Meet Alum Devin Brown ’12, Private Equity Investment Professional- Kelso & Company

Name: Devin A. Brown

Class Year: 2012

Title: Private Equity Investment Professional

Organization Name: Kelso & Company

 

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail? 

At Kelso & Co, I am responsible for all aspects of deal screening/evaluation, execution, and post-transaction portfolio company management including, initial investment screening and evaluation, financial modeling and valuation, due diligence, transaction structuring, and portfolio company management.

 

2. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you? 

One of the benefits of attending Holy Cross was the diverse student body.  This allowed me to glean perspectives from students who pursued opportunities in a broad array of industries and fields.  I kept an open mind, asked questions, and once I had enough insight to develop my own perspectives, I began reaching out to Holy Cross alumni in my specific field of interest.  The key here was keeping an open mind and not being afraid to ask questions.  My first tangible experiencing was developed through an alumnus that allowed me to shadow him for a day at Morgan Stanley.  I was able to spend time observing the environment, analyzing the temperament of employees, etc. which ultimately helped me decide whether the job would be a good fit.  While I did not end up at Morgan Stanley, I did accept a similar position at Wellington Management.

 

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?  

I was a member of the Men’s Varsity Basketball Team and the Student Athletic Association.  I also participated in the Summer Business Program and Finance Boot Camp.

 

4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?

At Holy Cross, I majored in Psychology.  As an individual with a passion for building and cultivating relationships, the Psychology major was a means to enhance a natural interpersonal skill set and interest in the mind and behavior.  Despite my major, I intended to pursue a career in the financial services industry.  In order to accomplish this, I knew that demonstrating and supporting my interest in financial services would be critical.  As such, I supplemented my major with business-related courses such as Economics and Financial Accounting and business-related clubs and activities such as the Holy Cross Summer Business Program and the Finance Boot Camp.  This combination allowed me to speak to my soft and technical skill-sets, both of which are critical in the financial services industry.

 

5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?  

In Private Equity, how do you decide whether to acquire a company?  Or how much to pay?  Once you acquire the company, how do you decide whether to expand the Company’s operations into a new region?  Which region(s)? How do you decide to build a new product?  To add a new service?  To charge more or less for a product or service?  To close down a manufacturing plant?   These are types of decisions that Private Equity professionals make on a daily-basis.  To do this successfully, one must be able to think critically and analytically.  Holy Cross taught me to do both.  Holy Cross challenged me to think outside of the box, to approach topics from new angles, to venture outside of my comfort zone, and to examine the causes and effects of my actions and the actions of others. Most importantly, Holy Cross taught me to think creatively.

 

6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?

My biggest pieces of advice are to take advantage of the on-campus resources that Holy Cross has to offer, develop meaningful relationships with classmates, and engage with alumni.  Holy Cross has some of the most esteemed professors, faculty-members, and staff in their respective fields.  They are willing to go above and beyond and to provide academic support, career advice, mentorship, etc – take advantage of this.  Also, Holy Cross students are some of the brightest students in the world.  You may not know it, but you could be sitting next to the next big CEO, teacher/professor, president, professional athlete, judge, doctor, philanthropist, photographer, artist – you name it.  Use your time on campus to get to know people, especially those from different backgrounds and forge genuine relationships.  Your classmates will serve as lifelong friends and may also help your career one day.  Lastly, Holy Cross has one of the best alumni networks in the world.  It is one of the reasons many of us chose the Cross.  Alumni love hearing from students and are here to help.  Reach out as soon as you are comfortable, forge relationships, ask questions, and be genuine.

Meet Alumna Sydney Latour ’17, Analyst – Asset Owner Sales, J.P. Morgan

Name: Sydney Latour

Class Year: 2017

Title: Analyst – Asset Owner Sales

Organization Name: J.P. Morgan

 

In one sentence, what does your job entail? 

I am an analyst on the Asset Owner Sales team and support senior client executives who sell securities services to corporate and public pension funds, endowments and foundations.

 

What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?  

Events such as the Finance Intern Panel and Women in Business Conference sparked my interest in finance. I began networking with alumni during my sophomore year and continued those conversations during my first internship in financial journalism between sophomore and junior year. Following that internship, I completed an academic internship at a financial planning office and a summer internship at J.P. Morgan. My internship experience confirmed my decision to pursue a career in finance.

 

What were you involved in when you were on campus? 

 On campus, I was involved in Finance Club, study abroad and Purple Key Society. I also worked as a Peer Career Assistant in the Center for Career Development.

 

What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions? 

 I was a double major in Economics and Spanish. I knew I wanted to pursue a career that required strong analytical and communication skills.

 

What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work? 

 Time management and resourcefulness. Holy Cross taught me to balance various commitments and meet deadlines. The liberal arts education also taught me to think broadly and critically when approaching a project.

 

What advice do you have for students on campus today? 

 Leverage the resources Holy Cross offers, such as the HC Network, Career Development drop-in hours and alumni job shadowing. Reach out to alumni early to establish a professional network. Take classes that interest you and don’t forget to enjoy the fastest four years of your life!

Meet Pat Burpee ’17, Equity Sales Trader, KeyBanc Capital Markets

Name: Pat Burpee

Class Year: 2017

Title: Equity Sales Trader

Organization Name: KeyBanc Capital Markets

In one sentence, what does your job entail? 

I trade domestic stocks for hedge funds.

What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you? 

I had a few job offers throughout my senior year but none felt like the right fit, so I actually graduated unemployed. I continued interviewing around the Boston area (where I’m from) and received another offer. I was ready to accept the new proposal, but in the middle of July a HC classmate mentioned an opening within KeyBanc’s Los Angeles office. I put all my eggs in one basket and went for it. I interviewed a handful of times with KeyBanc, and accepted an offer by early September. Essentially it was the perfect storm of events and I am fortunate it all worked out. I have been with KeyBanc since October ’17.

What were you involved in when you were on campus? 

Varsity Golf & Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)

 What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions? 

Economics; I wanted to work in finance after college and figured the economics major provided the best route to ensure employment within that industry.

 What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work? 

Definitely the ability to quickly digest and discern information. HC is not an easy school and there are nights when you are overwhelmed with work. Similarly, there are times during the work day when the stock market is hectic and volatile. Being able to decide what details are important and what items are extraneous is critical when talking to clients. I guess I honed those skills with four years of practice in Dinand.

 What advice do you have for students on campus today? 

A lot of my friends graduated with job security, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t freaking out come May. If you’re one of those individuals who’s still looking for a job come the spring or summer, just know that it’ll all work out. I recommend using the HC alumni network as much as possible. I have never encountered an alum who didn’t have 5 minutes to spare for a fellow Crusader.

Meet Alum Ron Zuvich ’07, Senior Vice President at Emet Capital Management, LLC

Meet Alum Ron Zuvich ’07, Senior Vice President at Emet Capital Management, LLC

 

Name:  Ron Zuvich

Class Year: 2007

Title: Senior Vice President

Organization Name: Emet Capital Management

 

1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?

My main responsibility is to acquire distressed housing assets which qualify for tax-exempt municipal bond financing in the sectors of affordable housing, student housing, and senior housing.

 

2. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you? 

I attended several financial services networking events on campus and made a concerted effort to network with alumni in financial services. I had several family members in the financial services field and relied on their experience and guidance as well. I also attended an interviewing workshop and went on as many interviews for relevant jobs as I could.  The ability to act with confidence throughout an interview is a critical skill that does not come easy to some but can be developed with practice.

 

3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?

Spring Break entrepreneurship program (would highly recommend), club soccer, intramural basketball, working as an accounting tutor.

 

4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?

I was an Economics/Accounting major and felt it provided me with a core base of knowledge that would open up several potential paths in the world of financial services (Capital Markets, Asset Management, Investment Banking). I knew from my coursework that working for a Big 4 Accounting firm was personally not for me, so I began networking and applying to jobs primarily at major banks in Capital Markets and Investment Banking. Through some contacts developed at Citi, I obtained my first job working as a capital markets analyst for Citi in 2007.

 

5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?

Writing and critical thinking – it is not essential, in my opinion, to have a degree in Finance or a business-related major in order to procure a job in the Financial Services industry. I spend much of my time writing detailed credit memos which require performing significant research, identifying investment risks, and thinking outside the box. This is the value of a liberal arts education – always thinking of ways to challenge the status quo and adding value by bringing a fresh approach to old ideas.

 

6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?

Networking is more important than ever in today’s world – have coffee, a quick call, or lunch with alumni in the field of your choice as often as you can, even if there is no immediate job prospect from such a contact. Be active on the good forms of social media (LinkedIn) and mindful of your presence on other forms of social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.). Don’t be afraid to ask your contacts for help – most people are far more receptive than you might expect.