Jordan Alexiev, '03 Thrives in Investment Management
Fidelity Investments Analyst Jordan Alexiev, ’03, says the Carroll School taught him how to see the big picture
October 27, 2011
Jordan Alexiev, ’03 is a Tactical Asset Allocation Analyst in the Global Asset Allocation Division of Fidelity Investments which manages over $300 billion in assets. Alexiev loves his job. He conducts extensive investment research, understands what drives different markets, anticipates how markets respond and makes investment recommendations to portfolio managers. He feels stimulated, rewarded and, is never bored.
But this success story didn't come easily. Alexiev grew up in Bulgaria and as an undergraduate student at the University of National and World Economy he received an academic scholarship to study in the United States. Relocating to West Virginia to study marketing and economics at West Virginia Wesleyan College was a "big change," he says. But, as he quickly assimilated to the United States and progressed with his double degrees in marketing and economics (all fully paid for by the university), he knew his next goal was pursuing his MBA degree.
Why he chose the Carroll School
Several things attracted Alexiev to the Carroll School of Management at Boston College: its strong finance focus, high rankings and well-published faculty. He also liked the global focus of the program and that the Carroll School was based in Boston, "a global financial hub offering great internship opportunities in investment management."
Once selected, he enrolled in the MBA and a Masters in Finance dual-degree program, which allowed him to complete both degrees within two years. He secured a full, merit-based scholarship and started the program hoping to enter the investment management industry upon graduation. “At the Carroll School, I knew this goal was attainable," he says.
What he liked best
Alexiev’s favorite course was Curriculum in Investment Research and Management (CIRM), a three-course sequence offering tons of hands-on investment experience. Through this course, Alexiev won a mandate to manage $250,000 for the Boston College Endowment Fund and outperformed the benchmark by over 400 basis points (bps) within three months. "This experience was amazing,” he says.
He enjoyed learning from Prof. Peter Wilson, Joseph L. Sweeney Chair of Accounting at Boston College, and felt Wilson offered an excellent, extremely deep overview of the accounting industry. Alexiev also speaks fondly of associate professor Jun Quian whose courses help students understand corporate finance theory through rigorous case studies, Alexiev says.
How career services helped
Alexiev feels indebted to the Carroll School’s career services, who helped him secure his summer internship at Fidelity Management & Research Company and later helped him wade through the copious paperwork (required from all international candidates) for his academic year internship.
The career services staff ask Carroll School students to take charge and responsibility for their own careers and Alexiev found this sentiment very enlightening. “But career services also work hard to help students achieve their goals,” he says. For instance, by changing one course in his final year to a directed research study, Alexiev not only secured a job offer upon graduation, he had a paper published in the Journal for Alternative Investments.
How he uses the skills he learned today
Upon graduation, Alexiev rose quickly at State Street Associates, a financial services provider. Within four years, he progressed from research intern to a vice president and head of Currency Research. This year, he returned to Fidelity Investments as an analyst. He says the biggest take away from the Carroll School is learning to see the big picture and how to connect ideas in a lateral way.
Additionally, by being given so many different projects and so many activities — more than one can possibly handle — students learn to prioritize and only pursue the things that matter the most. "At the Carroll School, you relinquish striving to be a perfectionist. It's quite counterintuitive at first, but this is essential for successful investment management. In my field you must be selective with where you direct your attention to make the most of the opportunities that come around,” he says. “This message is all built into the program, and that, along with the superb faculty, is what makes the Carroll School so excellent.”