When Marek Herchel graduated from St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, college was almost off the table. Too expensive.

Marek had moved to Topsfield, Mass., from Slovakia to live with the Meserves during his senior year. After graduating, he wanted to stay but simply didn’t have the funds to attend to college. The Meserves and friends published a story about Marek’s desire to attend and inability to pay for attending college in the Boston Globe. The story caught the eye of Barbara Ericson, then a Dean at Suffolk, who called the senior’s high school guidance counselor, Bob Combe.

“[That] was how I ended up being admitted to Suffolk and received sufficient financial assistance to allow me to attend,” Marek recalls.

As an undergraduate student at the business school, he quickly immersed himself into the many social and academic groups and programs Suffolk offers. A member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, he also conducted an independent study of private equity and venture capital and arranged to spend a semester in Amsterdam to study the impending integration of the European Union. In 1998, he graduated with his bachelor’s of business administration, summa cum laude and he received his master’s in finance, from Suffolk in 2000.

When he got his first job in private equity, Marek drew on three main skills that he picked up while a student at Suffolk: networking, communication, and analytic skills. The university’s location in a thriving business city also served him well.

“[Suffolk] was a great place to learn and in parallel gain valuable experience in Boston’s financial services industry,” he says.

Today, Marek is a Partner, co-heading AlpInvest Partners’ Fund Investments team in the Americas. He says he directly applies the general management and finance training at Suffolk to his work finding and executing investment opportunities in North and South America. He travels widely for the international company; a recent two-week trip took him to Los Angeles, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Brazil and Amsterdam.