Less than two months after Greg Beaton ’13 started working as an analyst at Credit Suisse in 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. The company’s collapse illustrated the gravity and scope of the financial crisis, and Beaton, then a recent graduate of Duke University, watched from a front-row seat as the crisis unfolded. “The experience made me realize how important it is to have professional credibility,” says the New York City native, who was assisting with third-party fundraising for private equity at the time.
At Credit Suisse, Beaton worked closely with attorneys who impressed him with their thorough, nuanced understanding of transactions. He quickly recognized the synergy between business and law, and enrolled at Columbia Law School less than two
This past summer, Beaton ventured into government service as an intern at the Securities and Exchange Commission. The position provided an immersive, behind-the-scenes look at the SEC’s New York regional enforcement office. “The majority of what the SEC does is not what you read about in the papers,” he explains. “There’s a lot of fraud that goes on, from small-time fraud to complicated stock price–fixing. Securities law is fascinating, and I’ve learned a lot in a small amount of time.”
An avid Mets and Jets fan, Beaton also previously served as an intern at Sports Illustrated. The future corporate lawyer asserts that his work as a journalist—even if it was writing about home runs and touchdowns—will come in handy down the line. “Both journalism and law are inherently professions that lend themselves to curious people,” says Beaton. “And writing on deadline is great training for legal work.”