University Of Albany Business School Profile: Richelle Konian

Profile of an Entrepreneur: Richelle Konian

Richelle Konian ’95: CEO, Careers On The Move

When Richelle Konian was in second grade, she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up: a stock analyst working on Wall Street.


Richelle Konian ’95When she got a little older, the University at Albany was Konian’s first choice because her great-grandmother attended the school when it was The New York State College for Teachers.
As per her plan, Konian started her career on Wall Street as Account Manager of Executive Recruitment for Jordan & Jordan, where she developed a recruitment and sales division, and was instrumental in launching the Financial Information Forum. After five years, she co-founded Careers On The Move, a boutique executive search firm, where she now serves as CEO.
Konian recruits for financial services, public accounting, valuation, and information technology. One of her strengths is finding talent in industries her clients are not involved in, for instance finding an IT whiz for a finance firm. Since its creation her company has worked with over 60,000 applicants.
Konian said, “Being an entrepreneur worked out well. The growth path is so quick. Running my own business has allowed me to professionally and personally grow. You learn how to do everything. If your computer breaks, you figure it out. There is no IT department to call.”
Though Konian considers starting her own business her most exciting accomplishment, she deems her biggest challenge was that Careers On The Move survived and thrived in the events of the turbulent new millennium, through 9/11 and the financial crisis. She said, “For the last decade we learned to ride the waves, and we have had to work harder to provide value added.” The business grad found that working through those trials kept her business thriving.  She said, “We care about people and care about their success. We helped a lot of people when they were down and they remembered us.”
Konian’s forward thinking approach puts her on solid footing with the firms she works with. She said, “They rely on us to recruit effectively. Bad hires cost them a lot of money. When people know that you understand the marketplace, your credibility grows. We showed companies that we can find talent they can’t.”
The University at Albany allowed Konian to indulge her two passions: business and acting. Besides majoring in business, she minored in theater. In high school and college, she spent summers acting in New York City. Konian has directed webinars and is a noted career expert, often interviewed for television and print stories on recruiting, has appeared on CBS Evening News, and has been quoted by CNBC, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal.
Konian guides and supports the work of the School of Business by speaking to student groups and brainstorming with the Office of Career Services. For over ten years, Konian has been a member of the School of Business Dean’s Advisory Board. She was Master of Ceremonies for the School of Business Alumni Association Alumni event in 2010, an Honorary Committee Member at the Women’s Networking Event and has often served on the panel of Network NYC. (See photo of the 2014 event on page 3.)
The alumna maintains a strong connection with the university. She is a member of the University at Albany Alumni Association Board of Directors and volunteers with AlumNet, an organization that helps students connect with alumni. In 2008, Konian received the Young Alumni Award from the University at Albany Alumni Association. She has served several years on the alumni association awards committee, and in 2014 will serve as the Committee Chair of the Excellence Awards.
Konian lives with her husband Peter Azcue, an investment research professional, and her children, Ani, age six and Peter, age four, in Cranford, New Jersey. The family frequently takes day trips to the Jersey shore and travels regularly to Europe. Konian’s hobbies include theater, dancing, yoga, and Pilates.

Positive Indicators of Job Growth

This job economy report is very consistent with the positive indicators of job growth Careers On The Move has been reporting this last month.  Careers On The Move expects this upward trajectory of job growth to continue based on our volume of hiring mandates, and expanding client base.

UAlbany Event in NYC

Richelle Konian, Careers On The Move, as a Panelist at Network NYC hosted by University at Albany Alumni Association.

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University at Albany’s Network NYC

Richelle Konian, CEO, Careers On The Move will be a Panelist for University at Albany’s Network NYC this Wednesday, January 8, 2014

UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION announces BOARD OF DIRECTORS COMMITTEES. Careers On The Move, CEO, Richelle Konian, Committee Chair of the Excellence Awards 2014 announced.

Richelle Konian,  member of the University at Albany Alumni Association Board of Directors and  School of Business  Dean’s Advisory Board, will serve as the Committee Chair of the Excellence Awards for 2014 after serving several years on the Awards Committee.  Richelle also was a recipient of the Excellence Awards in 2008 and received the “Outstanding Young Alumni” award.

Learn more about the Excellence Awards and alumni accomplishments at

UAlbany NYC Networking Event

Richelle Konian was a panelist for a networking event hosted by University of Albany January 9th in New York City. Business students enjoyed the opportunity to network with NYC-area alumni over winter break.


University at Albany Alumni Association announces new Board Member Richelle Konian

Congratulations Richelle!

What’s An Online MBA Degree Really Worth?

Published: Tuesday, 19 Jul 2011 | 12:46 PM ET

By: Stephanie Landsman
Stephanie Landsman, Producer, “Squawk Box”

Call it the Cadillac of online MBA degrees.

 Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill began its first ever online MBA program this month. The $89,000 price tag for the new online degree has been causing sticker shock. But, the concept has been around for a while.

Indiana University Kelley School of Business launched its online MBA program before YouTube, Facebook and iTunes dominated the web. Indiana’s “Kelley Direct” degree began its course load in 1999.

According to the university, the online MBA degree from Kelley Direct costs $60,000 compared to $32,000 when the program began. The cost per credit hour has almost doubled in the past 12 years. It’s now $1,145 versus $625.

Despite the tuition increases, enrollment has been growing steadily over the past five years. In 2006 it had 1,150 students. Last year that number grew to 1,630. The school says Kelly Direct has been getting a record number of applications. They were up by 20 percent last year.

“If a student is making $60,000 a year before they come back to school, then they lose $120,000 in income,” said Indiana University Kelley School Of Business Dean Daniel Smith. “Then, you add tuition for the in-residence program and the uncertainty of the job market and it becomes very expensive. You see why online education at leading business schools just like Indiana, for example, has really taken off.”


As the popularity rises, the worthiness of an online MBA degree has become more controversial.

“One of the questions a lot of employers have is that is this as good as a degree as an in-residence program? We say ‘yes’ because we use the same exact faculty as in our full-time program,” said Dean Smith.

Dean Smith adds most Kelley Direct graduates earn 20 percent more when they complete the program—or just shy of a six-figure-a-year salary.

The Graduate Management Admission Council does not track how many online MBA graduates are out there or how they fare in the job market.

Even though an increasing number of students are racking up MBA credits online, it appears job market acceptance rates are lagging.

Careers On The Move CEO Richelle Konian recruits talent for Wall Street firms and Fortune 500 companies. She said it’s important to remember that an MBA does not guarantee you a job.

Konian said, “The rate of success at traditional MBA programs as to an online MBA clearly shows employers’ preferences with traditional MBAs from tier one schools.”

She acknowledges there is a market for online MBA degrees for those who have already gotten in the door. Konian added that if your only option to move up the corporate ladder is by taking online classes, then it could be worth the time and money. Employer Quotes

“We have seen an increase in entry-level sales related positions by smaller and medium sized firms. In the current economy, a good portion of the job requisitions we receive have been for sales positions. Some of our clients are finding hiring fresh, aggressive recent college graduates a way to increase revenue at lower overhead costs. One client, a medium sized investment banking firm in CA, has a preference to hire recent college graduates to their sales force, and train new recruits according to the company’s sales culture. Recent college graduates are desirable in volatile markets when headcounts and salaries are constantly being evaluated.”
– Richelle Konian, Principal, Careers On The Move

To go to CollegeGrad.comClick Here

Chess website brings entrepreneurs together

Long Island Business News, Dec 17, 2010 by Jessica DiNapoli

Chess is a game of strategy, critical thinking and analytical skill. So is investing money, making a chess website the perfect birthplace for Long Island’s newest hedge fund.

Bohemia-based Genius Hedge Fund, formed in January by serial entrepreneur A.J. Caro and his two Toronto-based associates, is slowly gaining momentum in a post-Madoff world of skittish investors who are content to sock their money safely away in banks. The three game enthusiasts think their fund will be a success based on their chess-cultivated analytical skills, computer technology experience and network of contacts.

Caro first met Alex Rabinovich, who won a junior world championship for chess as a teen, on an online chess forum in 2002; Rabinovich was teaching Caro, a social chess player, some tricks. Even though they were in two different countries, the relationship flourished and grew over the years into a close friendship and business partnership. Rabinovich met Victor Plotkin, a professional financial investor, on another chess website in 2004 and a few years later, after many trips back and forth between Toronto and Bohemia, the three decided to start up the Genius Hedge Fund.

The trio officially launched the fund in January, and Caro has the utmost confidence in his partners, explaining that their chess abilities are what have helped the Genius Hedge Fund, so named because all three have IQs above the genius level, generate more than 18 percent returns on the money under management so far.

“He has an amazing gift for analytics,” Caro said of Rabinovich. “It’s very clear – his ability to see what most don’t see, sequences and patterns and how they correlate into investing.”

Analytical skills honed by chess are a desirable trait in the finance world. Richelle Konian, a Manhattan-based recruiter for financial firms across the tri-state area, said analytical skills are highly desired by employers. “Games like chess and poker, if you are really good at it, would translate into quantitative skills,” Konian said. Of the 60,000 resumes in her applicant database, 400 have listed chess as an activity, she noted.

Robert Frey, a former managing director at East Setauket-based hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, who started his own Port Jefferson-based fund of hedge funds, said it is not at all unusual that a group of chess buddies decided to start up a hedge fund. Working at a hedge fund is an exceptionally demanding job intellectually, and many people who enjoy those challenges gravitate toward mentally stimulating hobbies, like chess, he said.

Even with a chess champion on staff, Caro has had to work extra hard to avoid the Bernie Madoff-Nick Cosmo fraudster taint. He uses his experience and track record with his seven other businesses, including a licensed insurance agency, the ever-growing Arrow Security and a marketing firm, to give the Genius Hedge Fund credibility.

“I’m an established business person,” Caro said.

If something were to go wrong in his hedge fund, there would be serious ramifications for his other ventures, he said. Caro is taking the plunge with the hedge fund because of his trust in Rabinovich and Plotkin.

So far, the partnership has worked. Since the fund’s founding nearly a year ago, the associates have brought in a total of $1 million to manage, Caro said. Frey said while $1 million is not much to start with, it’s enough to figure out whether or not the business will sink or swim. He started FQS Capital with $120 million, but he has many connections to investors from his Renaissance Technologies experience.

“It’s not something that could sustain the fund,” Frey said, explaining that hedge funds are expensive to run because of the cost of the talented, highly educated staff, subscription to databases and new computers.

Hedge funds need to get to the $100 million under assets mark to be viable, Frey said.

Caro’s sights are not set quite that high just yet. He aims to have $10 million under management by the end of 2011. To start up the Genius Hedge Fund, the three partners went to their friends and family for money, a tactic reminiscent of Madoff and Cosmo, but a common one in any startup business, Frey emphasized.

“Like any business, you go to friends and family, people who have faith in you,” Frey said.

Caro plans on branching out his network of investors beyond his kin as soon as possible. Just last week he hired a business development manager who will begin a marketing and sales campaign. Caro added that Rabinovich and Plotkin have discussed deals with investors in Zurich, Manhattan and Israel lately, a sign that the Genius Hedge Fund has wide appeal.

While January seemed like the worst time to start a hedge fund, Caro’s said that now is the best time to make money, when interest rates on other investment options are low.

“Our success will be based on public awareness that the fund exists at this point and that it’s a good solid investment alternative,” Caro said.

Copyright 2010 Dolan Media Newswires

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.

Careers on the Move