The “Talking with …” series is a way to get to know the administrators and faculty who make the Gabelli School special. Today, we check in with Bob Daly, the assistant dean for sophomores at Rose Hill.
What attracted you to working at the Gabelli School of Business?
Um, NOT geography. I live about 50 miles away, in Morris County, New Jersey, so clearly there were compelling reasons for me to choose the Gabelli School and the loooong commute. I was at a crossroads in my career, and after much reflection to discern what my priorities really are (students, take note—discernment is an ongoing exercise), I changed course and leapt at the chance to join this amazing institution. Why? Hands down, it’s the people (staff and students), the Jesuit heritage (including the values implied and embraced by that heritage), and the quality of the work being done here at the Gabelli School.
How would you summarize your pre-Fordham career?
Hmmm, let’s see. The Dark Knight meets Field of Dreams? Too short? OK, then, in a word, customer experience management (for those counting, that’s three words, yes). I built my career around consulting, starting with political consulting (politics is a passion), then transitioning into market research, which led to specializing in customer-satisfaction research. I spent more than 14 years honing my CX (shorthand for customer experience) skills working at one of the world’s top market research firms in service to some of the world’s premier brands.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment in your first year of working at the school?
Surviving my commute! Ah, too short again? OK, then, I’d have to say it’s no more complicated than helping and connecting with my students. I really like the advising presentations I’ve put together for my students, and I love getting to know and helping them. Drilling down into the weeds, I’m also proud of the work started last spring where I helped lead a really exciting “journey mapping” exercise, which promises some interesting insights into the Gabelli School’s approach to its undergraduate students.
What’s on deck for 2016-2017?
Constant learning, investment of self, networking, and improvements to my “advising toolbox.” I’m cutting my teeth in this, my first fall semester at the Gabelli School, so definitely it will involve developing the tools and programs to support my students in the fall, imbuing them with my personal ethos and brand so they’re uniquely my own, and adding those to and improving on what I started last spring. I just delivered my first fall kickoff under my “Major Matters” brand, and it was a blast to do. I’ll leave it to my students to measure the quality and value of what I bring to them, but in the end, their endorsement and, hopefully, delight will be the measure of my success.
Which of the school’s values resonates the most with you, and why?
I’d have to say it’s magis: searching and striving to use my creativity and imagination in pursuit of doing more in the service of God, my students, and my peers. Why? I love helping others, and along the way I love pushing the envelope to find ways to serve creatively, to shake up the routine, to surprise and exceed expectations. Ask those around me, ask my students, and you’ll see where I’m coming from and what I’m trying to do to seek the magis.
Favorite aisle at the grocery store:
Spice (hot sauce!)
Place you’ve visited once and NEVER want to go back (and why):
I don’t know, how about Phoenix? It’s crazy hot there, with not much to see but lots of sand and unattractive cement buildings. Did I mention the heat?? (Skiing is not very good there, either.)
Best class you took in college:
Fine Arts: Architecture of Europe. It gave me a real appreciation for the storytelling and life imbued in our historical structures, in contrast to modern times’ godless and lifeless architecture. It also made me want to go visit Florence to see Brunelleschi’s dome in person (still on my bucket list).
Coke or Pepsi:
Whichever is on sale
Website you visit the most (not ours):
Top way to spend an early fall Saturday afternoon:
Going for a run. Kayaking with my wife. Relaxing with my family. (Busted again! Yes, that was three, I know.)