Sauk Valley Community College

an institution of higher education that provides quality learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of its students and community

Alumni Profile - James Janoskey

James Janoskey

Alumni Profile - James Janoskey

In 1984 James Janoskey may have come from Dixon High School to Sauk Valley Community College seeking direction in his life, but at that time he would have been surprised to know that his journey would end up with him being a Managing Director of Credit Suisse in London.   Credit Suisse is a world-leading financial service company that advises clients with all aspects of finance.  James works in the investment-banking department based in London and is head of the energy team which advises oil, gas, and power companies on mergers, acquisitions, financing, and strategies to help them reach their financial objectives.  The region James is responsible for includes Europe, Russia, the Former Soviet Union countries, the Middle East and Africa. Investment Banking in London is a long way from Lee County farming which is what James thought he might be doing at one point in his life. 

James says that straight out of high school he wasn't sure what he wanted to do with his life or if he even wanted to go to College and instead do something else.  Wisely his parents helped him to "keep the educational momentum" by attending Sauk Valley Community College until he decided where his next steps would take him.  "It was absolutely the right decision as it did keep my momentum in education and gave me time to decide where to go from there.  Which by the time I left Sauk I had a much clearer picture of what I wanted to as regards a job." 

Next stop after SVCC was the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign for a bachelor's degree in Accounting/Finance. "My decision to study accounting/finance came about from a combination of a class I had taken in high school and then it became my real interest after taking a number of classes at SVCC with Mr West.  Mr. West was my accounting professor and he really helped me think about what a degree in business would mean in terms of opportunities as well as make my decision about going to the U of I . And I felt very comfortable when I went down to the U of I.  I didn't feel as though I had missed a beat.  I was confident about what I wanted to do and why I was there, and I had no problem transitioning into the classes at U of I" says James.  Going to SVCC made him feel more committed and confident about what he wanted out of an education than he thinks he would have been had he gone to straight to a four-year university straight out of high school. 

And the confidence never left him as he went directly from the university, bachelor's degree in hand, to Houlihan Lokey, a mid-sized financial firm in Chicago, Illinois.  With three years of experience under his belt, James decided it was time to go back and get his M.B.A. at the University of Chicago, which included studying at the London Business School as part of an exchange programme.  And then the next big leap came which landed him on Wall Street in New York.  "Upon completing my Master's degree in strategy and finance, I ended up going to work at Schroders, an investment bank in New York.  I worked at Schroders for 3 years including a one-year secondment to the London office, which was my exposure to international work."   

From that point, the journey to Credit Suisse in London in January 2000 was not an unexpected part of James' journey as he now had over 5 years of international advisory and capital market experience from financial centers across the world.  Credit Suisse states that James provides clients with "a depth of knowledge, experience and insight to our projects with clients that are facing complex challenges in today's global business world.  His particular experience spans a broad range of areas, including mergers and acquisitions, strategic advisory, IPOs and leveraged finance transactions."  

And this focused journey started at Sauk Valley Community College where James says that he found small classrooms, access to professors, lots of interaction with a variety of students some of which have become life-long friends that he still is in touch with on his trips back to the United States. 

So would he do it all over again and start his education at SVCC?  James emphatically states, "Definitely!  The education and professors are of very high quality.  There is a good breadth of programs and it allows you to get focused, earn your Associates degree, and if you want to use it as a stepping-stone to do other things, it is a great opportunity.  The community is fortunate to have Sauk." 

One never knows where the journey of life will take them but James Janoskey, SVCC alumnus agrees that Sauk Valley Community College is a good way to keep the post-high school momentum going while allowing for progress and focus in your life to take shape.