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Interviews | Jan 26, 2018 |

Talking with … Gabriella Brown

Gabriella BrownEvery “Talking with…” feature helps you get to know a different Gabelli School faculty member, administrator, or staff member. This week, we’re speaking with Gabriella Brown, assistant dean for juniors at the Rose Hill campus.

How did you get into higher education?
I began my career in the corporate world, working in human resources—recruiting, compensation, employee relations—but realized that while I enjoyed the skills I was using, I wasn’t contributing to the betterment of society. I feel that education is one of the most powerful tools that any person can have, so I decided to change careers.

What drew you to the Gabelli School?
I came to the Gabelli School from the NYU Stern School of Business MBA program. When I learned about the integrated business core for undergraduate students at the Gabelli School, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

After almost seven years here, is there anything about your day-to-day experience that surprises you?
Yes! My role as an advisor is very cyclical, and many things can be predicted. However, there is always something that I must learn about or investigate that hadn’t come up before. I love it!

Junior year focuses on the Jesuit principle of magis, or doing more. Can you recommend a way in which students can use this principle to serve their community?
Magis is more than “doing more” in the sense of achieving more or striving for better. It is, in my opinion, the decision to choose the option with the greatest universal impact whenever decisions must be made.

In that sense, Gabelli School students can use the principle of magis in most situations by always keeping community in mind and making decisions that serve both themselves and others. Students might volunteer in the Bronx or near their homes, take on leadership roles in nonprofit or charitable organizations, get involved in student organizations that have an impact on society in positive ways, or even help their peers to learn concepts from class when they are struggling.

Which one thing do you tell all students, regardless of major or career goals, to do to prepare for the future?
There are a million paths to the same end. I say this all the time because students feel tremendous pressure to be “right.” But without getting too philosophical, what is “right”? And is “right” a fixed or fluid concept? I believe that every new experience and stimulus influences what is right for a person. Some things confirm the current trajectory and some shift it—and some change the direction entirely! So, I encourage students to learn as much as they can, academically and experientially, so they can discern the best answers for them to the questions in front of them right now. Then, based upon the outcomes, determine the next set of questions … and so on.

 

Fun questions

Favorite winter comfort food:
Cassoulet. Read the story and recipe and you’ll know why I love it … and only order it
out!

Skiing, sledding, or snow-tubing?
Hmm. I will meet all the skiers, sledders, and snow-tubers back at the chalet for après-ski festivities.

Which book would you re-read multiple times?
Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gould. It is charming, entertaining, and very well written.

Which book would you never read again?
Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis. I was attempting to read all of the Pulitzer Prize winners and got stumped by this one—the 1926 winner. I couldn’t finish it.

Which New York City borough do you spend the most time in, outside of work and home?
Manhattan. I used to live there and felt like a New Yorker, but now I’m most certainly a tourist.

Would you rather have to wake up at 3:00 a.m. every day or go to sleep at 3:00 p.m.?
I can’t believe I’m saying this but I would rather wake up at 3:00 a.m. That means I would probably be going to bed at 3:00 p.m. anyway!

 

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