Stefan Castino ’05 -- Banking on Army Training
This outstanding alumnus is counting on lessons learned in the U.S. Army to launch his career in international finance.
By Donna Parker
In the seven years since his graduation from Trinity, Stefan Castino spent six years in the U.S. Army, including a year serving in Iraq as a linguist and cryptologic analyst; interned abroad spending eight weeks in a rural area of Tunisia examining the capital market situation; and now is an MBA candidate at the University of Notre Dame Mendoza School of Business. Stefan received a double degree in Chinese and political science from Trinity in 2005.
"The Army gives you discipline and an idea of the sacrifices that people make," explains Stefan.
"I was a baby freshman when 9/11 happened and I almost quit college to join the military but my mom talked me out of it."
Shortly after graduation, he did sign up and was assigned to Monterey in California to attend language school.
"I have a thing for languages so all I did for six hours a day was speak and write Arabic. It came in handy in my role as an Army intelligence analyst."
In 2008, he was deployed to Iraq and says that his military training "taught me that everyone has something to contribute whether you're infantry or a cook."
Stefan is now leveraging that background in his quest for a business degree as he believes the world is more international every day and it's really important to understand those other parts and cultures. He did a business school internship in Tunisia this past summer.
"Right now, I'm very interested in international business and finance and determining which businesses will be profitable and equitable. When I studied abroad in Tunisia, I traveled the rural areas to analyze the business environment and talk to mayors and people who had information on the business climate. I discovered there is such a lack of access in capital markets. That has influenced my future goals of making money-it's still my aim but I understand more than ever that there is more to life than making a profit."
Stefan believes his professors at Trinity prepared him well for this broad approach to his chosen field.
"Professor Stephen Field, department of modern languages and literatures, really turned me onto Chinese. He was my advisor for my major. I took every single class that Professor David Crockett, department of political science, offered. He is incredibly well-read and spoke in such an authoritative manner which taught me that if you do your homework and speak well on a subject then people will believe you."
Stefan says he and Dr. Crockett still get together for lunch when he travels to San Antonio.
Even with all this on his plate, the busy Massachusetts native still makes time for fun. He has a girlfriend of two years who is a law student at UT and he loves to hit the links when it's not snowing in South Bend. In addition, he's playing a lot of chess online lately.
"And the age that I am means I'm going to a lot of my friends' weddings," he jokes.
For now, Stefan is focused on working toward his long term goal of working for a major bank and specializing in Middle Eastern corporate finance. He thanks his Army training for setting him on the right course.
"I learned how to adapt to anything, take criticism, and overcome any situation-a pretty big takeaway."
You may contact Stefan at email@example.com.
Story posted: January 2013
After reading this story if you feel strongly about any Trinity alumni who the Alumni Office should profile in future AlumNET issues, please submit your suggestions. We are looking for suggestions in these four categories: 1) recent grads, 2) grads who innovate, 3) grads in business, and 4) grads who serve the world. Feel free to nominate yourself as well if you fall in these categories.