Congratulations Richard DeDios!

Jeffery Keys
Edited by Phoebe Wagoner
February 02, 2024

Richard always knew he would go to college—the only question was what he would pursue. Richard’s parents, both immigrants from the Philippines, imbued in him a sense of the importance of higher education: “I remember in middle school [my parents] always reminded me once a week: ‘finish your four years at college.’” Richard’s mother dropped out in middle school and his father only finished high school. Richard says that he didn’t feel burdened with pressure or obligation; like his older sister who attended community college, he simply grew up in an environment that encouraged him to envision attending college.

Richard was inspired to pursue a degree in business by his older cousin, who was also studying it and who recommended it to Richard. With assistance from his F&C student advisor Amy, Richard chose to attend Pace University, a smaller school, to emulate the atmosphere of his tight-knit high school environment. Pace itself is located in close proximity to the Financial District, which proved to be a boon to Richard’s newfound academic interest in business. He also nurtured this interest in business by joining Pace’s Finance Club in his sophomore year. In addition to organizing formative field trips in which members visited actual firms, the Finance Club hosted a stock pitch competition that spanned each semester. “At the beginning of every semester, we would create our own fund and see who would have the most returns at the end,” explained Richard.

Richard’s participation in the Finance Club club also assisted him further narrow his academic pursuits and decide to pursue finance. Before joining the club and knowing only that he would be studying business in general, Richard applied to a wide array of different business internships and spoke to many different potential employers. “I didn’t know exactly which area of the business field that I wanted to pursue,” Richard recalled, “until I was speaking with all these people—that’s when I narrowed down my search. I said: "Okay, I should be more so going into finance rather than accounting or consulting.” Having developed a plan, Richard applied to finance jobs and eventually was successful securing internship opportunities.

One such application led Richard to secure his current position. He saw a LinkedIn post about an opening in Bloomberg, so he sent the potential employer his resume, a work sample, and an invitation to write back. While he wasn’t accepted to the position he applied for—the employer noted that he was looking for a candidate more experienced than the young up-and-comer—his email was forwarded to HR, who found him a role in Equity and Research following consumer companies like Lululemon, Nike, Foot Locker, Adidas, etc.

Since Richard mentioned so many sneaker companies, I asked him if he was a sneakerhead. He responded with a grin and said that he was, though he was most into the hobby in middle school and had since taken a step back. However, his hobby has proved beneficial in his professional career; being the only sneakerhead on his team, Richard revealed that “Whenever I see that Nike or Adidas releases a new set of shoes, I tell them what the consumer is sensing towards these shoes.”

“I saw how each different society values different things and so I [connected it back] to the summer course where [Montás] said that each society has their own set of rules.”

Richard has also connected his work in finance back to some of the concepts he learned at F&C. While recounting his F&C experience, Richard specifically praised Professor Montás’ mentorship. One particular point that stuck with Richard was the idea that society conditions a citizen’s subconscious, which leads them to follow the society’s rules and expectations without second thought. Through Richard’s internships and experiences in his current job, he has been asked to consider a global perspective on finance. He strives to understand how individual countries cultivate personal rules and conventions for their citizens, which leads to vastly different societal value assignments. Richard noted this dynamic as one of the key ways F&C has continued to influence him: “I saw how each different society values different things and so I [connected it back] to the summer course where [Professor Montás] said that each society has their own set of rules.” In his closing thoughts, Richard smiled and reflected on how the coursework, the people around him, and the opportunity to explore Columbia’s campus made for “a really fun summer. I’m really glad that I participated in the program.”

As for advice to graduating F&C seniors, Richard encouraged students to not stress too much about the college process. “Everything will work out towards the end. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture; realize that this is only a small step towards your big journey,” he said.

Congratulations, Richard, on completing your undergraduate studies and good luck in your career in finance!

"Take a step back and look at the bigger picture; realize that this is only a small step towards your big journey."

Richard with his friends