Never Too Early
Tepper School of Business alumnus Steve Feyer encourages Tartans of all ages to get their will and estate plans in place — the sooner the better.
Carnegie Mellon University alumnus Steve Feyer packed something a bit unexpected in his suitcase for a recent family vacation — his will and estate plan.
He wanted his brothers to serve as witnesses for his signature, but he also hoped that by being so upfront about the topic, he’d inspire his siblings to plan ahead, too.
“They were a bit surprised,” says Steve, who at age 41 is the middle brother in the family. “It's not something that anyone ever wants think about. However, it's just a good idea to have plans for yourself. That moment, when you're not able to advocate your wishes, is frankly one of the most important moments in your life.”
For Steve, thinking about his estate now and putting his plans in place is a gift to his family.
“It takes stress off of your family at any age, and it gives you the opportunity to decide what matters most to you and your loved ones,” Steve says.
“For me, it was an easy choice to create a fellowship at Carnegie Mellon with my estate. I got so much from Carnegie Mellon. It’s never been a question in my mind to give back.”
The will and estate plan Steve stowed in his suitcase detailed his plans to create a fellowship benefiting MBA students at the Tepper School of Business after his passing.
"For me, it was an easy choice to create a fellowship at Carnegie Mellon with my estate. I got so much from Carnegie Mellon. It’s never been a question in my mind to give back."
“Carnegie Mellon and the Tepper School are perpetual. I hope my estate plan will not be needed for decades, but when it is, there will be a generation of Carnegie Mellon students who will benefit from it.”
Steve graduated from the Tepper School of Business in 2015 with a master’s degree in business administration. He had chosen to return to the classroom, and CMU specifically, after a few years in the workforce. As a founding member of a company, he was thriving in an entrepreneurial role.
“But I wanted to learn more about what I didn't know, what I hadn't experienced for myself and discover what new direction made sense for me,” Steve says.
When he visited the Tepper School and saw CMU’s focus on cutting-edge technology and entrepreneurship, he knew his choice was clear.
“My gifts are providing critical education for students who will be making their own hires someday. That's how I think about the impact my gift can have. My gift is going to create jobs, technologies and businesses that we're all going to need in the years ahead to solve the challenges that will affect us all.”
“The campus community, the team-based structure, the focus on analytics: All of these factors were unique at the time and felt to me like a program that was looking ahead to the future and what its students would need to be successful,” Steve says. “Given my career in tech and in startup businesses, the Carnegie Mellon program was exactly what I was looking for.”
After leaving campus, his career path led him back to Silicon Valley where he eventually found his niche as a product marketing manager. He was one of the first 20 employees at Eightfold AI, a talent intelligence platform that uses artificial intelligence to connect people and jobs. Now, with 600 employees, he’s the director of customer advocacy.
“I've had the opportunity to define a whole market, and the remarkable experience as a marketer of seeing my work copied all over the world,” Steve says. “You can’t ask for anything better than that.”
Looking ahead, he hopes his fellowship and his annual support of Tartans as a member of the Andrew Carnegie Society eventually will come full circle.
“My gifts are providing critical education for students who will be making their own hires someday,” Steve says. “That's how I think about the impact my gift can have. My gift is going to create jobs, technologies and businesses that we're all going to need in the years ahead to solve the challenges that will affect us all.”