Berkeley student with dwarfism on landing bank at Credit Suisse

  • 20-year-old Kevin Truong has lived with dwarfism since he was 5 years old. His mother and sister share this disease.
  • Truong is now a first generation student attending the University of California, Berkeley.
  • He revealed he would be working for investment bank Credit Suisse in a now-viral LinkedIn post.

Kevin Truong was diagnosed with dwarfism at the age of 5.

The Stockton, Calif., Native shares the illness with his mother and sister, who are currently in high school.

“I’ve had my fair share of people teasing me, asking me why I’m shorter than them,” Truong said in a recent interview with Insider. “In my early years, it was quite difficult,” both physically and socially with the other children at school.

Twenty-year-old Truong comes from humble means. His parents are Vietnamese immigrants. His mother has largely stayed out of the workforce, he said, and his father is a professional landscaper and gardener. Holidays, in general, were an unfamiliar concept, and some of his earliest memories of being on a plane came when he participated in diversity recruiting initiatives at college.

He attends the University of California at Berkeley, where is now a graduate business, with approximately $ 30,000 in scholarships and scholarships that he estimates he receives each year.

At Berkeley, Truong got his first glimpse of Wall Street by joining Capital Investments, the school’s student-run investment fund. By the end of his first semester as a freshman, he had started the application process for a number of Wall Street Bank internship programs, with the goal of fielding one for the summer after. his second year.

Only one company came back to arrange an interview: Credit Suisse. Truong was determined not to let the opportunity pass.

The trip to Wall Street

Through a diversity recruiting program at Credit Suisse, Truong eventually completed two internships with the firm. At the end of his most recent internship last summer, he received an offer to return to join his tech investment banking hedging group after graduating from Berkeley next year.

He revealed the news in a now-viral LinkedIn post earlier this month. It had elicited over 66,000 reactions – mostly a mix of thumbs up, hearts and applause – by mid-September.

“Three years ago, when I arrived in Cal, I was afraid of how someone like me, a first generation college student from a low income background, with no connections or experience in the world of business, could be successful in a seemingly student-dominated world. with vast networks and stellar CVs, ”he wrote.

“Today I am happy to say that I was wrong.”

For people with disabilities, finding a job can be a challenge

People with disabilities continue to be marginalized in various industries.

Just under 18% of people with disabilities in the United States were employed in 2020, down slightly from the previous year, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released in February. People with disabilities are more likely to work in service-oriented fields, the BLS said, and up to a third work part-time.

It’s no different on Wall Street, which has long struggled to diversify its ranks. Indeed, only one disabled-owned, female-owned broker operates on the New York Stock Exchange, CNBC reported earlier this month.

“Unfortunately, I haven’t met anyone in the financial community who suffers from dwarfism,” Truong said. “We are definitely still a very small minority.”

Ultimately, Truong hopes to pursue a role of impact investor. Investing in social causes would allow him to build on the work he did as an advisor to the Berkeley Chapter of Matriculate, a non-profit organization that helps students from low-income backgrounds apply to the university.

When Truong joins Credit Suisse after graduation, he will be well on his way to earning a starting salary of $ 100,000 before bonus. He would love to travel and a visit to Vietnam, his parents’ homeland, is high on his list.

“I know my sister personally always wanted to go to Hawaii,” he added. “I hope to take her there in the next few years.”

Despite visits to Vietnam or Hawaii, Truong now takes a different route: the trip to Wall Street. He is adamant that no obstacle will prevent him from getting there.


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