A career in banking at JPMorgan Chase wasn’t on Daniel Abelson’s agenda when he first joined the Global MBA at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. But that’s exactly where he’s heading in August 2020 after he graduates from the program.
Daniel is set to join the Chase Associate Program, a two-year rotational program focused on building future leaders in consumer and community banking. He credits the Fox Global MBA for his career transition.
Prior to the program, he worked as a supply chain analyst and then a purchasing and logistics manager at restaurant company honeygrow. Honeygrow was founded in Philadelphia in 2012 as the ‘original create your own’ stir-fry, salad, honeybar and juice specialists. All meals are made from scratch, are fully customizable, and focus heavily on local and seasonal produce.
While there, he reached a point in his career where he wanted to seek out a new opportunity, a new career path, and so he began to look at his options.
His MBA gave him time to think about what it was he wanted to do. Daniel knew what appealed to him was working at scale and doesn’t think the jump to JPMorgan Chase would have been possible without the Fox Global MBA.
Choosing an MBA
Daniel is Philadelphia born and bred. He says the Global MBA program at the Fox School stood out to him because of the opportunity to gain international experience through the program’s global immersions.
“The opportunity to travel abroad and get unique experience was something other programs didn’t offer at the level Fox does,” he explains.
Last spring, he joined a group of MBA candidates on a global immersion to China and Hong Kong for two weeks. They saw business from multiple perspectives, being able to study the differences between Hong Kong and China, as well as network with local companies, multinationals, startups, and nonprofits.
There was also the chance to speak with the leaders of those companies. Daniel explains that students were able to have in-depth conversations about the impact of the trade war on China in real time, as well as what it means for different types of business in the region.
“It was really fascinating stuff that I feel not many other programs could offer me. The MBA has certainly lived up to, if not exceeded, the expectations I had for it.”
Daniel also entered the MBA at the Fox School with an insider perspective of what he was signing up for.
The CEO of honeygrow, Justin Rosenberg, is an alumnus of the Fox Part-Time MBA, and he had nothing but great things to tell Daniel about the school.
Finding the right MBA career path
Daniel wanted to pursue an MBA to change his career path and industry, while gaining valuable networking experience with a cohort of experienced peers. He had plenty of experience with smaller, dynamic startups, but he craved experience in a more structured, large-scale organization.
While at honeygrow, he saw the company expand from three restaurants to 32. He says it was an incredible opportunity at such a young age, and he was tasked with building out a supply chain network and helping the company expand into new markets. He travelled across the country, through New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.
That experience taught Daniel that he was interested in growth and wanted the opportunity to work at scale. So he set about landing a summer MBA internship with a multinational organization. He joined Amazon in Seattle as a senior product manager.
He worked on a new team at Amazon focused on building out new marketing and payment solutions for the company.
“I loved working at scale and knowing the work I was doing could impact millions of customers,” says Daniel. “While I had the opportunity to go back to Amazon, my wife and I decided we wanted to stay local and not move to Seattle.”
Daniel then started looking at other companies with a local presence that could offer him the structure he was after. That’s when he came across the program at JPMorgan Chase. After some research and reaching out to various Fox MBA alumni who had been a part of the program, his mind was made up.
“They all had glowing things to say about the opportunity, the company and the program,” Daniel says. “After having those conversations, I decided to apply.”
And it’s testament to the MBA internship as well as the program itself that Daniel is ready-made to launch his career with JPMorgan Chase in summer 2020—his experience with Amazon showed him that large corporations are a different ball game.
“Large companies operate very differently, so getting that exposure for me was really exciting and interesting,” he says. “Being able to understand much more critically how things have to be thought about when you’re working at that level of scale certainly helped prepare me for my work [with Chase].”
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Fox School of Business - Temple University
Philadelphia - United States of America