Living the Molloy Mission: Robert F. DeStefano (MBA, ’14) Mentors Business Students

By Hannah Werthan

When Robert DeStefano speaks about his career, his passion is immediately palpable. Robert has been a private wealth financial advisor at Ameriprise Financial for sixteen years; he started as an employee of Ameriprise and transitioned to become an independent franchisee in March of 2014. He's earned several industry designations such as the CFP® (Certified Financial PlannerTM), ChFC® (Chartered Financial Consultant), AAMS® (Accredited Asset Management Specialist), CRPC® (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor), and CFS® (Certified Fund Specialist). In 2014, he received his master's in Business Administration with a concentration in Financial Planning from Molloy. Since he graduated, Robert has been offering well-qualified Molloy Business students internships at his practice. Interns learn not only about financial planning but also client relationship development, professional and organizational skills, and work ethic.

Robert says that every intern in his office has had superb talent. He gives students work based on their capabilities. Overall, his policy is that he would never give them something to do that he wouldn't do himself. Three interns, past and present, share their experiences working for Rob.

Angelica Lopez ('18)

"I interned with Rob for a full year, starting in the beginning of summer 2015 and ending in May 2016. In that time, we developed a great bond. The skills that Rob taught me can be applied to whatever career I end up pursuing after graduation. I learned about developing professional relationships with clients, including what to say and when to say it. My time with Rob helped me transition to interning with larger companies. I am now a social media intern at Marvel Entertainment. After my internship with Rob was over, I actually came back and helped him develop a social media presence. I'm happy to say that we still keep in touch."

Marsha Varghese ('20)

"I interned with Rob for 10 months, and I could tell right away that he loves what he does. Rob is very professional, but he is also very caring. He always asked about my day and made an effort to remember even the smallest things about me, something that he does with his clients as well. He taught me to take things one step at a time and enjoy life; take in your surroundings. My internship with Rob ended August 30, and I am now a product development intern at Lifetime Brands."

Adam Mahadeo ('20)

"I started my internship with Rob as Marsha was ending hers this summer. Though I have not been there that long, Rob has already taught me so much. Rob is a very understanding boss. He believes that school should be the biggest priority. The first week without Marsha, I made a mistake. Instead of getting mad, Rob told me that he would work with me to fix it. He makes sure I understand everything. His door is always open if I have any questions. I am learning how to communicate better in a professional setting, and I am developing my software and Excel skills.

"Robert has also come to campus to speak to our Business and Accounting Club, something he plans to do again this semester. His advice for students who are starting their first jobs is to treat it like you own the business, even if you don't. Also, in life and your career, every time you hear a "no," you are getting that much closer to hearing a "yes." The key is to come in ready to work and to work hard, Robert says. He is the perfect example of how a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial mindset can generate success.

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