Alumni Spotlight

Jassen Trenkow '04

Born in Bulgaria and raised in Germany, Jassen Trenkow ’04 was a Sergeant in the German Military Police and a member of the NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina before he began his studies at Pace in New York City.

“What drew me to Pace was the Co-Op program and its proximity to wall street, both physically and student placements,” says Jassen.

The difference between military life and college was evident immediately. In fact, one of Jassen’s fondest memories from Pace is walking into the “dorm” on his first day.

“Only 11 days after being discharged from the military where I bunked with 10-15 guys in a single room during our SFOR Operations in Bosnia, I was lead to a dorm, anticipating a small, semi-shabby place,” he recalls. “Instead, I walked into 75 West Street, which Pace leased at the time; it was the former NY Post Towers turned into luxury condos building with staggering 25ft ceilings, concierge service, marble floors, and a block away from World Trade Center.”

Jassen’s Pace experience continues to impact his personal life. “I have made three life-long friends whom I regularly get together with, were in my wedding party (twice!), and have become part of my family; two were my room-mates, the third I worked for in the Admissions office.”

As a student, Jassen took advantage of the Co-op program that initially drew him to the University. “Pace’s Co-Op program allowed me to work throughout my time in school, thereby gaining valuable experience and an advantage over competing candidates when I landed my job at Goldman Sachs.”

Ultimately, Jassen’s 10 year stint at Goldman Sachs included living in Hong Kong, where he served as the Executive Director and Business Manager/COO of the Asset Management division in Asia. Why Hong Kong?

“I wanted it and planned for it,” he says. “I made sure the right people thought I could deliver. I drove my own career, raised my hand, volunteered, and never hid behind new problems or additional work.”

In May 2014, Jassen joined Barclays as Director and Chief of Staff to the CFO of Barclays Investment Bank and Barclays in the Americas, and returned to New York City. What does he consider the biggest difference between living and working in Asia, Europe, and North America?

“There would be two pages worth of comments on this, ranging from working cultures, career progression, to lifestyle,” he says. “I can describe them all, but my core point would be: you must experience them to appreciate them and to become a good leader in a Globalized world. Very few people I have come across who grew up, went to school, and worked in the same area stood a chance at making a good leader in a large company.”