I was one of the few who knew at 18 years old what they wanted to do for a career. The goal was to attend Syracuse University, get my degree in finance and never have to worry about money again. The irony is that now I worry about other people’s money including my own.
I was not a model student during my first few years at SU. While I knew exactly what I wanted to do, actually doing it was a little tougher than expected. I was born and raised in Syracuse. When you are local with many friends going to Syracuse and the only one with a car, there are plenty of distractions keeping you from the 8:30am lecture on the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.
Eventually it came time to buckle down and get involved with school (partly my choice, part Whitman mandate). I soon discovered the entrepreneurship program and really took a liking. The entrepreneurship degree was relatively new at the time but the courses were a blast. Entrepreneurship allowed me to be creative in a business setting. Professors like Mike Haynie and Peter Svoboda pushed me to not just come up with an idea but to create a plan to execute it.
After graduating, I became what I had set out to become—a financial advisor. After 10 years in the industry, I have become partner and owner of a Syracuse-based RIA firm specializing in investment management for individuals and corporate retirement plans. I applied the tools and knowledge I gained from Whitman to help develop a financial company and continue to apply those lessons daily.
I have become much more involved with Whitman since graduating. I am a board member of the Whitman Alumni Club of Central New York, chairman of the Club’s annual golf tournament and moderator for the Whitman Day finance panel (giving me the opportunity to meet our school’s benefactor!).
All of us took different paths during our days at Whitman and beyond. Some of us are unemployed, while some head multi-national corporations. What we all share is our connection to Syracuse and the Whitman School of Management. I encourage everyone to re-engage as I have to experience the benefits of calling yourself a Whitman grad.