Fordham University College of Business Administration (CBA) students were given direct access to some of the country’s top companies—and Fordham alumni who work for them—during Access Your Future Week on the Rose Hill campus in October.
The event, which ran from Oct. 1 through Oct. 4, included informational sessions by companies such as Deloitte & Touche USA and IBM and discussions with alumni with backgrounds in range of industries.
“We wanted [students]to get a flavor for different careers so that they could get a sense of the opportunities that are out there,” said Donna Rapaccioli, Ph.D., dean of CBA.
On Oct. 4, students met with alumni working in fields ranging from advertising and marketing to finance and accounting at a professional luncheon at the Duane Library that featured a keynote speech by Roger Anerella (CBA ’89).
Anerella, managing director and chief operating officer for global markets at Merrill Lynch, didn’t mince words in his advice to students, warning them against walking into an interview with only a smile.
“Have a plan,” he said. “If you want to be successful, you must have an insatiable appetite to learn. Don’t just sit there and learn what’s taught to you, go beyond that. Make something happen.”
Anerella discussed the peaks and valleys of his corporate career, which began at a Wall Street firm that went bankrupt.
“The only thing I remember is how devastated people were and how some of them were crying,” he said.
Anerella regrouped, finding work as a financial analyst for Shearson Lehman. He rose through the corporate ladder, and eventually moved on to Merrill Lynch.
To get to the top, however, Anerella, a former Fordham football player, had to constantly outperform other ambitious colleagues.
“The competition is fierce,” he told the students. “The common element that all these top performers have is . . . not wanting to lose. Now, it’s okay to lose, but you have to get up the very next day, upset that you lost and figure out how you’re going to make that stretch to win.”
Anerella warned students looking for a secure job that encompasses little change to steer clear of Wall Street. “It’s a fast-paced environment and change is constant,” he said. “If you don’t like bumps in the road, don’t go there. Know who you are because there are several different fields within business.”
Anerella also advised students to keep current with business news by reading any business publications they can get their hands on.
“Think about how you’re going to market yourself when you get into that interview,” Anerella said. “Tell them what you have to offer.”