Interviews | Apr 27, 2018 | Gabelli Connect Admin
Talking with … Maria Cruzet
Each installment of “Talking with…” helps you get to know to a different Gabelli School faculty member, administrator, or staff member. This week, learn more about Maria Cruzet, assistant director of finance and administration.
What was your role at Fordham before starting at the Gabelli School?
I was a senior accountant in the controller’s office. My former responsibilities allowed me to gain firsthand knowledge of the procedures in place for the processing of all business and financial transactions at Fordham. I also was able to build strong working relationships with many individuals across different departments and functional areas within Fordham. Those relationships proved to be very helpful, as collaboration across departments is necessary to effectively manage the budget and business processes of the Gabelli School.
What makes you most excited to come to work every day?
There are many things that make me excited to come to work every day, but if I have to choose only one, it would be the people. I enjoy working with Judy Paul and the wonderful team in the Gabelli School budget office: Diane Frost, Chris Blackman, and Matt Gonzalez. I also enjoy interacting with faculty, administrators, and my colleagues throughout the University in support of the business functions of our school.
You completed your Executive MBA degree at the Gabelli School a couple of years ago. Can you explain how it’s helped you in your roles at Fordham?
The Gabelli School of Business EMBA program definitely helped me to develop both professionally and personally. I firmly believe that one of the key differentiators of this program is the intense focus on developing the whole person. It allowed me to better understand my strengths and how I could use them more fully to better serve the University. The team projects were also valuable experiences because they taught me the value of being a strong team player, and how to transition to leading teams when called upon.
Can you share a recent example you’ve seen of alumni being “men and women for others”?
The most recent example involves an alumni affinity chapter that I have recently joined called MOSAIC, which stands for Multicultural Organization Supporting Alumni Initiatives and Community. We are a newly formed group that seeks to celebrate the diversity and cultural richness of our community. As we move forward to firmly establish our identity and purpose, many of our discussions have centered on how we can give back to Fordham as well as to our local communities. We have begun exploring ways in which our group may be able to mentor elementary, junior high, and high school students in some of our city’s underserved communities to help them attain their educational goals.
What’s one way you’d recommend Gabelli School students stay in touch after graduating?
The best way to stay up-to-date on what is happening and connect with the Gabelli School community would be through social media. Also, this year I am hoping that many members of my EMBA cohort will show up for a special alumni event being held at Lincoln Center on June 7. I am looking forward to catching up with old friends and meeting other Gabelli School alumni.
Pineapple—it makes me think of being in the tropics.
My favorite word is hope. It is a very simple word, but I believe that it has the power to inspire people to persevere through whatever challenges or injustices they face.
Would you rather spend a free half hour reading a book or listening to music?
While I do love to read, listening to music is more relaxing for me. I love to listen to contemporary artists like Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, and Adele. I also really enjoy Latin music. Listening to it always makes me want to dance.
Would you rather see the ballet, an opera, or a non-musical play at Lincoln Center?
I would rather see a non-musical play. Eugene O’Neill is my favorite American playwright, and I am very excited that I will be going to see The Iceman Cometh starring Fordham alumnus Denzel Washington later this month.
Best place to view trees and flowers blooming in the city:
One of my favorite places in the springtime is Fordham’s Rose Hill campus in the Bronx—everywhere you look, the campus is filled with beautiful flowers and specimen trees blooming. The botanical garden, just across the street, is also a wonderful place to take in the grandeur of spring.
Best part about Fordham in the spring:
The best part about Fordham in the spring is the excitement in the air for the upcoming ceremonies and events celebrating our graduating students. This year, my family will be celebrating two graduations. My older son will be graduating from Fordham College, and my younger son will be graduating from Fordham Prep. I also feel honored that, as a graduate of Fordham, I will be handing both of my sons their diplomas at their graduation ceremonies.