2020 Best & Brightest MBA: Brandon Adamson, Fordham University (Gabelli)

Headshot of 2020 Best & Brightest MBA, Brandon Adamson, wearing a suit and tie and an american flag pin on his lapel.

Brandon E. Adamson

Fordham University, Gabelli School of Business

“I am a hardworking and energetic professional interested in solving problems and working with others.”

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Fun fact about yourself: I enjoy running and am currently training for a marathon.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Wilberforce University, B.S. in Accounting

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Global Contact Services, Education Manager

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? J.P. Morgan Chase, Plano, Texas

Where will you be working after graduation? CitiGroup, Global Consumer Banking Division, Associate 

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Fordham Foundry Pitch Challenge, 1st Place Winner
  • Fordham Graduate School of Business Admissions & Recruitment Specialist
  • Black and Hispanic MBA Association, Chapter President.
  • RelishCareers Student Ambassador
  • Dean’s Scholarship Award Recipient

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? The academic achievement that I am most proud of during my time in business school would be the group presentation that my team and I delivered for our capstone project. We were tasked with consulting an industry-leading database management company by providing them with marketing solutions on how to penetrate new markets. This experience was especially special due to the birth of my first-born son, Bryson, 2 days before my proposed departure to London for my project. Although I had to cancel my flight with my cohort, I was able to watch my child be born, still make it to the UK, participate with my group, and deliver a solid presentation.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? The professional achievement that I am most proud of would be landing my job as an Operations Team Leader at the boutique consulting firm Global Contact Services after graduating from undergrad. I originally applied for an HR assistant role and was recommended for a more leadership-oriented role in the organization. Although I did not have the prior experience required to be hired for the role, I was hired after several rounds of interviews and networking. I excelled in my role and was promoted within 18 months, which further allowed me to increase my impact on the firm and grow my professional and business acumen.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite MBA professor is Travis Russ, who was my Leadership Communication professor. The entire course and his method of teaching truly challenged my way of communicating as a leader and sharpened my skill set on how to communicate with people with different leadership communication styles.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favorite MBA event is the Admissions Open House event that engages with admitted students and students who are interested in attending the Gabelli School of Business. As an admissions and recruitment specialist, I’ve had the pleasure of interacting and assisting students with their inquiries and decisions in deciding on where to attend business school. Having the opportunity to share my amazing experience with people who are looking to further their education is an enriching experience. The event includes faculty, administrators, and current students, which allows candidates to get firsthand knowledge of what attending Fordham is like. This experience reflects the very close and tight-knit community Fordham University prides itself on.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Fordham University Gabelli School of Business because of the nature of every single interaction I had with members of the Fordham community prior to committing to the university. My experience during the interview and open house reassured me that the people I encountered were the people that I wanted to work and learn around for the following two years and then some. This coupled with a strong academic curriculum and post-graduation job placement rate made choosing Fordham University an easy choice.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? My best advice to an applicant hoping to get into the MBA program at Gabelli would be to be grounded in good ethics. Gabelli prides itself on hand-picking candidates with exemplary work ethic, sound business acumen, and (most importantly) well-rounded ethical behavior who can continue to uphold the standards of Fordham and its Jesuit values.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth about my school is that Fordham is a school solely for students interested in Finance. Although Fordham has a sound track record of producing very strong finance professionals, the school does an amazing job of offering in-depth resources and curriculum in fields of all types such as marketing, IT, and management. Many of my peers have had amazing work and internship experiences in industries outside of finance, ranging from media to marketing.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? The one thing that I would do differently over my MBA experience is to narrow my interest and focus on a specific function or industry. My general interest ranged across industries which resulted in me sending mixed messages to my network and potential contacts who were interested in helping me. I believe that students are better equipped to get traction in their internship and job search if they are able to specifically highlight an interest earlier in the process.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? The MBA classmate I admire the most is Michael Pickett. He shared that he is approaching 40 years of age and only recently decided to pursue his J.D./MBA. He expressed that he wanted to be able to share the importance of a graduate degree to his two daughters and felt that he needed to experience it to do so. I admire his drive to lead by example for his children and family and it resonates with me as a new father who also plans to impart the knowledge and importance of higher education to my son.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My mother had the greatest influence on me to pursue business in college. Her expertise as an attorney inadvertently influenced me to strive for excellence as a businessman and entrepreneur. She opened a private law firm, which I believe with my skill set and education in business can help take her firm to the next level.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? The two top items on my professional bucket list are to work and live in another country, and to become professionally fluent in a third language.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I would like my peers to remember me as being a gentleman and a scholar who exhausts all efforts in the pursuit of a noble, respectful, fun, and prosperous life.

Hobbies? My hobbies consist of traveling, playing chess, reading, and spending time with family.

What made Brandon such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“From the first day Brandon Adamson set foot on Gabelli’s campus, he has consistently embodied the values of community, excellence, and ethics that we aim to instill in all of our students. He has excelled in the classroom and in the career development process (Brandon was one of the first students to receive a full-time job offer – he will be heading to CitiGroup after graduation to work in their Global Consumer Banking division), and has been one of the cohort’s most involved members in the Gabelli community.

In addition to serving as the president of the Black and Hispanic MBA Association, Brandon won the Fordham Foundry’s annual Pitch Challenge for his presentation on BeautiMaps Technologies, a two-sided platform that connects beauty professionals with clients. The judges cited Brandon’s passion, thoroughness, and preparedness as some of the qualities that led them to pick his company over the 76 other teams in the competition. He displays these same characteristics in all of his engagements at the business school. It is also worth noting that Brandon’s accomplishments are even more noteworthy considering he became a father during his first year in the program. He has been able to make a profound impact on the Gabelli community while also being immersed in, as Brandon puts it, “daddy mode”.

While the aforementioned anecdotes detail his most prominent accomplishments, his stellar work with our admissions office is what I will remember most about Brandon. In his role as a graduate assistant recruiting specialist, Brandon has gone above and beyond what is expected of our student workers. He is the first to volunteer to sit on a panel or give a presentation to prospective students and has always served as an exceptional representative of Gabelli and Fordham University as a whole. I can confidently say that Brandon has played a critical role in helping shape the incoming classes at the business school. We can only hope these future students will have the same determination, hard-working spirit, optimism, and energy as Brandon.”

Dylan Mosenthal
Associate Director of MBA Admissions
Fordham University: Gabelli School of Business


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