Michael Driscoll is a Visiting Professor and Senior Executive in Residence, Adelphi University School of Business
Like myself, today’s students were raised to believe that following their passion is the key to success. I propose that a new secret to success is being an “entrepreneur” of your own life. This key phrase, introduced by fellow Adelphi University alumnus Robert Kavner, a venture capitalist and a Pandora director, focuses on becoming a risk taker, and to think globally but act locally. Adelphi University is trying to equip young minds to be entrepreneurs of their own lives. The Adelphi University School of Business is one of a small percentage of programs worldwide to be accredited by AACSB International and continues to deliver outstanding programs responsive to the needs of business.
The New Year is a great time to reflect and look forward. I worked on Wall Street for 28 years for seven of the largest investment banks in the world. While working full time in 1984, I began taking classes at Adelphi at night and earned my M.B.A. degree in 1989. One of my favorite parts of my career on Wall Street was mentoring younger people. In 2010, I joined the Adelphi business faculty and I’m able to share insights and stories with students that will help them to be career ready and more importantly ready for life after school. Being an “entrepreneur” in its broadest sense is a huge responsibility and requires critical thinking skills and skills to solve complex, real world problems. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of many University accomplishments and firsts. In October 2010, the School of Business, transformed a classroom into a trading room, named after James Riley, Jr., a retired Goldman Sachs partner, which gives Adelphi students a practical and in-depth understanding of the things that shape the world of finance. I helped kick off Adelphi’s first-ever C.O.A.C.H. (Count on Alumni for Career Help) event, so students have direct access to industry leaders.
Adelphi students that I teach have tremendous opportunities ahead of them. They have access to professors who genuinely care about their success. Faculty members are first-rate scholars as well as experienced entrepreneurs and executives with a passion for teaching. Students gain exposure to business practice through internships and events with distinguished executives. Many of our alumni take students as interns to give them a taste of what the real world looks like away from the campus in Garden City. I always admire a student who gets their ideal internship, works at it for a semester, then has the guts and maturity to say that it wasn’t what they were expecting and decide to pursue another interest. The more students understand how risk affects them, the better decisions they will make. The best thing that we as teachers can do is to encourage them to immerse themselves in the world they live in and help them find a spot in it to make their own. It’s not where you start but where you finish in life.