Career (and life) advice for grad students: ‘Focus on the now’


Giselle Martinez, MBA ’12, author of Sitting Pretty in Pink Ribbon. (Photo by Madeleine Haig)

Giselle Martinez, MBA ’12, has been through a lot of changes in her life.

She switched from science and medicine studies to business, earned a graduate degree from Fordham University, became a brand manager for Avon, and beat cancer.

That’s why Martinez advised those attending a Personal and Professional Development Center networking event this week to take life one step at a time.

“You can’t predict what life has in store,” Martinez, who specializes in beauty marketing and product development at Avon, told Fordham graduate students. “Focus on the now.”

Martinez also wrote an e-book, Sitting Pretty in Pink Ribbon, about her cancer battle. All proceeds go to breast cancer research, she said.

The event was part of a PPD series designed to help Gabelli School of Business graduate students to network and learn.

Zina King and Dennis Grant, of the Personal and Professional Development Center, organized Tuesday’s event. The office also organizes a Career Spotlight Series, designed for MBA and MS students, that focuses on career trends and recruiting.

Past events have included “Wall Street 101,” Nestlé Waters and Packaged Goods, and Asset and Wealth Management. On Dec. 4, PPD will hold an event focused on data providers.

After every presentation, students provide feedback about whom they would like to see at the next event and what they enjoyed about past events.

“The Career Spotlight Series is designed to provide information to help students more fully understand the career opportunities available across a diverse set of industries and functions, and to provide recommended strategies to pursue those jobs,” said Grant, the senior director of PPD. “Having the information delivered by senior practitioners, many of whom are Gabelli alumni, is particularly impactful, and potentially, another valuable networking opportunity for students.”

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