Steve at home in his office/music room with his seven-month-old daughter.
ACG Member Since: 2020
Probably David Gilmour of Pink Floyd because I enjoy playing guitar and he’s one of the all-time greats who’s still alive and playing shows. My grandfather was a professional pianist and my uncle owned a large recording studio in Cleveland, so music runs in my family. However, I’m much more of a "weekend warrior" and play guitar mostly to unwind. It would be fun to experience what it’s like to play music in front of large crowds for a living along with David’s talent and deep knowledge of music theory.
Feeling pressure about "predestined" timetables and career paths. I finished undergrad in December (off-cycle) and coming out of the Great Recession, so it wasn’t the best time to get into investment banking. I remember feeling like I’d missed my chance and wouldn’t have the opportunity to break-in when I didn’t get an IB offer by graduation, but that was short-lived. Within six months of graduating, I received calls back from several IB firms as the M&A market thawed and I accepted an offer shortly thereafter.
Similarly, my transition to (and progression in) private equity has been somewhat atypical. I wasn’t on a two-year IB Analyst contract and was working with a great team, so I wasn’t looking for something new 12-18 months into my Analyst stint like many of my peers. Near the start of my third year, I received a call from a recruiter and was open-minded about starting a career in private equity. It’s been nearly seven years since I joined PNC Erieview as an Associate and I’ve been promoted several times since then, most recently to Director. A large portion of my friends and colleagues in the industry didn’t follow the traditional undergrad > two years IB Analyst > two years PE Associate > MBA track, so I would tell my younger self to chill out a bit.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Before college, I spent most of my childhood playing football and competing in different grappling sports and martial arts before hitting the pause button in college to focus on my studies. That pause ended up lasting nearly a decade, but I picked up Brazilian jiu-jitsu a few years ago after settling into my current job. It’s tremendously challenging and fun, but it’s been an adjustment to start over in a new sport, especially after such a long hiatus.
My headphones or a great stereo system in the car. Rather than listening to podcasts or audiobooks, I’m usually listening to music and trying to figure out the guitar parts by ear when I have spare time.
The transition to work-from-home during COVID offered both unique opportunities and challenges for me because I have a young German shepherd that loves to bark at all of the Amazon and UPS trucks, and I also have a seven-month-old daughter at home. While it’s been amazing being home this long with our first child, there’s a lot of noise at our house that makes Zoom meetings and conference calls interesting. I converted the room where I keep my guitar gear to my office because it’s soundproofed and has a lot of natural light, but it still felt more like a makeshift recording studio than an office at first. I purchased a larger desk, put on a fresh coat of paint, and set up my monitors to feel like my work office so that I can stay focused and remain productive while I’m working from home. Modest tune-ups in your surroundings can make a big difference.