2020 Best & Brightest: Jack Vaglia, Michigan State (Broad)

Jack Vaglia

Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University

“Passionate, resourceful, and grateful individual making the most of life’s opportunities and blessings.”

Fun fact about yourself: Alpine skiing is a passion of mine. I started at an early age, have worked as an instructor, and love to travel in order to find the best powder.

Hometown: Rochester Hills, Michigan

High School: Rochester Adams High School

Major: Finance

Minor: No Minor

Favorite Business Course: Honors Financial Management

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Alternative Investments Group, Co-Founder & President
  • Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU) Student Allocations Board, Board Member
  • Student Investment Fund, Analyst
  • Student Investment Association, Analyst
  • East Lansing Public Schools, Volunteer
  • Intramural Hockey

Awards and Honors:

  • Honors College, Member
  • Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship Recipient, Evans Scholar
  • Financial Markets Institute, Scholar
  • Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU) Bill Livingood Recognized Leadership Scholarship Recipient
  • Michigan Realtors Scholarship Trust Award Recipient

Where have you interned during your college career? Wells Fargo Securities, Investment Banking Summer Analyst (Charlotte, NC; 2019)

  • ValStone Partners, Real Estate Private Equity Summer Analyst (Birmingham, MI; 2018)
  • AxleTech International, Finance and Accounting Intern (Troy, MI; 2017)

Where will you be working after graduation? Houlihan Lokey, Investment Banking Analyst (Minneapolis, MN)

Who is your favorite professor? Kymm Hadlock has made a substantial impact on my career trajectory. In Professor Hadlock’s Honors Business Communications course, I was forced out of my comfort zone in order to become a strong presenter and leader among my peers. This course helped me build the qualitative skills necessary to succeed in my internships in investment banking and private equity.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? I most enjoyed the endless opportunities that are available in business and the ability to grow my network through connecting with incredible alumni and professionals many of whom I am grateful to now call mentors.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? It is how important it is to possess creativity. Business has pushed me to think outside the box in working on projects, investment deals, networking, and creating opportunities for myself.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Earning the Evans Scholarship to Michigan State University. This was the proudest day of my life and something for which I worked extremely hard. I am incredibly grateful for the Western Golf Association and Evans Scholarship Foundation’s investment and belief in me. It will be a privilege to mentor several young caddies hoping to follow in my footsteps.

Which classmate do you most admire? Vaske Pallanguri – He is a peer of mine in the Financial Markets Institute who always pushes me to give my best effort in school, work and life.

What advice would you give to potential business students? I would suggest they pursue business, especially at the Broad College at Michigan State University, as I believe it is one of the best in the country. I would also suggest to stay curious, work hard, take smart risks, and embrace change.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Helen Dashney – I am incredibly grateful for all the time, effort, and wisdom she has given to me over the past four years. She has been my #1 supporter and an absolute blessing in my life.

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

  1. Build my own business that has a positive impact on the city of Detroit.
  2. Invest in real estate, businesses, and entrepreneurs I believe in.

What are your hobbies? Skiing, Golf, Fitness, Contemporary Art, Music

What made Jack such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?  

“As someone who only teaches Honors College and very high achieving students at MSU, I meet many bright, engaging, exceptional learners each semester. The qualities that make an individual stand out, amongst this select group, are usually only observed during repeated interactions. I had the pleasure of teaching Jack Vaglia for two different courses during his undergraduate career. Jack’s relentless work ethic, coupled with his deep, authentic desire for self-improvement, are two characteristics that truly set him apart from his peers.

Jack caught my attention during his sophomore year when we first sat down for a 30-minute conversation. As he shared his career goals and daily work habits, I understood right away how he differed from other high-achieving peers. There was a great desire, on his part, to receive detailed feedback in order to integrate small changes in his communication style that would support him in reaching for optimal success. Jack’s fearlessness in facing and working to overcome his writing and public speaking challenges was impressive. He consistently sought out knowledge for continued improvement and greater effectiveness.

During his junior year, I had the pleasure of having Jack in class again. The maturity and growth that he displayed was evident from the first class period. He actively worked on developing his own skills, in addition to contributing greatly to the growth of his peers. This level of engagement and leadership was strongly heightened from the previous year. Jack was truly a student who pushed others to reevaluate and improve themselves, through his own example and strong work ethic, his willingness to actively contribute to the class culture, and his detailed interactions during group dynamics.

My engagement with Jack continued into his senior year. He sought out my feedback when preparing for a large speaking engagement related to his Evans Scholarship. Jack’s continued maturity and academic growth were immediately evident. In my prior experience, many students approach their senior year with a relaxed mindset, focused on enjoying their last months of college. However, this is not the case for Jack. His goal-oriented approach toward his career search and continued quest for gaining knowledge was impressive. Last semester, several younger students also shared with me the positive interactions that they had with Jack while preparing to apply to the Financial Markets Institute program. How wonderful and rare it is that one student can make such a large impact on the Broad community!”

Kymm Hadlock
Fixed-Term Faculty in the Department of Marketing


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