For Gabelli MBA student, a revelation led to business career

Jeremy Cohen, MBA '18

Jeremy Cohen, MBA ’18

For Jeremy Cohen, MBA ’18, business is a little like his hobby of rock climbing.

Both are about figuring out solutions and finding the best and most efficient path to the ultimate goal. And reaching the summit, whether in business or climbing, is about preparation, planning and thinking things through.

“It’s a puzzle you’re trying to solve,” the New York City resident said. “In rock climbing, there are definitely puzzles. You can’t just attack it right away. You have to think about it first and plan a route of attack.”

Cohen, 27, has brought that same level of planning to his career—though with a twist in his senior year at Colgate University, where he majored in political science.

“I was convinced until senior year of college that I was going to be a lawyer. I ended up getting an internship in the legal department of [the asset management firm] Alliance Bernstein,” he said. “All ideas of being a lawyer went out the window, and I decided I wanted to pursue finance.”

After graduation, Cohen headed west to San Francisco to work at Morgan Stanley in wealth management. There, he was exposed to many aspects of the firm’s business — sales, marketing, research and portfolio management — and received a crash course in finance.

“It was one of the better ways to get into finance,” he said.

In addition, through his work in wealth management, he was meeting some of the best and brightest tech minds in California.

“They were young. They interesting. You were learning about different technologies,” he said. “It was really great to meet all these new people and figure out how I fit into this.”

He moved back to New York City at the end of 2015 and decided to go back to school to fill in the gaps in his finance knowledge. He knew he could decipher financial documents, but a piece was missing.

“I could read the research report on Pepsi all I wanted, I could know the balance sheet inside and out, but I couldn’t actually do the modeling behind it. I couldn’t do any of the research. I couldn’t really do my own due diligence,” Cohen said.

Beyond academics, Cohen is looking forward to getting to know his fellow MBA students and hearing their stories and experiences. He’s happy to be at Fordham, where he feels the program is set up to help him flourish rather than conform.

And he’s thrilled to be back in Manhattan, the borough where he grew up.

“It’s great having the city as your backyard,” he said.

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