Ken freeman rutgers

Ken freeman rutgers DEFAULT

Ken Freeman understands how Wall Street works. From its powerful allure and its intensity, to the skills and connections it requires of young people with ambitions of working there.

AtRutgers Business School, he demonstrated his drive, graduating with a 4.0 grade point average as afinancemajor. For inspiration, he kept a collection of famous quotes taped to the ceiling over his bed so they were the last words he saw every night. When he graduated, he wasn’t disappointed: He went to work at Deutsche Bank as an investment banking analyst.

"I just wanted to get out there and get a job and make money," said Freeman, who graduated in 2003 and now draws on his Wall Street experienceto prepare Rutgers students for jobsin the world’s largest investment firms.

Freeman spent nearly three years working as an associate at Value Architects Asset Management after Deutsche Bank. He decided to leave Wall Street in 2011 after the 2008 financial crisis "dried up business" and began exploring different options, including life as a consultant and an entrepreneur. He became a real estate broker, acquired a laundromat and contemplated opening a gym.

Freeman has a philosophy that he lives by: Take every opportunity that’s offered to you. So when his former finance professor Ben Sopranzetti called and asked if he could teach financial modeling, his reply was immediate: Of course, he could.

His first job at Rutgers Business School was teaching financial modeling to MBA students. He also teaches corporate finance to undergraduate business students. And last year, he took on the responsibility of teaching a mandatory financial modeling course for students in three-year-oldRoad to Wall Street Program.

With Road to Wall Street, the idea was to supplement the mentoring, the mock interviews and career guidance the program offers with practical training that would equip students with skills as well as polish. "They’re learning the exact same skill set that’s being taught to analysts," Freeman said.


Rutgers program gives students glimpse of Wall Street

Rutgers’ Road to Wall Street program gives rising sophomores an opportunity to give students a chance to experience the world of Wall Street as well as a glimpse into some of the most elite positions in financing, said Kenneth Freeman, an adjunct professor in the Department of Finance and director of the Road to Wall Street program at Rutgers Business School.

“I like to call it, 'The Navy Seals of Financing' — that's who we are looking to train,” Freeman said. “Ultimately, the purpose of this course is to prepare these students for interviews as well as their future jobs, giving them the tools to navigate and get their hands on these jobs.”

The program is in its third year as a class for students. Prior to that it was a mentorship program where students would be paired up with an alumnus, Freeman said. The class currently contains 55 students, who regularly visit different firms on Wall Street. 

Recently, the class visited Jefferies Group LLC, an independent investment bank located on Wall Street. An alumnus of the program is the managing director of equity research at Jefferies who showed the students the different branches of the bank, Freeman said.

Freeman said he began his career on Wall Street in investment banking for Deutsche Bank. He noticed that Ivy League connections on Wall Street were very strong, as many high-profile positions were connected to elite schools such as Brown University or Harvard University. 

When Freeman began to work as a professor, he set out to turn the program into a real system that would connect students with other Rutgers graduates that work on Wall Street.

“I knew there were many Rutgers people on Wall Street, but there was no real connections or network put together for us. It was very fragmented,” Freeman said. “With this program, we are really able to create a wider and much more personal connection between all Rutgers people to help them further their careers.”

The program is also working to raise an endowment of $10 million, with a goal to sustain the program forever, Freeman said. The endowment will provide students with resources and research that will give students the ability to excel in the field as a student, and will ultimately help the program expand and establish a group of Rutgers students and alumni on Wall Street. The program is currently getting its funding from the business school, which is temporary.

Sapan Shah, a Rutgers Business School junior, is in the Road to Wall Street program. He said that the biggest takeaway from doing the program is getting the mentality and work ethic that is demanded from an employee on Wall Street.

“The thing that people always say about Rutgers students is that they have grit,” Shah said. “So this program allows us to really get in the field and do what we’ve always wanted to do. For students who don’t attend very elite Ivy League schools, this doesn’t happen much.”

The program has been expanding, Shah said. In the future, he hopes to be able to reach out to Rutgers students the same way the current alumni are doing now. 

“Having these mentors around, you always have someone to reach out to and having that support from people that want you to succeed the way they have is a really great thing to have with you,” Shah said.

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Kenneth Freeman

KENNETH W. FREEMAN, Dean Emeritus and Professor of the Practice

Ken joined Boston University as the Allen Questrom Professor and Dean of Boston University Questrom School of Business in 2010 after almost forty years in industry, and served in that capacity for eight years.

Serving more than 3,800 students and 50,000 alumni, under Ken’s leadership the Questrom School of Business pursued the vision of “Creating Value for the World.” The School transformed its undergraduate and MBA curricula, with a focus on ethics and global citizenship, and sectors that are dramatically impacting the world economy – health and life sciences, digital technology, sustainability and social enterprise. The largest gift in the history of Boston University at the time led to renaming the School as the Questrom School of Business. In addition, Ken initiated the first ever comprehensive global conversation about the future of business education between academia and industry in 2014, and co-authored “Reimagining Business Education: Insights and Actions from the Business Education Jam,” published in 2016.

Ken began his career at Corning Incorporated in 1972, progressing through the financial function before leading several businesses. He joined Corning Clinical Laboratories in 1995, and the company was spun off from Corning as Quest Diagnostics Incorporated soon thereafter. He led the dramatic turnaround of Quest Diagnostics as chairman and chief executive officer through 2004. Exceptional value was created for shareholders by executing a dramatic financial turnaround, establishing industry leadership, demonstrating effective growth through acquisition, and driving organic growth. Quest Diagnostics provided the third highest five-year shareholder returns among the Fortune 500 (1999-2003) and in 2004, Ken was named to the Business Week 50. Market capitalization increased from approximately $350 million at the time of the spin-off to more than $9 billion.

A study of global business leadership conducted at INSEAD and published in the January 2010 and 2013 issues of the Harvard Business Review named Ken one of the 100 best performing CEOs in the world.

Ken joined Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), in 2005 and served as a managing director and partner until his appointment as Dean at Boston University. From 2010 through 2013, he was a senior advisor to KKR, serving on the firm’s portfolio management committee.

Ken is chairman of the board of Laureate Education (NASDAQ: LAUR), and a director of the Center for Higher Ambition Leadership. He previously served on the boards of the Graduate Management Admission Council (chairman), HCA, Lake Region Medical (chairman), Masonite (chairman), TRW (lead director), Dow Corning Corporation, Ciba-Corning Corporation, Fleet Bank of New York and the Corning Incorporated Foundation.

Ken is a former member of the Healthcare Leadership Council, and the American Clinical Laboratory Association (chairman). He is the former chairman of The ARTS of the Southern Finger Lakes and the Corning Philharmonic Society, and a former trustee of Elmira College and the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City

Ken received an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School in 1976, and a BSBA, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Bucknell University in 1972. Ken was a trustee of Bucknell University for seventeen years, serving as Chair of the Board from 2009 through 2018.

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