Andrew Wilber discusses his experience as an MBA student at Fordham University's Gabelli School of Business and gives advice to future applicants.
Name: Andrew Wilber
School: MBA, Gabelli School of Business - Fordham University
Hometown: Upstate New York
Lives in: Upper Manhattan
Profession: New York City Council, Finance Division
Why did you choose your MBA program? Do you have advice for students on how to make a decision?
When I first browsed the Gabelli website, I was drawn to their values. Coming from the nonprofit sector, I was very comfortable with Gabelli's focus on social impact and creating real change through business and social enterprises. This, coupled with their strong reputation in finance made Gabelli a home-run for me.
Do you have advice for students on how to make a decision?
I was given excellent advice from someone close to me before applying to business school. They told me to consider, in addition to career aspirations, the things that interest me. In large part, I accredit my great experience at Gabelli to selecting the right concentration and program that fit my interests the best.
What were the biggest challenges of pursuing your MBA?
The academics at Gabelli were very challenging, especially once I worked my way into the specialized courses for my concentration. However, all of the professors are incredibly supportive, and everyone in the student body genuinely wants you to do well as their peer. Given the small classroom experience, collaboration comes naturally.
What is something that you learned that was unexpected?
I learned the value and importance of peer support throughout my time at Gabelli. I never felt like I was wasting anyone’s time by asking for clarity in class or in working groups. This is a testament to the collaborative, inclusive culture and team-focused environment that Gabelli has built.
How much are you in touch with the alumni network? Are they helpful in making connections with companies?
Not only does Gabelli have a great academic reputation for their finance program, but so many of the alumni work in the vast realm of the industry. I have been fortunate enough to connect with alumni working for the most prominent investment banks and private equity firms in Manhattan, as well as the Federal Reserve, Securities and Exchange Commissions, and other government institutions. This speaks to the diversity of Gabelli's alumni, and the immense opportunity and access that we have as Gabelli students.
Advice for Future Applicants
What was it like to transition back to school after being out for a few years? What advice can you offer students returning for their MBA?
It was a really great time for me to refocus on my career goals, and reflect on what I truly wanted to get out of the subsequent academics ahead of me. My best advice is to think about these things often, and let this guide your course selection for your electives. Accounting classes can be tough, but they equip students with some of the most important knowledge needed for smart business and finance decision making.
What resources and support did your school offer you through the career search?
No student need is too small to the faculty and leadership at Gabelli. Not only did I have great career advisors available, but I also found support from the Senior Assistant Dean. In addition to spending hours speaking with me about career options, he connected me to people from his personal network that worked in the industries of interest to me.
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