Steven Martinez, MBA ’18
Hometown: Jersey City, NJ
Undergraduate School: The College of New Jersey
Immersion: Investment banking (IBI)
Everyone speaks about the tight-knit community and how family-oriented Johnson is. But you really get to feel it when you are on campus and a student.
Why did you choose Johnson?
There are a few reasons I picked Johnson.
Firstly, I knew I wanted to transition careers, and Johnson has a very tailored investment banking immersion, which is great for someone like me who has some background in finance, but really needs the technical skills to make a successful transition. I also really bonded with some of the prospective students I met, as well as some of the faculty and staff.
Another factor that really is unique to Johnson is I think we we were the first business school to have a diversity and inclusion office, and that was important to me.
What did you do prior to coming to Cornell?
I was working at an investment bank, but in a different role. I worked very closely with investment bankers, managed their revenues, and worked on writing deals, so I had a lot of context regarding what I was getting myself into when I decided to go to Johnson.
How would you describe your dream job?
I’ve been pursuing investment banking for a long time—for at least six or seven years—so right now, I would have to say that is my dream job. I’d also love to be able to open my own boutique firm someday.
What was your first impression of Ithaca?
I love Ithaca. I’ve never been around so much natural beauty before. I’ve always lived in big cities, so we don’t see a lot of the things I’ve been able to see here. I’d never seen a gorge prior to coming to Ithaca.
What is your favorite spot in Ithaca?
What has surprised you most about Cornell?
Everyone speaks about the tight-knit community and how family-oriented Johnson is. But you really get to feel it when you are on campus and a student. And that can mean something different to everybody, but I really got to feel the support from faculty and staff. Everyone genuinely cares about my success, whether it is in the classroom or in my career. I’m not just talking about my professors, but also the rest of the faculty and the staff as well. Which was surprising, to have people who don’t really know me but who care enough about me to see me do well or to help me resolve an issue. Faculty and staff are very accessible at Johnson.
Who is your favorite professor?
Drew Pascarella, my investment banking immersion professor, is my favorite. He is very passionate about the school and the program. He is one of those people who, like I mentioned before, really cares about you and your success.
He is more than a professor—he is a friend, a mentor, and a role model. He does more than just teach about financial analytics and how to put together a pitch deck; he teaches us about being better leaders.
He has also taught us about the importance of giving back and giving thanks.