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Fordham @ Work: Mary Kathryn Donato, GBA ’06


Mary Kathryn Donato, GBA ’06

Mary Kathryn Donato, GBA ’06, is a program associate at the Graduate School of Business Administration in Westchester. Photo by Bruce Gilbert

Mary Kathryn Donato, GBA ’06, is a program associate at the Graduate School of Business Administration in Westchester.
Photo by Bruce Gilbert

Who She Is
Program Associate, Graduate School of Business Administration (GBA), Westchester campus

What She Does
I focus on marketing and recruiting for GBA programs at Westchester, including the Executive MBA (EMBA) program, the part-time evening MBA program, and the Executive Education programs. The exec-ed portfolio of programs has been a recent focus with its launch in Fall ’12 and consists of certificate programs. There’s a Fordham Forum on Leadership and Growth, for example.

A lot of what we do is outreach in Westchester and letting people know that Fordham Westchester exists. I was the vice chair of the Westchester County Young Professionals committee for a year, and that helped with our visibility a lot. I also lead the process for EMBA rankings.

What Brought Her to Fordham
I was working for Tiffany & Co., doing product development for their fragrances, and I decided to get my M.B.A. at Fordham in 2004. Once I graduated, I went into cosmetics marketing for two other companies and did a sports startup for Propolo. When Fordham expanded the EMBA program to Westchester in 2009, I came back. Knowing the staff so well, and knowing what the experience of going through the program is like, it was a great fit for me.

She Got More Than Just a Degree
The EMBA program creates a tight network of people; you become very close and friendly with everyone. Jude(Donato) and I worked on a lot of group projects together, and toward the end of the program, just before we graduated, we started dating. About a year after we graduated, we got married.

The Best Part of Working in Westchester
It’s a small, tight-knit group, and people definitely know what each other does, and know what the programs do. I’m not only selling the GBA, it’s really to get out here and advertise other schools, like professional and continuing studies, social work and education. When you’re going on an outreach visit, you always have to have something in your pocket touching on each different school, because you never know where a question is going to come from.

The Best Part of Her Job
The EMBA program takes 22 months. To recruit someone from the first stage, and watch them go through the program and then see them graduate is very rewarding. Maybe they just planned to take a financial class to brush up on their skills, and two years later, they’re graduating with an M.B.A. and a completely different perspective.

What She Does For Fun
We moved to the suburbs in Connecticut from Manhattan about a year and a half ago, so we’ve really tried to embrace outdoor life. My husband does triathlons, and my daughter has decided she likes to cheer for him. My son was born six months ago, so we haven’t had time for much else.

I love cooking, so whenever I can, I try to get home and try different meals. I’ve been gardening too. Not everything lives, not everything looks as beautiful as I want it to. It’s a work in progress.


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