Livingstone’s Employee Spotlights are our way of highlighting some of the incredibly talented individuals we have from offices all over the globe. Michael Karalinski started his career at Livingstone in 2021 as an Analyst and was promoted to Associate in July 2023 because of his hard work, drive, and impeccable attention to detail. Read the Q&A below to learn about how he first discovered Livingstone and what he considers a successful deal.
How did you get your start at Livingstone?
My journey to Livingstone began in my final year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). I was actively exploring investment banking and asset management opportunities on our college’s job posting board when I encountered a post by Livingstone Partners for an Investment Banking Analyst role.
Initially, I didn’t plan on studying finance. When I enrolled in UIUC, I was largely undecided about my future career path. My high school years were filled with a keen interest in physics and engineering. Still, my admission into UIUC’s undeclared program allowed me to take the time I needed to contemplate my professional direction carefully.
I applied to Livingstone’s job posting, taking the approach of “let’s give this a shot”. My interest in the role deepened as I progressed through the interview process, culminating in a virtual Super Day (the final round of interviews in the investment banking recruiting process) due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. I was struck by the genuine interest each interviewer displayed in me, not only as a potential employee but also as an individual. This experience left an indelible impression on me, further cementing my desire to be a part of Livingstone.
“What made this journey manageable and enjoyable was the unwavering support I received from my colleagues. From fellow analysts to partners, everyone was sincerely invested in my growth, always ready to lend a helping hand and guide me along the right path.”
How has Livingstone impacted your career? What challenges have you met?
Livingstone was my first job in finance, so everything I experienced and did after joining was a “first-time” thing. Admittedly, it sometimes felt overwhelming, akin to trying to drink from a firehose. What made this journey manageable and enjoyable was the unwavering support I received from my colleagues. From fellow analysts to partners, everyone was sincerely invested in my growth, always ready to lend a helping hand and guide me along the right path.
Livingstone provided an incredible learning experience by involving me in live deals. This hands-on approach is incomparable when it comes to training and practice. While there’s certainly value in gaining knowledge from finance books and practice models, the real-world exposure at Livingstone offered a rich learning environment that accelerated my growth and development in ways traditional education couldn’t.
What expectations has Livingstone lived up to? What is the most enjoyable part about working at Livingstone?
During my Super Day, as I talked with several senior bankers at Livingstone, one aspect that resonated deeply with me was their professional growth within the firm. Many had commenced their journey as associates or vice presidents, and their ascension through the ranks was a testament to the rewards of producing top-quality work. Once I joined Livingstone, this culture of recognizing and rewarding outstanding performance became abundantly clear. It serves as a significant motivation for me to deliver my best work consistently.
Another expectation that Livingstone has seamlessly fulfilled is the opportunity to operate as a generalist. Having the chance to work on deals across many sectors ensures that my role remains intriguing and intellectually stimulating.
What do you consider to be a successful deal and why?
A successful deal is achieved when all parties involved share genuine joy and optimism about the future. We strive to complete a transaction that not only meets financial objectives but also paves the way for continued growth and collaboration.
What is your most memorable moment working at Livingstone?
My journey with Livingstone has had numerous unforgettable moments over the past two years. However, if I had to single out one, it would undoubtedly be the closing of my first deal. The culmination of months of persistent effort into a successful outcome was incredibly fulfilling and memorable. It was a tangible affirmation that hard work does indeed pay off.
Each deal closure carries its unique sense of accomplishment and joy. These milestones aren’t just transactional successes; they also represent a growing compilation of cherished memories in my professional journey. This anticipation of creating more of these memories fuels my drive and commitment.
“Joining Livingstone was one of the best career decisions I’ve made. It has offered me personal and professional growth opportunities I would not have found elsewhere. Livingstone is the perfect choice if you’re ready to push your boundaries and grow in a supportive and dynamic environment.”
What is the most memorable deal(s) you’ve worked on?
The sale of CSLC, a comprehensive cosmetic medical practice, remains etched in my memory as one of the most impactful deals I’ve worked on. What set this transaction apart was the great outcome we achieved for our client and the unique opportunity I had to steer certain day-to-day aspects of the deal.
The opportunity to take the helm of specific aspects of the transaction allowed me to contribute significantly while also learning from the challenges that such complex transactions often entail. It’s these kinds of hands-on experiences that make my work at Livingstone not just memorable but truly rewarding.
Share any advice you have to someone considering joining Livingstone
For anyone considering a career at Livingstone, my advice would be to seize the opportunity with both hands. Livingstone offers a rewarding environment that values hard work and high-quality performance, consistently recognizing and rewarding your efforts.
One aspect of working at Livingstone that I greatly appreciate is the culture of collaboration. Being part of this company has introduced me to an incredible network of talented, passionate, and driven individuals. Their collective wisdom and support have enriched my professional journey immeasurably.
Joining Livingstone was one of the best career decisions I’ve made. It has offered me personal and professional growth opportunities I would not have found elsewhere. Livingstone is perfect if you’re ready to push your boundaries and grow in a supportive and dynamic environment.
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- Michael Karalinski
Associate Chicago"Joining Livingstone was one of the best career decisions I’ve made. It has offered me personal and professional growth opportunities I would not have found elsewhere. Livingstone is the perfect choice if you’re ready to push your boundaries and grow in a supportive and dynamic environment."