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Q&A with a BC MBA ’14 alum: Joe Marullo

Posted by Shelley Burt | September 11, 2014

One of the reasons students choose to pursue their MBA at Boston College is our fiercely loyal and successful alumni network. Every month, we’ll feature a Q&A with a BC MBA alum here on the blog. Learning about their experience can help you determine if the program is right for you—and potentially introduce you to a career path you hadn’t yet considered. Here’s our first one.

Joe Marullo, BC MBA '14Meet Joe Marullo, MBA ’14

After graduating from West Point in 2004, Joe was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and Military Corps. Eight years on active duty later, the Wakefield, MA native – along with his wife, Beth, also a military veteran – enrolled in BC’s MBA program, ready to transition from military life to the corporate world.

1) What are you up to now – title, role?

Director, Insurance New Business Operations. This is my first rotation in the Leadership Development Program (LDP) at John Hancock.

2) How did the Boston College’s MBA program help you get to this point?

First, the Career Strategies office set up the initial sessions with John Hancock and the LDP. I was not entirely familiar with rotational programs prior to business school, and hearing about it directly from John Hancock’s recruiters initiated my interest. Following these information sessions, the Career Strategies office worked closely with me in my preparation for the interview process. The office was critical in helping me prepare and practice for the selection process, and I give them much of the credit for helping me tell my story effectively. 

Second, BC provided me the tools I need to be successful in this first job. My employment background did not align perfectly for a career in financial services; however, the academic opportunities BC provided (MBA classes, engaged professors, and external projects) along with the support structure from strong classmates and alumni provided me the foundation to succeed. I have a long road of hard work ahead, but I believe my time at BC gave me the tools I need to be successful. 

3) What drew you to enroll in our program in the first place?

There are two main reasons I sought admission into the program: the smaller size of the class and its strong finance curriculum. First, the size of the class allowed me to get to know my classmates very well. Additionally, it allowed close contact with world-class professors who were more than willing to either help me with a specific subject or provide mentorship about future career opportunities. Moreover, the small class size enabled a very close working and supportive relationship with the Career Strategies office. Finally, I knew I wanted to specialize in finance and investments. After researching many programs, I was excited about the opportunities that BC provided in these industries. 

4) Did you have a favorite course, professor or experience during your time here?

It would be difficult to say that one experience was my favorite during my two years at Carroll. To be honest I truly enjoyed getting to know my classmates, learning about their backgrounds, working with them on various projects, and spending time at many of the social functions. Additionally, I enjoyed many of the classes. From Pete Wilson’s Accounting to Bob Taggart’s Corporate Finance to Ronnie Sadka’s Investments and Elliott Smith’s Financial Policy, each professor challenged me and forced me to think analytically and creatively but also with a strong element of common sense and applicability. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not discuss the external project assignments. We had opportunities to work with external clients in both consulting projects and business plans. These projects required a significant amount of work, but I felt great pride in successfully finishing each.

5) Do you have any advice for incoming students or students looking to enroll in an MBA program?

The best advice I can provide to prospective MBA candidates is to fully immerse yourself and engage in the program from day one. There will be a litany of opportunities available once you begin any program, and you should take advantage of them. This includes networking with and getting to know your classmates. They will be your best support mechanism as you work through the program and your future career. 

Read on about Joe’s experience at the Carroll School, specifically regarding his transition from army to business.    

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