Former dishwasher, dog walker, housekeeper, cashier, waitress, truck driver, receptionist turned Blackstone Associate. Behold, a story of natural and obvious transition. The plan was never to develop a career in leveraged finance. My parents were immigrant farmers from Serbia and the closest thing to Wall Street in their village was a dirt field where the locals traded eggs for potatoes. I have an unconventional story. I was raised to work hard, to understand that nothing comes easy in life. My parents divorced soon after I was born, and my mom put me to work at a young age. She was a janitor, cleaning offices and warehouses. So it’s no surprise that my first job was washing dishes at a neighborhood diner when I was only 12 years old. I was taught to work hard, but not to work smart, a lesson I’d learn on my own years later. By age 18, I was motivated to work as much as possible, often 2-3 jobs at a time, rather than apply to college. My mother would say that college was for people with money, and we didn’t have any. So, I worked. I held an administrative day job, then served food at a restaurant from 6-midnight, then cleaned apartments and offices in Manhattan on weekends. For nearly a decade I hustled this way, working any job I could find just to make enough money to pay the bills. That is, until I landed at a company called Callidus Capital, which changed everything. Alternative Asset Management, what was that? Callidus was a whole new world to a blue-collar outsider like me. I was hired as a Receptionist and worked a typical 9-5. But after-hours, I was focused on learning as much as I could about this industry that I fell into fortuitously. _________ ►►►Continue on to the Callidus section of my profile for Part II of my story.
Earned a 4-year Bachelor's Degree in 30 months at age 30 while working full-time in Finance.
2019 MBA Candidate
Cindy Stefanovic is an Associate with Blackstone's credit business, GSO Capital Partners, and is involved with the implementation of the day-to-day investment strategy and business development across the firm's direct lending platform.