Owen Daly, alumnus of Gabelli School of Business, describes the many skills he learned during his MBA and offers advice to future candidates.
Q: What was your favorite classroom experience?
A: The most interesting and beneficial classroom experience I had took place in a course on negotiation. Toward the end of the semester the professor handed out index cards with each students’ name written on one side. She then assigned everyone to write a few remarks on each student’s negotiating abilities. The constructive criticism that I received from my classmates greatly enhanced my skills by exposing blind spots and reinforcing areas where I was deficient. I think this also gave each of us an opportunity for honest self-reflection of our interpersonal abilities
Q: Did you have an internship during your MBA experience, and if so, how did it prepare you for your career?
A: I had several internships during my MBA: I interned with Pfizer Inc. in their Global Logistics department, later interned with Guggenheim Securities on their Account Onboarding desk and their Human Resources department to help enhance their veteran internship program. During my final semester at Gabelli, I was selected to intern at Bank of America’s Veteran Associate Program. This internship led to a full time job offer with the firm’s Prime Brokerage department where I currently am employed.
Each of these internships prepared me for work in the civilian private sector in different ways. It was a great opportunity to get variety of experiences, and through this I was able to expand my network and grow as a professional.Q: Have you stayed in touch with your program’s alumni network, and if so, what have been the benefits of maintaining these relationships?
A: I have certainly maintained contact with several friends that I made during my time at Fordham. There are countless benefits to maintaining these friendships but one that I am thankful for is that I have a network of people who I know I can trust to give me honest advice and constructive feedback as we navigate our new professions. It has also exposed me to an inside view of different career fields that I otherwise would not have had.
Q: What resources and support did your program offer during the career search?
A: The Gabelli School of Business had many resources available to aid students in their career search. In addition to faculty, alumni and the career development center, the two resources that I primarily leveraged was the school’s partnerships with the Edge4Vets program and the Fordham Veterans Association Club.The Edge4Vets program assisted with resume writing as well as setting up on and off campus career fairs. The Fordham Veterans Association regularly disseminated employment and internship opportunities to its members. Both of these organizations were invaluable during my career search.
Q: When applying for jobs, how did you highlight your achievements?
A: When applying for jobs I mainly highlighted my achievements in the interview stage. I was concerned that given my background, hiring managers may find it difficult to fully comprehend how this experience would benefit their business. For each item in the work experience section I always had two or three stories that demonstrated my work ethic, leadership and management abilities. This was critical to bridging their knowledge gap.
Q: What is something you learned during your MBA experience that was unexpected?
A: I learned over time that many people are willing to bring someone in for an informational interview even if there is no prospect for employment with this individual or their company. I found this to be a great opportunity to practice my techniques and hone my conversational skills. These informational interviews paid dividends when I found myself interviewing for internships and full time employment.
Q: What advice do you have for future MBA candidates?
A: I often tell prospective MBA candidates that there are a multitude of factors to consider when choosing where and when to begin an MBA and that it is really for the individual to decide what elements are most important to them. I always offer to explain the decision making process that I went through to arrive at Fordham.One piece of advice that I give is that whenever a fellow student says “do not take that professor; they give too much work” ignore it and take that professor. “Get your moneys worth and get to work.
Interested in receiving an MBA or Business Master’s Degree? Check out Gabelli’s website to learn more about their graduate business opportunities!