• Zeke Pariser
  • Zeke Pariser
  • School of Arts and Sciences '12
  • Major(s): Philosophy
  • Minor(s): English

Activities:  Hillel, Intramural football/soccer/softball, Aresty, FIGS

What attracted you to Rutgers University and the Honors/Scholars Program?
The Honors program has a reputation for attracting stellar students and providing the framework for them to excel at Rutgers. I wanted to be part of a supportive and ambitious community that maintains high standards of its constituents.

Why did you choose your major and minor?
I took Intro to Ethics my freshman year and fell in love with the discipline of philosophy. I was attracted to the idea of having my beliefs challenged by sound arguments and wanted to learn how to develop succinct logical reasoning and writing.

Tell us a little bit about what you're doing now. What was your first job after Rutgers? Where you do you live? What was your first job after Rutgers? Where you do you live?
Upon graduating in 2012, I moved to Philadelphia to become a Teach for America Corps Member, teaching 5th grade general education. That experience was both incredibly rewarding and illuminating, and I believe will be the most challenging job I ever have. I then moved to New York to work as a paralegal at a full service law firm as I had taken the LSAT during my senior year but was not sure I wanted to be an attorney. I learned from that experience that I did not want to pursue a career in law and transitioned into the financial services industry. I now work at Blackstone in their hedge fund group, performing operational due diligence on alternative asset managers (hedge funds, private equity and private credit firms, VC firms and real estate firms).

What has been your greatest professional and/or personal accomplishment since you graduated from Rutgers?
My greatest professional accomplishment was overcoming the steep learning curve when I switched from being a paralegal to working for an alternative asset consultant. I had no experience in the financial services industry and hadn't even taken a finance course in college! I had to be a sponge, soaking in information and knowledge from my colleagues, and spent late nights studying materials that were completely foreign to me. Thankfully, I was able to slowly begin to understand the new industry and was able to perform well at the consulting firm and parlay that experience to a job with the industry leader at Blackstone.

What three words describe your experience at Rutgers and the Honors/Scholars Program? 
Formative. Rewarding. Enlightening.

How has your Rutgers and Honors education benefited you in your post-Rutgers life?
The skills I gained from learning how to write and communicate articulately, convincingly and succinctly are assets I deploy regularly in my professional life. I was skeptical about the real world application of a liberal arts degree but I could not have been more wrong.

What advice do you have for our current SAS Honors Program students?
 Learn to be comfortable with discomfort. Meaning, push yourself to participate in clubs, social events, or campus activities that are outside of your comfort zone. College is such a uniquely rich experience that has no equal in the post collegiate world, take advantage of every moment!

For more information about this Honors alum, visit: 

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