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GEM’s Gems November 2014 – Claude Joseph

November 21, 2014
Claude Joseph

Claude Joseph

The GEM’s Gem whom we are honoring this month is Claude Joseph, who recently was promoted to President and Petroleum Engineer at Casimir Resource Advisors, LLC.

Joseph, 60, has worked in banking for the past six years, where petroleum engineers evaluate the assets underlying and supporting their loans. This is referred to as reserve based finance. In July 2014, Joseph accepted a position with Casimir to help originate financing opportunities for complicated transactions, as well as performing the technical due diligence required.

“In the petroleum branch of the energy industry things change very quickly, for example the most recent price drop in oil by roughly 20 percent,” said the Cohort VI alumnus. “This can lead to distressed situations on the one hand, as well as opportunities on the other.”

In addition to having a successful year professionally, he has also had a great year in his personal life. Joseph was adopted when he was six months old.

“I’ve known that my whole life, and about a year ago, through DNA testing, I began searching for my birth family,” he said. “This past April my mother died (some of you met her at our graduation, my adoptive mother), and in May I found my birth mother and three half-siblings. So, at an age when most people find their family shrinking … mine has grown enormously!”

What were some of your favorite things to do during cohort weekends?

The four-day weekends starting each quarter were a terrific time to socialize with classmates. This is critical, as the normal interaction of a classroom would otherwise be largely missing from the program. Various groupings of us had a great time at lunch, happy hours and dinner, and some late nights from which I am still recovering!

What are some of the things that you never forget to bring to cohort weekends?

  • Water bottles
  • Something for hangovers
  • Tablet (Android or iPad) for annotating presentations and general note taking
  • A good sense of humor

Why did you choose the GEM program at CU Denver?

As a technical professional, with Bachelors and Masters in Petroleum Engineering from Colorado School Of Mines, I was looking to augment my understanding of finance. At the time, there was no option to get a Masters in Finance through a distance program at CU, and this GEM program offered me the opportunity to hone my finance skills as well as gain a better understanding of renewable energy resources and full lifecycle analysis of the energy spectrum.

How has the GEM program benefited you?

Friends and relationships formed during the year-and-a-half program are something I will cherish for quite some time. Professionally, gaining a better understanding of other aspects of the energy industry has been very worthwhile (everything from wind farms to solar energy, electric grids to refineries).

Please share a story about GEM that will entertain other students.

Not directly relating to GEM, but more relevant to the application and acceptance in the program: Before getting my two degrees from CSM I was a math major at the University of Colorado – Denver for a short while in the 1970s. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say I was not exactly an exemplary student. Upon acceptance into GEM, I attempted to register for the first quarter’s classes. The website would not allow me to do so, and when I inquired at the registrar, I was told this was because I had been suspended in 1976. What made things even worse was that since there had been two complete software updates since the 70’s, nobody on campus knew how to rectify the situation!  Sarah came to the rescue, and after a few days of begging, pleading, email, and phone calls, I managed to register for the first quarter of GEM.

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