Undergraduate students help others get ahead
Undergraduate | Jun 01, 2018 | admin
By Tanisia Morris
Note: This story was originally published in the Fordham Newsroom and was re-published here on GabelliConnect.
As Joe Gorman and Yongbo “Becca” Hu prepared to graduate from the Gabelli School of Business, they hoped that some of the peer-mentoring efforts they supported would continue after they’re gone.
A native of Wooster, Ohio, Gorman is a member of the Gabelli School’s inaugural Lincoln Center class. He’s graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Global Business, and he’s one of the top students in his year. But he didn’t get there without a little help.
During his junior year, he earned an internship with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the world’s largest private cancer center, through an interaction he had with Ian Cairns, BS ’18.
“He said, ‘I like the things that you said in class. I’m interning at Memorial Sloan and part of our role is to help recruit,” recalled Gorman. “Why don’t you send me your résumé?”
Cairns passed Gorman’s résumé along to recruiters at the hospital. After being interviewed, he was offered a role as an investment management intern. When his internship ended, Gorman helped to recruit and interview other Fordham students for his role, just as Cairns had done for him.
“If you like your employer, and you like Fordham, then you want to help them both find one another,” he said, adding that he hopes younger classmates will follow his and Cairns’ example.
After completing several internships, Gorman served as a chief economist for the Gabelli School’s Student-Managed Investment Fund. He also worked on the Dean’s Council alongside Vincent DeCola, S.J., assistant dean of the Gabelli School of Business, to help improve the academic experience of undergraduates at the Lincoln Center campus. And he’s volunteered at open houses for admitted students and events for first-year students.
“I remember being in their place four years ago and trying to figure out what I wanted to do, and talking to current students was very helpful,” said Gorman.
Hu—who is graduating with a Master of Science in Taxation—has helped to organize networking events with Fordham alumni as a board member of the Fordham Accounting and Tax Society. She also helped spearhead a career fair with representatives from firms like Friedman LLP and Ernst & Young. Last spring, she put together an event with a professional English-language teacher for international students interested in improving their English.
Her drive to help other students in her program was inspired by a phrase her mother, a quality controller at a food company, used to say to her growing up.
“She would always tell me that ‘helping others is helping yourself,’” recalled Hu, a native of Nehe, China. “That helped to build my character. I never go somewhere and expect that I could just receive things and take that for granted.”
Hu said her father, a part-time computer shop owner and farmer, would talk about macroeconomics around the house when she was young.
“He wasn’t able to go to business school but supported my decision to go,” she said. “I was able to stand on his shoulders, learn more, and see a broader field.”
Hu and Gorman both said the experiential learning opportunities and classes they have had at the Gabelli School helped to shape their post-graduation goals.
Gorman said he has always been interested in math but didn’t know what career path to take until he served on the winning team of the Gabelli School’s Consulting Cup challenge, the biggest on-campus academic competition for sophomores at the school. He also took a financial management course that same year.
“That’s when it clicked that I wanted to try something in the finance area,” said Gorman, who has interned for North Brookside Capital and the French investment bank Société Générale, where he will soon work as a full-time investment banking analyst.
“We were talking about current events around that time, about the border adjustment tax and the tax plan the new administration had been proposing. It was kind of eye-opening to see those things in the news and then come to class and put some numbers behind it,” he said.
Hu’s aha moment came in an international taxation course, where she studied the tax systems of the U.S. and foreign countries as well as topics related to tax treaties, transfer pricing, and foreign tax credits.
“I’m interested in how international transactions work and how businesses get taxed in different jurisdictions,” said Hu. “A lot of the logic makes sense to me, especially with my international background.”
Hu recently accepted a position in Ernst & Young’s diversified staffing group in Houston. She said she looks forward to putting her accounting training into action.
“My job would be to become a well-rounded tax professional in the beginning and then specialize in one area,” she said. “It’s really cool to know that what I was learning will apply to my job later on.”