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IU Northwest alumnus is Oxford-bound


Stephan Dimos shares the selling points that earned him a spot in a prestigious financial strategy program

Monday Jan 25, 2016


Diversify.

It’s a term used widely in the realm of finance, as in “diversify your portfolio.”

As an accomplished finance professional, Stephan Dimos is expertly familiar with the value of diversification, not only in investments, but as a critical life skill.

Dimos, who graduated from Indiana University Northwest with a degree in business administration in 2005 and returned for a post-baccalaureate certificate in accounting in 2010, begins a prestigious program at the University of Oxford in London in early 2017, an opportunity he attributes to his diverse repertoire of experiences.

Only 50 students are accepted to the competitive program annually and applicants come from around the globe. After completing four week-long classes in January, March, June and September, combined with some online work, the 34-year-old Schererville native will earn a post-graduate diploma in financial strategy, thus becoming a preferred candidate for Oxford’s executive MBA program, among the top programs in the world.

Even though he was invited to apply by Oxford recruiters who had spotted his impressive “Linked In” profile, Dimos was unsure about how his application would measure up, and curious about why it did. So he inquired. Sure enough, Dimos, a Lake Central High School graduate, stood out for reasons one might not expect.

“The number one thing they value is diversity,” Dimos said. “They want a candidate who can bring diverse and varied experiences in more than one industry.”

Dimos works for the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago as an endowment fund accountant, however it’s not his finance expertise, necessarily, that made his application rise to the top. Oxford’s recruiters singled out Dimos, not only for his IU degree and recommendations from his employers in various fields, but his volunteer work, his community involvement and even his musical talent.

Dimos never imagined that his 30 years of playing piano, an initial career path that he abandoned after two years at the University of Michigan, would be one of the things that propelled his application to the top of the stack.

In fact, he held off applying for the Oxford program because he had been preparing for an international piano competition in Boston in June 2015. Dimos was one of 35 individuals selected worldwide to compete and he made it as far as the semi-finals.

“It really was the difference. I know it was. They were so impressed,” Dimos said. “I even sent them a video of me at Boston. And they asked me to give a recital at Oxford.”

Another asset proved to be his involvement in IU’s Alumni Association, which he has served since 2009.

“Just having an IU degree is so important, and it has opened so many doors for me,” Dimos said.

“And, being a part of the alumni association is a real asset to have on your resume. It is such a respected thing to do.”

Reflecting on his successes, and educational journey, Dimos sums up his advice to future graduates.

“Take advantage of being a part of organizations and being active in the community,” Dimos said. “Fill your resume with experience from more than one industry. There are so many avenues and available careers and paths to take. This is how you can differentiate yourself from the rest of the field.”

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