The Entrepreneurial Spirit

Posted on February 29, 2012


A law degree does not confine an attorney to the courtroom any more than a business degree keeps its proud owner from becoming an artist, but the Juris Doctor enhances a career in business, and the Bachelor or Master of Business Administration can improve the artist’s bottom line. It takes someone with an entrepreneurial spirit to deviate from the set path a certain degree implies, and such initiative often leads to exponential success. Charlie Ditkoff graduated magna cum laude from Brown University and earned a Juris Doctor at Yale Law School. Today, he serves as Vice Chairman of Corporate and Investment Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and leads the company’s Global Healthcare Group.

Beginning his career as a corporate securities attorney at law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York, Charlie Ditkoff built on the financial background he gained over his five-year tenure at the practice and took the leap into finance. For the next two years, he acted as Vice President of Credit Suisse First Boston. Subsequently, Mr. Ditkoff landed in the Corporate Finance Group at Morgan Stanley, where he focused on healthcare. Next, he leveraged the expertise gained in healthcare banking to join Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he could now combine his training and knowledge in the law, finance, and healthcare.

As shown by the way Charlie Ditkoff followed career opportunities as they arose, a graduate degree does not lash one to a career forever. Plenty of doctors and lawyers have decided to change course. Attorneys have become physicians and vice versa, and social workers have gone into teaching. Increasingly, corporate executives have entered new careers as small business owners, as educators, or even as football coaches. The trick is to recognize opportunities for advancement, no matter where they arise, and develop the leadership skills to propel you forward, as Mr. Ditkoff so artfully accomplished.

Posted in: Entrepreneurs