real estate, small businesses, and franchise concepts.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time that you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle it?
Yes, finance is known for having notoriously long hours and there are times where I worked upwards of 80+ hour a week, but I just focused on the fact that this struggle was temporary and that I would come out with more knowledge, better experience, and as a better investor.
What is the toughest decision that you’ve had to make in the last few months?
Deciding whether to transition into the industry and explore my passion for the technology sector or to remain industry agnostic in finance.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Persistence and the ability to network strongly. In college, I had decent grades but was going against incredibly qualified and smart people for internships and full-time positions and the only way I could differentiate myself was to network and continuously form connections. I reached out to over 80 alumni and finance professionals I found on LinkedIn, building my network from the ground up. This ultimately paid off and I received an offer from one of the top firms in the industry.
What has been the most satisfying moment in your career?
After working for several 80+ hours weeks on a deal, finally seeing the results of my work pay off and seeing the transaction come to fruition.
What does the future hold for you?
I am looking to develop my personal investment network and invest in the development of small businesses and hoping to grow that over time.
What are you most excited about?
Developing my own business and investments and mentoring others on their recruiting path, particularly those with a similar background to myself.
What is a recent purchase that you have made that’s helped with your career?
The Breaking into Wall Street financial modeling course was instrumental in my interview preparation over the years and is a guide that I still refer to this day to remind myself of advanced and basic financial concepts.