Morgan Vazquez, FCRH ’13, hasn’t missed a Fordham home football game in four years. She even builds her schedule around the team’s calendar. But Vazquez doesn’t just have school spirit—she embodies the Fordham spirit of being a woman for others.
Since graduating from Fordham with a double major in sociology and communication and media studies, Vazquez has dedicated herself to paying forward all of the support she’s received. “I want to feel that I’m contributing to the greater good,” she explains.
Vazquez received a full scholarship to Fordham from JPMorgan Chase. She interned at the company throughout her college career as part of their Smart Start program before ultimately landing a full-time job in the company’s HR division.
“I loved the whole focus on mentorship and developing the junior talent, and of having a job that would let me help and mentor people directly,” she says. Now the vice president of campus strategy and pipeline development at BNY Mellon, where she manages junior analyst, leadership, and recruitment programs internationally, she often comes back to campus to give Fordham students career advice.
Vazquez has three tips she gives all job seekers. First, she encourages students to rethink their idea of networking. “Networking isn’t about getting people’s business cards and reaching out when you need them. It’s about having the opportunity to connect with people and build a genuine relationship,” Vazquez explains.
She also encourages them to take advantage of the extra resources available to them through the University, like the Fordham Mentoring Program, which pairs alumni with students interested in their industries in a one-on-one mentor-mentee relationship. Vazquez is applying to become a mentor this year.
Fordham’s career services and alumni offices also offer many career development opportunities. That’s how Vazquez first met Jean Wynn, MC ’80, a managing director and chief of staff to the president at BNY Mellon. Vazquez had been involved with Fordham’s Smart Women Securities as a student; she first connected with Wynn at an alumni event hosted by the group. “She’s an inspiration for others and a terrific role model,” Wynn says of Vazquez, who now works with her.
Her last piece of advice is to “be yourself. You can’t sound scripted and robotic. Recruiters and potential bosses want to see someone smart but also a genuine person, an individual.”
Recently Vazquez gave similar advice at the annual Association of Latino Professionals for America convention in Dallas on behalf of BNY Mellon. “The goal is to encourage leadership and empower Latinos and Latinas, especially youth, to bridge the gaps, to see the power we have as a collective community,” she says.
She says Fordham was the perfect place to embrace her own multilayered identity. “I’m Hispanic, but I was also president of the Jewish Student Organization on campus,” says Vazquez, who is the daughter of a Puerto Rican father and a Jewish mother. “Fordham encourages you to grow your own faith, your own individuality, regardless of what that is. Fordham embraces differences and diversity, and that helped shape me as an individual,” she says.
It’s part of why she’s stayed connected to Fordham in so many ways, including through the Young Alumni Committee. “It’s so important to reflect on what you have. If I didn’t get that scholarship, would I have this career I love? If I didn’t go to Fordham, how different would my life be? Would I have these amazing friends?”
“I’m motivated to give back,” she says, “because I want others to have the same experience I had at Fordham. I couldn’t have gotten here without support. Now I want to be that resource.”