Aldo J. Schenone
Columbia Business School
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Former competitive soccer player, current immigrant and investor driven by his passion for life.
Hometown: Lima, Peru
Fun Fact About Yourself: My knowledge of international soccer allows me to make friends anywhere I go in the world – soccer is a universal language!
Undergraduate School and Major: Bentley University, Economics-Finance and Global Studies (B.S.)
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
Ocean Lawn Enterprises – Single Family Office (investment associate, 2011-2015)
UBS Private Wealth Management (wealth strategy associate, 2015-2017)
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment has two fronts. On the pure professional front, I have been able to outperform my benchmarks at the two places I worked at while reducing costs. At the family office, I managed a multi-million-dollar master limited partnership (MLP) portfolio since 2012 and it outperformed the Alerian MLP Index in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The best part is that it was built in-house, with no mutual funds or ETF’s, originating fee savings of more than $1 million per year. At UBS, I created customized stock lists for clients because of fee pressure in the industry. This move allowed us to deliver outperformance while generating savings of more than $3.5 million in fees for clients.
On the personal front, I reorganized the investment teams at the two places I have worked at, putting to work the teamwork skills I learned from my soccer years. I assigned new roles based on the personalities of each member and disposed an open-door policy so they could express any concerns they had. It is amazing to keep in touch with all of them after so many years given the positive impact the actions had on their professional and personal lives.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? It will sound cliché, but get to know yourself to the core. An MBA is a transformative experience and the best way to show you will be accretive to the class is by knowing exactly why and how you will contribute to the class body. A strong GMAT or outstanding work experience sure help, but what will make the difference is how your story ties together with the rest of the pieces. You don’t need to have some out-of-this-world story, but just must make sure that your goals and life experiences to date are bringing you to business school in the best possible timing. We all have something unique to contribute to the class – you should analyze yourself to the core to see the factor that differentiates yourself so your classmates learn from it. For example, I talked about how the teamwork and determination I learned from my soccer years helped when I moved to the U.S. to help my family. That is something I was not aware of until I started writing my essays. Also, it is super important that your recommenders know you well. You will be doing a disservice to yourself if your recommender, even with a big title, is not able to express your uniqueness.
What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? Given my goal of switching to the buy side, Columbia’s traditional strength in investment management, including its location, was the key factor in my decision. When I did a campus visit, I was impressed by the quality of the investment management professors, actual practitioners who provide a real-world approach to students. Also, Columbia’s location allows students to pursue buy side roles at both large and boutique investment management firms, being a huge advantage given how competitive the industry is.
Also, I feel like Columbia really gets to know its candidates on a personal level. By the time I got admitted, I felt part of the community given my close interaction with admission members, current students, alumni and interviewer. I already felt part of Columbia so the decision was not that hard.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Success after the first year would be taking advantage of all the opportunities that Columbia provides. It doesn’t matter if I make mistakes at first because this journey is about resistance and I hope to secure an internship at a prestigious buy side firm for the summer. On a personal level, I want to be seen by the community as a positive leader who is willing to give all his experience to the use of the student body. Lastly, I would love to win the MBA Soccer World Cup as the playmaker of the Columbia team!