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Meet NYU Stern’s MBA Class of 2020

Jeff Battipaglia

New York University, Stern School of Business

Firm believer in the golden rule, embracing new challenges/opportunities, and the power of sport.”

Hometown: Yardley, Pennsylvania

Fun Fact About Yourself: I met President George W. Bush on two separate occasions, on two different football fields, almost two years apart…and he remembered me!

Just kidding, he didn’t remember me, but the rest of that is true.

Undergraduate School and Major: United States Naval Academy, Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: United States Marine Corps, Logistics/Supply Officer.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: One of the great privileges in the Marine Corps includes being asked to promote junior Marines and sailors that one works with. Promotions are a source of pride for service members and are indicative of the additional schooling, training ,and sacrifices made to achieve them. I consider it my biggest accomplishment and honor to have been asked to promote several Marines and share in their special day.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Optimistic. So far, I have only had the opportunity to meet fellow veterans at Stern. Like me, they are coming from varied military backgrounds and are making a drastic career change as their service time ends. Everyone is excited for this opportunity and eager to learn, meet new life-long friends, and lay the foundations for their future careers.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? Stern’s academic and professional reputation spanning industries and MBA programs is hardly any secret. What really piqued my interest in Stern was their emphasis on community and focus on individuals’ intellectual and emotional intelligence. Everyone has certain skills, qualities, and experiences that they can utilize to better the broader community. As a military veteran, this resonated with me. Sternies are a diverse group of ambitious students who embrace the principles above.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? As part of the Military Veterans Club, I am most eager to help future vets who are interested in attending an MBA program. I was fortunate enough to connect with several Stern MVC alums, who were invaluable to me throughout the whole application process. I feel a strong sense of responsibility to pay that forward.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? After some serious soul-searching, I decided that a 20+ year military career was not what I ultimately envisioned for myself. I spoke with family, friends, mentors, fellow veterans and others about pursuing an MBA and its many advantages. It became clear to me very quickly that attending a full-time program was too good of an opportunity to pass up on.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I have always believed that additional education can only benefit the individual seeking it. In other words, there are no drawbacks for going back to school. Couple that with the incredible career development and networking aspects of top-tier programs, and it becomes hard to put a price tag on an MBA.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Besides Stern, I applied to Wharton and Haas.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? Throughout my MBA search, I was looking for schools with a charismatic and collegial student body, a strong academic reputation, a tight-knit veterans club, and a location in places where I was generally interested. I visited as many as I could, and walked around campus with other veterans. I know that travel can be difficult for some, but I found those campus visits to be extremely helpful in identifying the different cultures and attitudes at each program. In the end, Stern checked all the boxes of what I hoped for in an MBA and then some. Additionally, its prime lower Manhattan location cannot be beat for practically any industry a candidate is interested in pursuing.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? When I decided to attend the Naval Academy, I knew that I was making a nine-year decision (four-year college plus five-year obligated military service time). It was a fairly daunting choice that would change my life forever. The Academy, and subsequently, the Marine Corps, taught me how to think, how to care, how to lead, and how to earn and give respect.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? After graduation, I hope to gain valuable work experience in strategy and finance, ultimately broadening my general management skills and business acumen.

Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years, I see myself leading cohesive teams in the development of innovative, customer-centric business strategies and marketing techniques. I believe that Stern will help me get there.