Ken Schuman
Careers Transition Associates

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About Careers Transition Founder Kenneth Schuman

He's changed his own career,
and his experience and training
can help you...

I began my career in the nonprofit sector, as executive director of several social service agencies.

Having previously earned an MBA from Columbia University and an MSW from Hunter College, I had an unusual background which prepared me for work in both finance and counseling.

When Mayor Ed Koch took office, shortly after New York City’s brush with bankruptcy in the mid 1970's, I decided I wanted to use my financial background to help the City. I accepted an opportunity to work as Assistant to the Mayor, which led to my appointment initially as Deputy Commissioner and then as Commissioner for Economic Development for New York City.

During my tenure, my department accomplished a great deal, including the South Street Seaport development, the revitalization of Times Square and the conversion to industrial use of the 100-acre Brooklyn Army Terminal, which had been vacant for over a decade.

After the mayor’s re-election, I moved into investment banking, accepting a job with Lehman Brothers, Inc. as vice president for corporate finance. I worked on mergers, acquisitions and refinancings, including the merger of Gulf Oil Corporation with Cities Service, which generated Lehman Brothers’ largest fee ever (up to that time).

The work was gratifying but extremely intense, and I found myself sacrificing too many other areas of my life. I decided that, to have the kind of full and balanced life I wanted, I would need to find work that brought together my skills and values. (This struggle was documented in a Sunday New York Times Magazine feature article).

I wanted to run my own business. After a great deal of research I decided to focus on real estate, particularly the development of middle and low income housing, which used my financial skills for a socially worthy goal. I formed a partnership with two associates that has achieved extraordinary success in this area for the past 20 years.

Over the years, many people dissatisfied with their current careers have asked me to share my experience transitioning into new areas of work. I decided that to be truly helpful I would need to go into this more deeply, and I received additional training in behavior, values and goals assessment. I believe that my background in both business and counseling can be broadly applied to many work situations. However, I can bring particular direction and clarity to people in the legal profession and to people in the financial services industry--banking, investment banking, real estate, insurance, and accounting.

Ken Schuman