Some people wait well into their careers for their “aha” moment. Joseph Ferreri already had his — and he’s only a junior.
The epiphany came while Ferreri, a pre-junior Business Administration major with concentrations in Finance and International Business, was four months into his first co-op with BlackRock, working for the firm’s Global Trade Operations team in Wilmington, DE. There had been an issue with a trade not settling. Ferreri had been on the phone with the counterparty trying to solve the problem. He was speaking with a co-worker, following up to see what had happened. Nothing extraordinary. Just doing his job. And then it came.
“You have it,” his colleague said. “People come and go. But you, you want it more than anyone I have ever seen.”
“You have it.” That was all Ferreri needed.
“At that moment in time, I knew I was on the right track,” Ferreri says. “The worlds were finally colliding; all the work I had been doing had actually been realized. I knew that if I stayed focused and relentlessly steered in the right direction I would have a bright future and I believe it.”
Ferreri doesn’t just want to make his career. He wants to make a difference. And he’s well on his way. He’s a member of Phi Eta Sigma, the Merit-based Collegiate National Honors Society, the Drexel Finance and Investment Group, Drexel Economics Society, and an alum of LeBow’s Business Learning Community. He is also a former Peer Leader and UNIV101 Teaching Assistant.
There is also the summer he spent in Italy and Austria teaching English to children. Or his current stint as an special assistant to Patricia Connolly and Tamika Washington of Drexel LeBow’s Center for Corporate Governance, where Ferreri receives what he calls “extreme exposure” to board members, CEOs and top leadership from large public companies.
He also plans to study abroad again next fall at the Aston School of Business in Birmingham, U.K — where the goal is to “travel outside my comfort zone and challenge myself academically and culturally.”
Ferreri has cultivated a particularly evolved philosophy for a 20 year-old; a personal call-to-action that proves Drexel’s emphasis on global perspective is more than market-speak; it’s living and breathing in Ferreri.
“I believe expanding my global outlook is key to my future career success,” he says.
Soon, Ferreri will begin his second co-op with Susquehanna International Group in New York City, just steps away from Wall Street. Perhaps he’ll have another “aha” moment. Regardless, he’ll be moving forward with his eyes evenly set on personal development and philanthropy.
“My ultimate career goal is to position myself in a setting in which I am able to positively impact others on a regular basis,” Ferreri says. “Whether that be financial advising, serving on a public board, or owning my own business — I need to know that I am directly improving lives.”
A Source of Inspiration
Ferreri’s grandfather lived with his family for the majority of the budding finance guru’s childhood — and he made a lasting impression.
“He was a man of immense integrity, a man who kept his word,” says Ferreri. “As a man who lived through the great depression and WWII, he knew the value of a dollar and what hard work meant. I ultimately learned that your attitude and view on life meant everything.”
Ferreri admits that he is a devout fan of Saturday Night Live, Shake Shack ‘Shroom Burgers and long-distance endurance runs.
What LeBow Says
Even this guy’s guilty pleasures are grown up.