Val Carlotti is far from your average Wall Street banker. 

In an industry traditionally dominated by white men, he made his way to the top to become senior partner at Goldman Sachs and head of human capital management for the investment banking and merchant banking divisions.

He is also the Vice President and Trustee of the Boy’s Club of New York and was an advisor and benefactor to ballerina Misty Copeland, who made history as the first African American female principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre.

At the third annual All Star Code fundraiser at a sprawling estate in East Hampton, the Wall Street executive gave his advice to high school students in front of an audience of over 400. 

In Carlotti’s mind, it was all about the 3 C’s: Competence, Confidence, and Character.

“If you can nail those three things, it’s hard to figure out what you’re not going to be successful at,” he said.  

  • Competence, said Carlotti, is the clear ability to perform effectively.
  • Confidence, is the self assuredness that comes from knowing that you have what it takes.
  • And character is being true to yourself and understanding yourself, which in part comes from the competence and the confidence that you gain. 

Carlotti counts his high school, Bronx Science, as among the most intellectually challenging experiences of his educational career and an experience that prepared him for Yale and Harvard Business School. 

He attributes his current success to his parents, who are always in his head. “I was blessed with the mindset they gave me,” he said. “It’s amazing the kind of expectations you set for yourself when people talk to you in a certain way.”

Carlotti pioneered the first All Star Code summer immersion program at Goldman Sachs after he met All Star Code founder Christina Lewis Halpern and personally connected with the program.

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