David graduated magna cum laude from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut with a major in Finance and a concentration in Accounting and Asian Studies. During his junior year of university, he studied abroad in Beijing, China at the well-known University of International Business & Economics (UIBE). While in China, David traveled extensively throughout Mainland China including a 2-week excursion along the famous Silk Road and also visited many cities including Urumqi, Dalian, Guilin and Shanghai. In addition to taking business classes while at UIBE, he also took Mandarin Chinese – “the most difficult but rewarding class I’ve ever taken”, David explains. It was David’s experience in China that ultimately led to his deep appreciation of the Chinese culture, people and history – something he cherishes and talks avidly about still today.
After a successful three years with GE’s renowned Financial Management Program (FMP) including a six-month assignment living and working in Japan, David had a brief stint working for a venture capital fund based out of Connecticut. He spent over a year meeting entrepreneurs, investing in high-tech start-ups, and ultimately honing his skills to eventually start something of his own. David finally decided to pursue his dreams of starting his own organization after gaining the valuable skills and experience necessary to ensure his success. Given his natural affinity of helping others, extensive travels throughout Asia, growing up as a second-generation Italian-American and being one of the first in his family to attend college, a recruiting agency helping international students attend school in the U.S. was a natural transition for David.
David currently is a member of Watertown, Connecticut’s Board of Education, an active volunteer instructor with Junior Achievement and a mentor to area students interested in pursuing careers in business and entrepreneurship. He resides in Watertown, Connecticut.
At the early age of thirteen, Feng came to the U.S. from China with his family with only a few words of English in his vocabulary. With his limited English skills, Feng’s first few years in America proved to be a unique experience that made him feel like he was living in a foreign world. Ultimately, Feng’s persistence allowed him to slowly but surely conquer the English language through numerous hours of study and practice. However, in the end it was the kindness and assistance of his fellow American classmates that enabled him to succeed. Upon successfully completing high school in the U.S. with honors, Feng studied Accounting and Finance at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut and later joined Ernst & Young as a Financial Services Auditor. Feng currently holds his CPA and is currently pursuing his CFA in his spare time.
Feng also studied abroad in Beijing, China at UIBE with his good friend David along with numerous other non-Chinese speaking classmates from around the world. Because of Feng’s native background, he quickly became the ‘go-to’ person for his American counterparts’ frequent calls for help with ordering food, bargaining for clothes, and asking for directions. It was as if he was having a déjà vu experience when he first moved to the U.S. – except this time his friends were on the receiving end for his help. It was great to be back in China!
Having studied, lived and worked in a foreign country, Feng and David understood both the excitement and challenges that come being a ‘foreigner’. After returning from China, they both wanted to share their experiences with their community and other international students.
Now, the time has come. Considering the growing amount of international students seeking a better education abroad and looking to take part in a once in a lifetime cross-cultural experience, students from Asia are realizing the benefit of an American education. Understanding the need, David and Feng finally came together and set up Apex International Education Partners, LLC (AIEP) for the purpose of not only recruiting international students, but also providing them with the resources needed to ensure a smooth transition into the American culture.