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Forging Your Own Path

Category: Grad News
Class Years:

This episode features a conversation with Frank Finelli ’79, Managing Director of the Carlyle Group.

This episode features an interview with Frank Finelli, Managing Director of the Carlyle Group in Washington D.C., where he focuses on investments in the defense and aerospace sector. Frank graduated from West Point in 1979 and retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was also a Field Artillery Master Gunner and served in the 82d Airborne, 1st Armored, and 3d Infantry Divisions.

On this episode, Frank shares a wealth of valuable insights on how to break into private equity, maintain relationships within your network, and think strategically about your career after the military.

Episode Timestamps

(01:59) Frank’s reason to join the military
(03:50) Post West Point
(04:59) Frank’s time at MIT
(09:09) The serendipity of Frank’s decisions
(13:45) Joining the Carlyle Group
(15:46) The Sitrep
(18:00) How Carlyle thinks about the new innovations in the aerospace/defense industry
(20:30) How Frank maintains his network
(21:55) Setting up a career after serving in the military
(24:30) How Frank mentors people
(26:15) SOP—Standard Operating Procedure
(29:20) How to break into private equity

“The key to success is how do you pick the 10 or 15 or 20 things to be the right things. You’re not going to get them all right. But if you waste your time on the wrong things, that don’t make any difference, you’re not going to succeed. And so I really encourage people to be thoughtful about how you spend your time, because you’re going to realize that time becomes your most critical resource.”

—Frank Finelli ’79

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The WPAOG Podcast is a strategic initiative focused on tailored audible communications to further inform Graduates on current AOG projects, events, and USMA updates. This customized content is mainly for USMA Alumni and the West Point Community solely produced by the West Point Association of Graduates. The Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Audible, YouTube Music, and iHeartRadio.

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