Adam Spahn ’93 is the Americas Buyside Sales Manager at CreditSights.

Meet Adam on IrishCompass

Can you provide a quick background of your ND experience and how that led you to your current role?
I graduated with a finance degree in 1993, and I have been working in the financial industry ever since. I have been at CreditSights for 11 years this March, and my role is to manage a sales team in the U.S. that focuses on institutional clients that invest in the corporate bond markets. We are a 20-year-old independent credit research firm.
What drew you to CreditSights?
I was a client selling corporate bonds and was very familiar with the product CreditSights was delivering. This was a great opportunity to transition from the training side of the financial industry to the financial services side. I was managing relationships I had established over the previous 20 years. I was selling a different product to get to the same marketplace.
What are the top skills your company looks for in ND applicants?
First and foremost, strong critical thinking skills. This is paramount in our industry. Second, I would say motivation and a strong work ethic. Third, I would say adaptability. Especially with COVID, things are changing rapidly, so it is certainly a challenge to communicate with colleagues, upscale, and continue to develop. So, we need people who can adapt to the changing times. 
What are some distinguishing factors of ND applicants?
I have found that there is a strong foundation with ND alumni. There is no question about academic integrity. There is a well-roundedness that comes across in interviews and interactions and (that) is probably due to the mind-body-spirit education. All ND alumni are capable. They are personable and engaging. We are still only a company of 200 people, so the expectation of candidates is that they have to contribute no matter if they are in year one or year 20. What you get from ND candidates is the ability to dive right in.
What is the value of hiring Notre Dame talent?
Aside from what I just mentioned, it’s just about determining if sales is the right role for them. If it is, then it is a pretty quick decision.
When you have posted a role on IrishCompass, were any applications received or hires made?
I started using it in 2019 and had a few applicants come through. We ramped up our efforts in 2020, received about six resumes, and made a few hires out of that pool. I would love to see more ND applicants. If someone comes in through the system and sales is not for them but they are interested in the analyst side, I can pass resumes along to the research side. We are regularly hiring onto our research team.
Do you have any advice for ND applicants applying to CreditSights?
Cover letters give me a sense of what your interests are. We see a lot of resumes, between both IrishCompass and through recruiters, so a cover letter helps us see what would be a good fit. It also provides the candidate a chance to present themselves as they want to be presented to the hiring manager.
Although I am in the financial services industry, I am not specific to finance. Do not be shy or lack confidence if you are not a business major applying to a financial services company. I rarely look at the actual major but rather at the skill set. For example, I will hire philosophy and history majors. We can always teach the product to someone, so you need the core skill set. If sales is something you want to do, we would love to see the resumes come through.

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