Alumni Spotlight: Kellen DiStefano, Analyst at PEI Funds
DiStefano Well-Equipped to Influence Business in NYC
NEW YORK, February 9, 2010—What does a King’s student do after graduation? Kellen DiStefano, who graduated in 2008, is equipped and beginning to influence business as an analyst for PEI Funds in New York City.
“It’s a second education I’m getting,” DiStefano said.
Working as an analyst for PEI Funds, he evaluates the private equity industry. Investing in private equity is generally high risk but has proportionally high returns. DiStefano analyzes funds and companies’ past performance, predicts future performance, and prices them accordingly. Essentially, PEI Funds buys out illiquid investments from companies and funds.
“Right now it’s huge because everyone is in a jam so they need cash and they will sell their investment at a cheap rate,” DiStefano said. “We have cash, so we're providing liquidity.”
DiStefano started at PEI Funds in June 2008 upon graduating from King’s business program. Students sometimes wonder if they will be prepared for a job after graduating from King's. In DiStefano’s experience, King’s prepared him for what he would face.
“No undergraduate education will prepare you for a specific job,” DiStefano said. Instead of trying to teach him specific job skills, King's education added to his tool belt problem-solving, equipping him with the ability to critically analyze situations.
“Just like my undergrad was a tool, this is a tool to help me start my own financial firm or my own business. At some point, I would like to start something of my own.”
DiStefano’s advice to King's students? “Really take advantage of New York, use the city to build your network because there are opportunities available. People love ambition, they love people who are driven and outgoing." DiStefano also recommended traveling between graduation and that first job because there is no rush to start working right away and education through travel is valuable.
“I feel like I’m doing the same thing someone who is thirty is doing—I’m twenty-three.”
Contributed by Deborah Francisco. Originally published in King's student newspaper.
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