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Spotlighted Student: Stephen Chehi '11

Being an affiliate of a Quaker school is familiar territory for economics major Stephen Chehi ’11. Although born and raised in one place (Wilmington, DE) he did attend quite a few different schools, one of which was Quaker based Wilmington Friends School, before eventually graduating from Tower Hill School. He appreciates the attention small class sizes provide so he decided he’d like to attend a small liberal arts college. He also knew it would be important for him to have a vigorous academic program with a large city close by.

His father (Haverford Sociology and Anthropology major Mark Chehi ’78) and mother are fine-arts enthusiasts and Stephen remembers visiting Haverford art shows from a young age. His familiarity with the Haverford community gave him a deep appreciation for the beauty and uniqueness of the campus. Clearly Haverford fit the bill, so Stephen applied early decision.

Even though he had had an affinity for intuitive analysis and a strong liking for Physics in high school, Stephen planned on utilizing his accomplished writing skills by majoring in English. However, once he took an introductory economics course with visitor Julie Becher his freshman year his plans changed. Economics came so naturally to him that he immediately decided to pursue a major in Economics, with a concentration in Mathematical Economics.

Having been recruited to Haverford’s lacrosse team as a defender, he tore his ACL (the major ligament in the knee) August of his freshman year. Therefore, he stayed on the side-lines through his freshman year and took his sophomore year off from the team.

He quickly filled his time as Managing Editor of the Haverford Journal, an annual publication that showcases some of Haverford's best student work in the humanities and social sciences. Stephen has also served as a tutor for the Mathematics Department and is a member of the Study Abroad Advisory Board at Haverford.

He spent his junior year abroad at The University of Oxford, a welcome reprieve from the small-campus syndrome he had been feeling at Haverford. Fellow Haverford economics major, James Burton ’11, was also attending Oxford, giving him a side-kick with whom to share the journey.

The Oxford academic experience introduced him to a one-on-one tutorial education. He would spend the week reading and writing for a once weekly meeting with a tutor where he would discuss the week’s work. He was required to write a weekly 2000 word essay based on those readings and lectures he attended. Since Haverford’s economics majors are not required to do any true writing until their senior year thesis, the Oxford experience provided him the opportunity to practice his writing skills in the world of economics.

While at Oxford he joined the university lacrosse team, playing ‘attack’, where he earned his Varsity Blue. He also played rugby for University of Oxford’s Lady Margaret Hall College, and he continues to play both squash and rugby at Haverford. In addition he is a member of the golf club team.

Stephen has amassed a variety of internship experiences. As a rising sophomore he served as an intern for Conshohocken based start-up Monetate. Their primary product offers targeted on-line advertising software aimed to zero in on customer interests and assist retailers in serving relevant ads. The summer spent with Monetate introduced him to the operations of a small but rapidly growing business, a valuable experience that helped him begin to shape his career path.

As a rising junior he spent the summer working with the finance department of DuPont’s Performance Materials platform. He learned about financial reporting, demand forecasting, leading economic indicators and even had the opportunity to meet Haverford Professor David Owen’s father on the job!

The summer before his senior year he interned with FTI Consulting, located in the heart of Manhattan, New York. In the Corporate Finance and Restructuring division of the company he worked with the Communications, Media and Entertainment (CME) team learning about the challenges facing media companies striving to strengthen their position in a rapidly changing technological environment. Stephen has accepted a full time offer with FTI and is excited to rejoin the CME team after graduation.

Some of his favorite activities and interests include fishing, hunting, fine art, travel and reading. Building on his interest in fishing and the environment, Stephen's thesis will investigate the use of Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) regimes in managing commercial fisheries. While ITQs have overwhelmingly been praised as a panacea for common pool resource issues in fisheries around the globe, there is a new literature emerging that investigates underlying sources of inefficiencies in ITQs.  His thesis will specifically focus on quota leasing as a source of inefficiency by way of a dynamic (Schumpeterian) rent dissipation mechanism.  He is currently working on building a theoretical model that will show the conditions under which perpetual quota leasing can be seen as an actual and expected drain of rent from the industry that in turn negatively affects incentives for innovation and the generation of dynamic rents.

Immediately following graduation Stephen hopes to take a brief break and enjoy spending time with friends and family on Fogo Island, Newfoundland, a small fishing community off the coast of Atlantic Canada, before returning to the New York metropolis to begin his job with FTI Consulting.

The Strawbridge Observatory at Haverford College houses 12-inch and 16-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes which are actively used by students in Haverford astronomy classes.

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