A native of Bulgaria, Jordan Alexiev earned a dual MBA/MSF from Boston College in 2003. Here, he talks about how his BC experience set him up for a successful career as a senior analyst in asset allocation research for Fidelity Investments.
What brought you to Boston College?
I came to the United States from Bulgaria to finish my undergraduate degree in West Virginia. I wanted to pursue a graduate degree and career in finance, and BC has a strong footing in that field. The University’s location was a big competitive advantage as well, because the city of Boston offers so many opportunities for internships and work.
What made the Carroll School a great place for you?
The main thing is that I got very rigorous academic training in the field I wanted to pursue. The knowledge I gained was very thorough; the CFA exam was very easy for me, because I already knew the material quite well.
I also appreciated the small classes and the strong sense of community. My professors were very wiling to help me make connections, so I had quite a few informational interviews with alumni. Everyone was very wiling to take time to share insights with me. I also was able to form deep lasting relationship with classmates.
How did the curriculum at BC prepare you to succeed?
One of the most important things that helped me with my career was the Curriculum for Investment Research & Management, a series of three classes taught by a practicing portfolio manager. During the first semester we learned about different ways to approach investing. In the second semester we worked in teams to create our own investment strategies and competed for the opportunity to invest a quarter-million dollars of Boston College’s endowment. My team won, so in the third semester, we actually ran the money. That was an important milestone for me, and it led to an opportunity to do a summer internship at Fidelity Investments, doing macroeconomic analysis.
What other opportunities did you have?
The opportunity to define my own agenda was transformational. I was able to take the classes I wanted to take—for both the MBA program and the MSF—and I had the flexibility to do internships throughout the year. As I was doing my internship with State Street, for example, I was also doing a directed research study with a professor, writing a paper that was published in an academic journal. Typically students don’t get to do that kind of thing while they’re in school, unless they’re pursuing a Ph.D.
How did BC help you in your job search?
I graduated from BC right after the dot-com crisis, when companies were particularly reluctant to hire international candidates. But my advisors at the Career Strategies office helped me develop a list of companies to target in my job search. I found a position at State Street and worked there for eight or nine years, then went back to Fidelity to work for the same person who supervised my internship all those years ago. We had stayed in touch over the years, and when my interests shifted, I ended up back there. I’ve been at Fidelity now for three and a half years, working on global macroeconomic research.
What is your role at Fidelity?
My job is to figure out how different economies interact and investigate the implications for the portfolio managers. It’s about trying to figure out how the world works and how everything connects across markets. It’s a never-ending challenge—and a dynamic and intellectually stimulating job.