2021 MBAs To Watch: Wayne Chan, Fordham University (Gabelli)

Wayne Chan

Fordham University, Gabelli School of Business

“Driven, lifelong learner, backed with a contagious smile.”

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

Fun fact about yourself: I have been on a cross-country road trip from Washington D.C. to Las Vegas.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Texas at Austin, Bsc Biochemistry

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Certizen Limited, a FinTech startup in Hong Kong.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2020? Citi

Where will you be working after graduation? Citi, Global Consumer Bank

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am grateful to have been nominated as a co-host for a special Fordham centennial year event, Mario Gabelli: In Conversation, where we had an opportunity to learn from the man himself! Moderating an event is no easy task, but I am lucky to have the administrative team and faculty’s support to prepare for the event.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I represented Hong Kong at the Asia Pacific ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Alliance Awards. The team at Certizen was one of the few teams nominated to participate in a competition that recognized the latest innovative products and research around Asia Pacific. We were competing against well-known firms, but we knew we could punch above our weight class. We were showcasing a fantastic product, developed by a team I’ve worked with for years. Being able to acknowledge their work and dedication is one of my proudest achievements.

Why did you choose this business school? I choose Fordham because of its community. Current students were friendly and open to coffee chats. Besides the education and recruitment, I wanted to network and make long-lasting friendships. Fordham has a relatively small class size, but the diversity and experiences that everyone brings sets them apart. I’ve gotten to know almost everyone in my class and to grow and thrive with them.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Paul Johnson. He could teach anything and I’d sign up. I’ve taken his value investing course and I’m currently in his digital currency course. Johnson’s curiosity to explore and pursue knowledge is contagious.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? Hot Pot Night. Nothing beats a cold winter night in New York City like a Sichuan hot pot shared with friends.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I wish I could have gotten to know my professors more and develop lasting personal relationships.

What surprised you the most about business school? I was expecting cut-throat competition. I was thoroughly surprised that, while everyone was competitive, people genuinely helped one another achieve their goals together.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? It was my international experience and STEM undergraduate degree. Fordham seeks individuals with diverse backgrounds. The fact I’ve bounced around all my life gave me an opportunity to share how I can contribute to my future classmates.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Tiffany Zhou. She is a fantastic individual who started not one but two companies while at school. She’s also restarted the Business in Fashion & Luxury Club. Tiffany is remarkably innovative. With events shifting online due to COVID, she has constantly implemented new ideas to foster a more engaging and fulfilling experience for both the speakers and the audience. She’s passionate, caring, and is always open with her time. I don’t know how she does it. I see her Google Calendar. If you ever need fashion advice, ask her.

How disruptive was it to shift to an online or hybrid environment after COVID hit? The administration and faculty worked double time to create an enriching environment after COVID. Many professors rewrote their syllabus and changed their teaching styles to match the situation better. It’s unfortunate I can’t see all my classmates, but we’ll meet soon enough!

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Mario Torsiello. I consider him my mentor. He has mentored many before me and I know I won’t be the last. I am in awe at his extensive knowledge and experience in banking and finance. I witness my confidence and determination strengthen under his tutelage. I am forever grateful that I have had the privilege to work and know him.  He was the one who suggested I pursue an MBA and I haven’t looked back since.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

1) Speak to an audience of over 1,000 people

2) Lead or establish a global community day

What made Wayne such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“Wayne enrolled in Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business Class of 2021 MBA program with aspirational academic, professional and Fordham community goals.  That started with the strength of his application and academic standing, which earned him a Dean’s Premier Scholar Full Scholarship. Wayne’s pre-MBA FinTech experience in Asia allowed him to share insightful business experiences with his MBA classmates and bring a global perspective to the classroom.

Wayne’s clear objective to focus on a career in financial services enabled him to embark on a career with Citi. Wayne was offered Citi’s prestigious and highly coveted Summer 2020 Associate internship.  Wayne’s teamwork, professionalism, advancement of standards, and ethics impressed the bank enormously, whereby he received a full-time offer post-graduation. Wayne’s commitment to Citi and his MBA classmates was demonstrated further when he worked tirelessly with potential Citi MBAs on interview preparedness and peer-to-peer guidance.

The Fordham Finance Society Board was bolstered by Wayne’s active participation and involvement as an Event/Social Director.  He organized, structured and led several events, most notably he led a fireside chat with Mario Gabelli where he conducted an illuminating discussion with Mario on investment management.

Wayne’s leadership, dedication to his classmates and members of the Fordham Finance Society demonstrate the personality traits that will help him to excel in his financial services career and make a meaningful contribution in any of his future endeavors.  Wayne has made enormous contributions during his time at Gabelli.”

Ellen R. Herman, CFA
Associate Director of Career Advising, Finance Graduate Programs
Fordham University, Gabelli School of Business