slezakDado Slezak

KFN Testament / Case Study

KFN Engagement Yields Invesment Position for Recent Graduate

Introduction/Objective
 

To Dado Slezak, a former varsity basketball player, KFN is in many ways like the athletic training he received.
 

He received a full-ride scholarship to relocate to the US and play basketball, an opportunity he says was enabled by someone willing to give him a chance on the court.
 

This is in line with what KFN has done for him.
 

“KFN is made of people who didn’t know much about you in the beginning, but gave you a chance to play ball so you can prove yourself,” he says.

Method
 

The experience doesn’t stop there, however. Dado says he built his strength and athleticism through a lot of coaching along the way, showing him different methods of playing basketball.
 

To Dado, there’s one specific KFN ‘coach’ who guided him in navigating his career in finance, and opened his eyes to different areas within the industry.
 

“He would introduce me to just about anybody he knows, and that allowed me to set up meetings with those people,” he says. “Just like basketball, they wouldn’t have met one-on-one with a stranger, but they did because KFN vouched for me.”

Outcome
 

As a result of the ‘coaching’ at KFN, Dado met with most investment banks on Wall Street, and eventually landed a job at Guardian Capital. He says once the networking started, its effects began to snowball.
 

“Even just the exposure [to KFN] was contagious,” he says, referring to what he calls the ‘Kellogg spirit’.
 

It’s been a little more than a year since he’s joined KFN, and Dado has met at least 50 members that are active in the organization. Based in Chicago, he makes an effort to come out to New York even for a two-hour lunch gathering with the network because he sees the value in connecting with the group.

Discussion
 

The Kellogg spirit, he says, sprouts from the initial week of beginning the MBA program , which kicks off with the Quest trip. That’s the beginning of the bonding experience so critical for anyone in finance.
 

And the creation of KFN strengthens this bond, or network, because it’s not simply about attending Kellogg for two years and reading the textbooks, he says.
 

“You can technically study materials on your own, but having a continuation of Kellogg with the knowledge exchange and a way of helping each other, that’s the most valuable asset,” he says. “I had a chance to attend another grad school while I was at Kellogg, so I can make a direct comparison.”
 

To uphold the Kellogg spirit, Dado says he hopes every KFN member will become active now, rather than later when he or she might need something in particular. Forming those bonds early on and naturally is the way to bring the group together as the association it is, rather than just a resource, he says.