news and notes

Alumni success stories are a testament to the quality of a Gabelli School education. In each issue of Fordham Business, we highlight inspiring alumni who are making a difference in every industry—and in the world—and we know there are countless others. Interested in sharing your story? Please email
  • Anne Walsh headshot

    Anne Walsh, FCRH ’04, GABELLI ’08

    During her junior year as an international political economy major at Fordham University, Anne Walsh had a lightbulb moment that propelled her career in a new direction. She was pursuing a minor in business and an internship at Donna Karan (which turned into a full-time job)—two immersive experiences that planted the seed to explore a career path that would combine her passion for fashion with a growing interest in business. Although she considered transferring as an undergraduate, she was wisely advised to apply to the Gabelli School’s Professional (part-time) M.B.A. which she could start after graduation. The decision paid off, solidifying her future as a business leader in the fashion industry.

    Walsh earned her M.B.A. in marketing at night, while working full-time at Donna Karan. Although she took a less conventional academic path, she firmly believes her Fordham education played a critical role in her success. “By earning a B.A. in International Political Economy and an M.B.A., I developed a well-rounded view of the world, which has had a positive influence on my approach to business,” she said. Walsh recently was promoted to president, Michael Kors North America Retail, from her prior role as senior vice president, merchandising. This appointment is a culmination of an 11-year tenure at the company where she was instrumental in building the Michael Kors retail business in the U.S. Previously, she was a director of buying at Kenneth Cole Productions and a director of merchandising at The Children’s Place.

  • Curtis Farfan headshot

    Curtis Farfan, GABELLI ’19

    Securing an internship was a top priority for Curtis Farfan as he began the second semester of his academic journey in the Gabelli School’s M.S. in Global Finance program. He found the summer internship he ultimately secured as an equity research intern with Boyar Value Group, in a résumé book at the Gabelli School. “The person who had posted the job was an alum who had a hard time breaking into the field, understood the struggle, and wanted to help,” he said. “The position was only advertised to Gabelli School students, which made the process of interviewing and securing the role much easier.”

    Farfan engaged one of his professors to help him prepare for the interview. “He helped me use the skills I learned in class to tell my story and exhibit my strengths during the interview,” for which he was required to present a research report. “Securing this internship was a big break for me. It made the decision to pursue a master’s worth it,” he noted. The internship experience gave Farfan the confidence to apply for a full-time position with the growth investment team at Voya Investment Management. He again worked with his professor to prepare for the interviews, ultimately securing the job right after graduation. In May 2023, he became an equity research senior associate at RBC Capital Markets, a move that shifted his career in a new direction. “My Gabelli School connections and the help of my professor have played an instrumental role in my career success, for which I am truly grateful,” Farfan said.

Salute to the Full-time M.B.A. Class of 2021

Members of the Full-time M.B.A. Class of 2021 are proving themselves across industries. Their hard work and success illustrate the ways in which earning a Gabelli School M.B.A. helps to build the knowledge, skills, and network for the business careers of the future.
  • Rekha Pednekar headshot

    Rekha Pednekar, GABELLI ’21

    In March 2020, Rekha Pednekar, who was majoring in business administration with a dual concentration in marketing and global business, was beginning the spring semester of her junior year when her plans to study abroad changed. Originally scheduled to study abroad in Shanghai, her itinerary drastically changed when international travel to China was suspended due to the pandemic. She was reassigned to study in Italy, where she stayed only three weeks once COVID-19 began to spread in Europe. She and countless other students were forced to travel home and finish the remainder of their study abroad experience remotely.

    During those uncertain months, it was her contact with other Gabelli School students who were having similar experiences that kept her going. “We all learned to be adaptable and to pivot seamlessly during challenging times—a skill set I will use throughout my life and my career,” she said. Pednekar also made invaluable personal and professional connections through a Gabelli School social innovation cohort, which focused on problem-solving for business. Working in teams, she cultivated friendships that she will have for life.

    The Gabelli School’s focus on sustainability also greatly impacted the way Pednekar approaches strategic planning and project management as a commercial real estate associate in JLL’s nonprofit, education, and government practice network, where she represents clients throughout the tri-state area. “Through my Gabelli School experience I have learned to not only survive, but thrive in the most difficult situations,” she added.

  • Belen Prebisch headshot

    Belen Prebisch, GABELLI ’21

    Born in Brazil and raised in Texas, Belen Prebisch began a career working for her parents’ real estate company after completing her undergraduate degree in finance at the University of Houston. Although she enjoyed working with her family, the excitement of New York City inspired her and her husband to start a new chapter in their lives. “I wanted to build a life in New York and then I found out about the Full-time M.B.A. program at the Gabelli School,” she said. “I knew it was perfect for me because of the location, the student clubs, the faculty, and staff who spoke with me and helped me to make those early decisions.” Once enrolled, Prebisch embraced the experiences that drew her to the Gabelli School, developing valuable leadership skills by serving as co-president of the Women in Business Club (with Stephanie Parrotta, GABELLI ’21) and the Finance Society.

    The demands of running two clubs gave her a glimpse of what would be expected in her future professional roles. “While we were planning the annual Women in Business Conference and other events throughout the year, I had to organize, delegate, and network with others to secure panelists and ensure strong attendance,” she explained. “The experience connected me with a lot of people across Fordham, and we delivered terrific events that we were very proud of.” Prebisch also landed an internship at KPMG which led to a job offer as a full-time associate after graduation, a role she held for three years. In 2023, she was promoted to senior associate.

  • Charlie Buffin headshot

    Charlie Buffin, GABELLI ’21

    Charlie Buffin was working as a media analyst when he considered transitioning to a career in investment banking. “When the AT&T and DirectTV merger happened, I was on the outside looking in. I felt like I was missing out by not being a part of the full business picture,” he noted. As a result, he decided to pursue an M.B.A. The Gabelli School’s deep connections to industry were a big draw for him and as a student, he felt well supported in the areas where he had less experience while applying for internships. “After completing a summer internship at Wells Fargo, I took some really great valuation and accounting classes, where I was challenged to function like an equity research analyst,” he said. “This was very helpful in preparing me for my future job.”

    Buffin started as an investment banking associate at Wells Fargo in July 2021, initially focused on telecom and media, but he has since moved into fintech, adtech, martech, and legaltech. “I didn’t think I would end up working in fintech, but I was staffed under a managing director who I loved working with, and he sparked my interest in pivoting toward technology,” he said. “It was an organic progression as I figured out the areas I was interested in.” Earning his M.B.A. gave him the breadth of knowledge to explore different possibilities. The Gabelli School alumni network served him well, and he is now supporting Gabelli School interns at Wells Fargo. “The networking was really important for me, so I’m more than happy to help these interns as they begin their own career journeys.”

  • Stephanie Parrotta headshot

    Stephanie Parrotta, GABELLI ’21

    Stephanie Parrotta was pursuing a career as an interior designer when she applied to the Gabelli School and ultimately enrolled because she sensed that earning an M.B.A. would help her manage her own business. During her time at the Gabelli School, she became deeply involved in managing the Women in Business Club as co-president with Belen Prebisch, GABELLI ’21. She also secured an internship with The Estée Lauder Companies and was then hired as a full-time presidential management associate. Over the next two years, Parrotta rotated into roles that encompassed four different brands within the company, executing diverse marketing strategies. “I ultimately decided that consumer engagement was the path for me because it felt most like a mesh between the creative side and the business side,” she recounted.

    Parrotta loved working for Estée Lauder because of its responsible business practices, support for women’s careers, and because her mother, who passed away in 2023, also had worked there early in her career. “My mom worked in marketing for Estée Lauder and a few other companies before she gave it up to take care of her family,” she said. “She loved hearing about my career and it felt like I stepped in to continue on the path, which she had started on.” Today, Parrotta is the director of go-to-market strategy for La Mer Global Consumer Marketing within The Estée Lauder Companies.