A recent book called Range: Why Generalists in a Specialized World by David Epstein re-opens an argument on whether it is better to be a specialist or a generalist. Is it good to just focus on one subject to the exclusion of anything else? Is it okay to be a person that knows about many things but can still have a good career? Like most things, there are good things about being a generalist or a specialist.
The career of Max Salk, a landscape photographer and an investment analyst in New York, backs the argument that a generalist can be successful in this world.
Who is this generalist called Max Salk? Salk is an undergraduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He studied finance and history. His interest in financial markets started at college and it is where he eventually invested in stocks in his spare time.
Salk was not just interested in financial affairs in college. In the junior year of college, he went to study in Rotterdam, Netherlands. When he was walking around the harbor on a foggy morning with his camera, he took one of his first photos and fell in love with the art of photography. This photo is actually on his website at maxsalkphotography.com..
After graduating from college, he became part of PPM America, a Chicago investment management firm. He loved working at this firm. It quenched his financial thirst for making investing recommendations and researching financial and capital markets. He then Blackstone where he still works today. Even thought he is a Vice President at this company, he still continues to take photos of landscapes on his travels and they can be found on Instagram.
Max Salk is considered to be a good financial analyst as well as a good landscape photographer. Salk makes a good argument for a generalist who has still been successful in life.