2021 Best & Brightest Business Major: Andrew Fedun, Lehigh University

Andrew Fedun

Lehigh University College of Business

I listen to Dave Chappelle just as closely as I listen to Jamie Dimon.”

Fun fact about yourself: I lived in Taiwan as a child.

Hometown: Yardley, PA

High School: Pennsbury High School

Major: Finance & Industrial Systems Engineering

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Finance 335: Financial Modeling

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Portfolio Manager, Thompson International Portfolio
  • Portfolio Manager, Dreyfus Portfolio
  • Treasurer, Lehigh Student Senate
  • Director of Finance, Lehigh Consulting Group
  • Analyst, Lehigh Enterprise Systems Center
  • Southside Cleanup
  • Resident Assistant
  • Tauck Scholar
  • Presidential Scholar

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch: Wealth Management Analyst, Summer of 2018 in Princeton, NJ
  • Daling Consulting: Project Analyst, Summer of 2019 in Shanghai, China
  • Citigroup (Citi): Investment Banking Summer Analyst – Global Power & Utilities, Summer of 2020 in New York, NY

Where will you be working after graduation? Citigroup (Citi): Investment Banking Analyst – Global Power & Utilities

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? One of the most essential lessons I learned while studying business is the value of making mistakes. Like most, I disliked making mistakes and would try to forget them as soon as possible. However, studying business showed me that embracing mistakes can be a powerful catalyst for rapid improvement. By reflecting on what caused the error, I found I could improve sooner and more permanently than if I had never made the mistake in the first place. From those class presentations I fumbled, club meetings I ran ineffectively, and professional interactions I botched, I learned first-hand the mistakes I could not afford to repeat. Seeing this value, I realized embracing mistakes also encompasses the need to stretch beyond my comfort zone and experience more of life. Doing so brought additional unique situations my way, which accelerated the pace in which I made and learned from mistakes. Ultimately, owning my mistakes turned them into assets. As Mac Miller put best: “You make your mistakes, your mistakes never make you.”

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Make the effort to find what you are truly passionate about and pursue that passion wholeheartedly. This may be common advice, but it is also commonly ignored advice as so many students are pressured to pursue prestige over passion.

I believe the very idea of a tradeoff between prestige and passion is flawed because many of the most successful people are those who followed passions that were contemporaneously unpopular. It is that passion that fuels them to transform an idea from overlooked to celebrated. For example, Ray Dalio describes in his book how he chose his first job in commodities at a time when “people from Harvard weren’t typically interested in commodities” and “most Wall Street firms didn’t even have commodity futures divisions.” Despite this, following his passion for analyzing the economy through the lens of the commodities market built the foundation for Dalio to start Bridgewater, which is now the world’s largest hedge fund. In contrast, those who put aside passion in hopes of gaining prestige or money are often unhappy and eventually burn out. College is a perfect opportunity to explore and determine what truly matters to you. Take advantage of this time so that you may spend your life doing something you genuinely care about.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I would focus less on attempting to plan out all my steps into the future. I came into school with the tendency to always be looking forward and obsessing over what the best path would be. I was so worried about making the wrong moves or missing opportunities that I was not enjoying the present as much as I should have. What took me too long to learn is that there is no “right” path, and that obsessing over one would most certainly be the wrong path. If I could do it over, I would concentrate less on planning into the future and allow myself to enjoy each step along the way. In other words, I would follow my values like a compass rather than follow a map of “right” decisions. Doing so now allows me to enjoy the journey and be content before making it to the destination.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? In my sophomore year, I was a Resident Assistant for a hall of the most unlikely combination of people I could imagine. There was such a wide array of backgrounds, interests, and personalities that I had no idea how I was going to bring everyone together. Ultimately, that diversity of interests made things more interesting – through playing basketball, competing in Mario Kart tournaments, and enjoying Stromboli nights, we became a tight-knit community with our own unique culture. It is difficult to leave home for the first time and land at college with no connections or support system to rely on. For me, it was an exceptionally gratifying experience to connect with each individual and build a community from scratch that helped foster a sense of belonging and comfort for our new residents. In the years since, I have enjoyed staying in touch and watching them go on to accomplish their goals. Celebrating their success is extremely fulfilling for me and I am proud of the small part I played in their lives.

Which classmate do you most admire? Lyle Chamberlain. Since we became friends on my very first day at Lehigh, I have always admired the way Lyle can quickly break down complex concepts, issues, or events into the most important key elements. This is a crucial skill as we become inundated with increasingly more information and are challenged with making sense of it all. Lyle has the innate ability to parse through the noise and identify where the real value is. He would challenge me when I was either overlooking something important or too focused on the inconsequential details. There are few people who possess this talent, and even fewer who would leave Alaska for the East Coast grind. Thanks for always having my back Lyle, looking forward to living it up in NYC.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? When I was 11 years old, I had saved up some money to buy an iPod. Without being too forceful, my dad suggested that I buy stocks instead. Over a decade later, this lesson in the power of compounding was two-fold. Not only did the value of that stock triple, but more importantly, that initial spark of interest in business has grown into a meaningful passion and career for me.

Beyond that one example, my dad has been a constant source of love, encouragement, and support throughout my life.  He has always been a lighthouse, shining brightly through every storm with the unwavering confidence that we will get through it together. He showed me the importance of thinking long term – and how everything else falls in line once you do so. With that long-term mindset, he sticks to his values, acts with integrity, and puts our family first over everything. This taught me that as complicated as life can be, those simple virtues will always light the way. Following his example has gotten me this far and will carry me through whatever lies ahead. Thank you, dad.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? My dream is to one day start my own company in the renewable energy space. I see the climate crisis as the most difficult problem humanity has ever faced. It will require unprecedented collaboration across international borders, unity across public and private sector, and a rapid innovation and implementation timeline. Beyond the clear needs in building renewable generation and developing electric vehicles for the masses, there are vast hidden requirements, such as grid-scale storage, IoT (Internet of Things) enabled consumers, and an overhaul of US infrastructure. With all the imperative work that needs to be accomplished, it would be incredibly rewarding for me if I could make a tangible contribution towards the clean energy transition.

I also hope to one day meet with Andre Young (Dr. Dre). When I was younger, I was inspired by the perfectionism in his work – the way he had complete mastery over the music to manifest his vision into reality. As I grew up, I came to further appreciate his ability to see the bigger picture. He was initially ridiculed for signing Eminem, but ultimately developed Eminem into one of the most successful musicians of all time. When Dr. Dre was approached to sell sneakers, he chose instead to start Beats because he saw the massive unmet needs in the headphone space. Dr. Dre developed Beats into a runaway success and later sold the company to Apple for $3 billion. His ability to work at a granular level of perfectionism while also understanding the context of the big picture is extremely inspiring. I would cherish the opportunity to meet Dr. Dre one day and learn firsthand from the man I have looked up to throughout my life.

What are your hobbies? I have always loved music and enjoy going to concerts, where I have been lucky enough to see Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, MGMT, The Districts, Dr. Dog, and Roger Waters. I also have fun working with friends to make music, doing our best with free software like Audacity and LMMS. Outside, I enjoy playing basketball whether it is a pickup game or just shooting around with a friend. Finally, I love reading, especially about other countries like Russia in Red Notice, Mexico in American Dirt, and Afghanistan in The Kite Runner.

What made Andrew such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“Andrew Fedun is a student who exemplifies Lehigh Finance. He is conscientious, analytical, articulate, and highly motivated. Despite all his significant achievements, Andrew is courteous, cheerful, and pleasant in his demeanor. He performed at a very high level in my financial modeling for investment banking course, despite being a junior in a class with senior-level students. Further, he led his team by example on the complex LBO project for the course.  It is no wonder that Andrew secured an investment banking summer internship at Citi, which he cashed into a full-time job beginning after graduation. Besides his academic pursuits, Andrew is highly engaged in many activities including being a team leader for the Thompson International Portfolio, where students invest real funds on behalf of the Lehigh University Endowment Fund.”

Nandkumar (Nandu) Nayar, Ph.D.
Professor of Finance and Hans Julius Baer Chair in International Finance
And Chair of the Perella Department of Finance
College of Business
Lehigh University


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