One of the Fedun family’s favorite photos shows 2-year-old Andrew Fedun in Taiwan, where his father, Peter, worked as an engineer for several years building a mass rapid transit system. It is also where Peter had met his wife, Amy.
In the photo, the rail project had just wrapped up, and an excited Andrew is holding his father’s hand while pointing at the train as if to say, “Look at daddy’s train! It’s daddy’s train!”
“Dad’s definitely been a big influence in my life,” Fedun says.
Shortly after that photo was taken, the family moved back to the United States, settling in Yardley, Pa. And while Fedun retained his interest in engineering, he found himself increasingly drawn to the fast-paced world of business in high school.
“I wrote my college essays to a bunch of different schools on how I wanted to combine business and engineering to solve the environmental crisis that my generation’s going to face,” he says. “I figured that’s really going to take an integration of the two. I think Lehigh picked up on that and the idea really resonated.”
Fedun entered Lehigh’s Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE) Honors Program, where he was able to pursue both of his academic interests. He is on track to graduate in spring 2021 with a Finance degree as well as a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering.
Fedun says Lehigh has made it possible for him to experience opportunities he never thought he would have. In 2019, he was selected for the prestigious Tauck Scholars Program, an international summer internship open to business students. Fedun chose to spend his summer in Shanghai, interning at a startup blockchain consulting company.
“A lot of what they did was rating blockchain companies,” Fedun says. “That was really interesting because, in that industry, there’s so much fallacy and so many people just throwing around buzz words. So I was able to work at a company that was focusing on analyzing companies and the technology that they’re working on and really seeing what types of value that they’re adding.”
His summer in Shanghai, he says, “was really my first time out of the country since we left Taiwan, and it was an incredible way to experience the culture immersively. That's something I never would have been able to do.”
Fedun’s IBE capstone team project provides more hands-on experience in the startup world. He is working on process costing to create accurate financial projections for a company that just received funding to manufacture an innovative brush for window washing. The company is seeking to scale up and design a more efficient manufacturing process.
Fedun has also gained invaluable hands-on experience working with two of Lehigh’s endowment portfolios: the Thompson International Portfolio, which focuses exclusively on investing in international exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and the Dreyfus Portfolio, the flagship student-run portfolio considered the strongest gateway to the financial markets at Lehigh.
With those experiences under his belt, he will be working in investment banking at Citibank in New York City during the summer of 2020—an internship that likely will lead to a fulltime job once he graduates.
Fedun understands that he needs to gain as much experience actually working in business as he can, from startups to large, multinational corporations. And he still hopes to combine his business and engineering expertise one day to tackle the environmental crisis his generation faces.
“I came in with all of these vague visions, like ‘I want to do something with the environment and I want to be a businessman.’ What does that even mean?” Fedun says. “Lehigh didn’t kill those visions. They helped me adapt them to the real world. And I think that was huge, because I’m not leaving Lehigh with lofty ideas. I’m leaving Lehigh with a clear idea of the path I want to take in life and how I can get there. Lehigh gave me the tools to do that.”