Our coaching team has a wealth of experience and were chosen for their passion for advising and mentoring young professionals
Coaching sessions will be conducted via Skype
Please send questions to any of the coaches through email@example.com to ensure the optimal fit with your
choice of coach
“Do. Or do not. There is no try."
Steven Gee, CFA
Steven Gee has extensive experience with global financial markets in various trading, structuring, and distribution positions. He began his career at Salomon Brothers in the Asset-Liability Management Group and later moved into originating, structuring and distributing private placements and loan products. Mr. Gee’s worked with clients to structure and trade structured interest rate derivative products and structured notes at Sanwa Financial Products. His buy-side experience at Ambac (a leading reinsurance company) involved managing a structured arbitrage portfolio of $5 billion synthetic CDO positions, equity and senior tranches and single name CDS contracts. Mr. Gee managed the Credit Derivatives Sales Team at Citigroup and was also the Credit Derivatives Product Manager. At the start of the financial crisis, he moved to Barclays to focus on their structured portfolio, generating over $5mm in profit on the single largest portfolio of credit default swaps, index and bespoke correlation tranches. Mr. Gee later moved to Societe Generale and worked on a variety of structured credit products in cash and derivative products.
Mr. Gee is a graduate of Columbia College, Columbia University with a BA in Economics and The Wharton School of
Business at the University of Pennsylvania with an MBA in Finance/Strategic Planning. He has actively recruited students from both his undergraduate and graduate schools for the various institutions he worked for. Together with his wife (a graduate of The Wharton School, Undergraduate Division) and his two daughters (both undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania), Mr. Gee remains an active member of the UPenn family.
Hardy Hodges, Ph. D
Hardy Hodges has had multiple careers and excelled at the skills needed to succeed in both the academic and commercial worlds. After graduating with a BS in Physics from Florida State University, he obtained his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Chicago and then accepted a prestigious Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard. Dr. Hodges authored over 20 scientific papers, many still cited today, and was selected by the National Academy of Sciences to establish ties with scientists in the Soviet Union.
Dr. Hodges always had an interest in finance and decided to decline a prestigious Oppenheimer Fellowship at Los Alamos National Laboratory in favor of pursuing a career in finance. With no formal training in finance or an MBA, within several months Dr. Hodges obtained several offers on Wall Street and landed a job in equity derivatives at Goldman Sachs. He went on to work at a number of other financial institutions, including Chase, and Wells Fargo Bank, where he was Senior Vice President and started and headed the equity derivatives group. Throughout his financial career, he interviewed and recruited talent from top universities in the country at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Having a desire to establish his own business after many years in the corporate sector, Hardy created a third career in real estate, where he became a real estate broker, maintained agents and also developed and invested in real estate. He developed a business model that would enable him to travel extensively and reside where he wished, settling down in the San Francisco bay area with his family and managing his business remotely.
James Keller has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. Currently he is Chief Financial Officer of College Avenue Student Loans, a startup non-bank finance company which offer students a wider array of products on a cutting edge technological platform. Previously Jim was a Senior Managing Director in the Structured Products Group at Cantor Fitzgerald & Company, where he was responsible for secondary trading and primary origination of structured credit products including CLOs, CDOs, insurance-linked securities, credit-linked notes and synthetic ABS.
As Managing Director and Global Co-Head of UBS Investment Bank’s Global Structured Products Group, he was also co-captain of the Cornell recruiting team. Prior to UBS, Jim held various trading and syndication roles at Citi, beginning his career in Citibank treasury, where the team was responsible for funding and risk managing the bank's unsecured consumer portfolios. Throughout his career, he has interviewed hundreds of Cornellians and hired dozens for the various organizations he has worked for. Jim received a BA in Government from Cornell University and an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School.
Stephan Reckie is the Co-founder and CEO of Angelus Funding, a global network of angel investors. He serves on the board of directors of Canvasback Enterprises, Lionsharp Solutions, 30dB, Accessible Outdoors, and the Golden Rotary. Stephan is an advisor to several startups, and also is the Angel in Residence at the Rocky Mountain Innosphere. Recently he joined the Economic Development Commission of the City of Golden, Colorado, where he is actively involved in finding and attracting new companies to establish offices in Golden.
Prior to starting Angelus Funding, Stephan served in several international executive roles including: COO of DigiLink Software, a China-based embedded video solutions developer, and the Director of North American Sales at India-based Ittiam Systems. As the founding Director of EMEA Operations for Telogy Networks, his company was acquired for $457 million by Texas Instruments. Stephan has extensive experience in embedded systems design and applications, Voice and Video over IP, networking, software configuration management technologies, and cloud based development. He has been involved in Tufts Alumni interviews, local college career fair interviews, and middle school summer camp scholarships interviews. Stephan holds BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University. A second generation Russian and a true native New Yorker, he is fluent in Russian, English, Spanish, French, and Armenian.
Keeth Smart (Member of Real World Experts™ Advisory Board)
Keeth Smart is an Olympic Silver Medalist (2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, US Men’s Saber Team) and the first American to be ranked #1 in the world in fencing (2003). He is currently Vice President at Bank of America in Global Wealth & Retirement Services where he is responsible for developing and presenting recommendations to senior management and financial advisors on the creation of new tools and products. Keeth was a co-founder of the Gold Medal Network, a NYC startup that provided fitness and leadership instruction to school-aged children.
His professional career began at Verizon in the finance department, where he quickly rose to become a manager in business development. Keeth holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Finance from Columbia Business School and a BS in Finance from St. John’s University - Peter J. Tobin College of Business.
Jerome Wong (President and Founder of Real World Experts™)
Jerome Wong founded Real World Experts™ after having successful careers in finance and technology. His most recent position was as Managing Director of Credit Structuring & Advisory at BNP Paribas in NY, where he was able to successfully expand his business during the height of the financial crisis. Previously he held similar roles at Citibank, UBS and Chase Manhattan Bank working in New York, London and Hong Kong where he provided financial products and solutions for banks, insurance companies and asset management firms. Prior to graduating with an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School, he worked in the greater Boston area in engineering and technical sales positions in digital image processing, software and defense companies. He received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University.
Throughout his career he has had a keen interest in hiring and developing talent for the various institutions he has worked for, actively involved in on-campus and off-campus recruiting. His frank and pragmatic advice has helped develop the careers of many of the young graduates he has worked with across the globe. Real World Experts™ was established with the goal of creating a team of like-minded professionals with cross-disciplinary expertise to prepare students for the transition from the academic into the professional world.
Joyce Wong is an independent Business Strategist with over 25 years of global experience across multiple business disciplines. She established her consulting firm 10 years ago to assist clients with acquisitions, business integration, marketing strategy development/implementation and new product/business development (concept development, product development and product launch). Her work spans across a number of industries and brands including: Women's Health - First Response™, Answer™, Nair™; Sexual Health - Trojan™ condoms, vibrators and lubricants; Home Care - Arm & Hammer™ Cat Litter, Feline Pine™; Oral Health - Crest Spinbrush™, Arm & Hammer™, Orajel™; Laundry Care - Arm & Hammer™, Xtra™; and Personal Care - Simply Saline™.
After receiving her MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business (now the Booth School of Business), Joyce spent 10 years as a Marketing Executive in the consumer and pharmaceutical industries before starting her consulting firm. She began her professional career as a Global Financial Analyst at Lehman Brothers working in the US and London in their Capital Markets and Global Mergers & Acquisitions groups. She graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Economics.
Steve Zoeller has twenty years of experience in various sales and marketing positions at leading-edge technology companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500 firms. He began his career as an applications engineer at Analog Devices in the field of machine vision, transitioned to embedded computing at Wind River Systems and then moved into the fast growing area of embedded networking protocols at NextHop Technologies. Throughout his tenure, Steve climbed the corporate ladder while successfully navigating through corporate mergers and acquisitions, corporate downsizing and the restructuring of product lines within his organizations.
After retiring from the technology sector, Steve has spent the past 10 years leveraging his technical, sales and organizational skills to teach math and technology in both public and private high schools. He has been able to consistently increase funding for his programs despite the recent economic downturn. Steve graduated with a BS in Optics from the University of Rochester and an MS in Education from Mount Saint Mary College.
Coaching Services Available Soon
Jill K. Reckie
Jill Reckie is Director, Entrepreneurial Alliance at the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), www.ncwit.org where she coaches companies on diversifying their technical workforce to increase innovation. She serves on the Board of Advisors for Pairin, a fast-growing company offering corporations and educational institutions a Readiness Management SystemTM with data analytics that predict and develop behaviors that lead to success in life and work.
Prior to NCWIT, Jill held executive leadership roles at AT&T Bell Laboratories (also known as Avaya and Lucent Technologies). As Global Director of Technical Marketing, she traveled the world introducing emerging technologies to customers and built innovative virtual demonstration labs allowing sales teams in 90 countries to remotely access complex solutions. As Global Director of Executive Relationships, she convened CIOs from Fortune 100 customer companies to gain insights for the $4B company’s strategic direction.
Jill earned her B.A. in Management Information Systems and minor in Computer Science from Washington State University. She continues to pursue her passion and build upon her expertise for advising and consulting with executive teams in the design and execution of new ideas that disrupt the status quo.
Doug is the co-founder and partner at CueContext, a design and consultancy company helping clients implement context adaptive mobile solutions. He was previously the COO of Flybits Inc. a provider of mobile middleware. Earlier he spent 24 years with IBM, mostly as a headquarters strategy executive. Doug was the chief strategist for IBM's Social Business, Collaboration, and Smarter Workforce division and was the Director of Technical Strategy, IBM's $20 billion Software Group. His extensive roles also included IBM's chief open source officer and chairman of the board of the SyncML initiative. For 10 years he was the sponsorship executive for the ACM-ICPC (world programming championships) and was a member of its executive board.
Doug sits on the board of directors of MaRS innovation and is a member of its investment committee. He is a mentor and advisor to many startup companies and has coached and mentored many young professionals in areas including resume writing, interview skills, and career development. He has also taught courses to employees in transition for Right Management. Doug holds a Master in International Economic and Social Administration from the University of Grenoble (Pierre Mendèz) France and a BA (Honours) in Political Studies from Queen's University in Kingston Ontario, Canada.
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