2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Danny Cecere, Bucknell University (Freeman)

Danny Cecere

Bucknell University, Freeman College of Management

“A conscientious student and loyal friend who shows up for others and leads by example.”

Fun fact about yourself: During COVID, I learned to cook and create my own sustainable food system of yard-to-table meals. Over the last three years, I have taken over cooking the big Thanksgiving meal celebration for my extended family.

Hometown: Glastonbury, Conn.

High School: The Loomis Chaffee School, Windsor, Conn.

Major: Accounting & Financial Management

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: ACFM 361: Financial Statement Analysis

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College: Dean’s Scholar; Mortar Board Honor Society; Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society; Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, executive board member and treasurer; Freeman Fellow (teaching assistant and mentor); teaching assistant; tutor; vice president of service for my MGMT 101 company; Inter-Fraternity Council, vice president of programming; Sigma Chi Fraternity; club water polo; intramural sports; Camp Sunrise (camp for students with physical and intellectual disabilities), Volunteer counselor; Salvation Army, Aoup kitchen volunteer

Where have you interned during your college career? I was an asset wealth management advance assurance intern for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston and a student internal audit intern at Bucknell.

Where will you be working after graduation? As an asset wealth management assurance associate for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston.

What company do you admire most? I admire Tesla because the company has taken a century-old industry (auto manufacturing) and completely changed the business model to become an innovative, technology-driven company committed to foundational changes in transportation and energy. Tesla has simplified the car-buying experience to a few mouse clicks; created an electric vehicle without sacrificing performance; improved the functionality of vehicles instantaneously through software updates; invested in transformative infrastructure to create an unprecedented national network of charging stations; and moved us faster than ever to a greener culture that can reduce global warming. Tesla’s willingness to embrace that type of disruption to such a mature industry has created the type of progress that the world has rarely seen.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? The Freeman College of Management has positively impacted my college experience in so many ways. One of the most enjoyable aspects of Bucknell’s Freeman College is the opportunity to develop personal connections with professors. In the classroom, I enjoyed how my professors placed value on empathy and ethics as much as business acumen, and how they continually challenged me to step outside my comfort zone by taking upper-level classes and learning to use new technologies. Beyond the classroom, my professors have offered friendship, mentorship, career advice and invaluable modeling of professionalism and integrity in business, for which I am so appreciative. As someone with many interests, I relished the school’s commitment to a liberal arts education and the ongoing encouragement to embrace innovation and the challenges of a varied curriculum.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? From studying business at Bucknell, I learned to prioritize integrity and curiosity as critical core values that apply both inside and outside the workplace. As a future auditor, these values along with my accounting skills will help me protect investors and creditors and provide outstanding service to clients.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Take risks and take advantage of all Bucknell has to offer! Although it can be unsettling to step outside your comfort zone, true growth and learning come from trying new and different things. Don’t be narrowly-focused but make sure to stay versatile and explore options outside of your major. Taking classes, joining clubs, and applying for positions outside of your comfort zone is where you can stretch yourself and tap into skills and perspectives you didn’t know you have.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I expected to take classes in different business areas and develop a core understanding of those areas beyond my major. I was surprised at how deeply the business curriculum extends beyond the individual business disciplines and prepares students to appreciate broader priorities relative to community and social responsibility, internal and external relationships, political and legal factors, ethical standards, global impacts, technological development, and other important considerations of working in a social world.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? My proudest achievement was being selected as a Freeman Fellow for the Freeman College’s first-year mentorship program. When I was a first-year student, my Freeman Fellow mentor was the first person to welcome me to campus, and he became someone I knew I could count on for support, advice, and friendship in and outside the classroom. He became an invaluable role model and a true friend. I wanted to be the same kind of mentor, friend, and adviser to first-year students in the classes after me. When I had the opportunity, I eagerly applied for the position. I was grateful to have the opportunity to give back and help first-year students successfully transition to Bucknell, knowing they had a friend and mentor in me!

Which classmate do you most admire? I greatly admire my classmate, Jack Romano ’23. Jack inspired me to dive in and involve myself in the Bucknell community as much as possible and take advantage of every opportunity available to me at school. Jack has a strong desire for success while always enjoying himself, making sure to attack everything he does with energy, enthusiasm and positivity. He pushes me the extra mile both in our studies and on our runs along the Lewisburg Rail Trail.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My older brother, Bobby, has been my mentor, role model and best friend for my whole life. He is the most optimistic person I know and his positive outlook reminds me that I can overcome any obstacle. Bobby and I have always had a friendly sibling rivalry, but it is the kind of rivalry that lifts us both up. We challenge each other to work harder, give more, and strive to be better than we ever expected because we believe in each other. I have always admired my brother’s success and, although we have chosen different career paths — he is a second-year medical student — his work ethic and determination push me to set my goals higher and to further myself and my career. I am extremely grateful to my brother for all the lessons he has taught me and the incredible friendship we continue to share

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

  • Pass all four CPA exam sections within my first year of work
  • Create a working environment based on meaningful relationships, hard work and positivity

What are your hobbies? My hobbies include cooking, running, athletics like golf and basketball, traveling and listening to music.

What made Danny such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Danny is the quintessential college student! His renaissance approach to college courses, extracurriculars, friendships and education exemplifies a core tenet of liberal arts education: educating the whole self. Danny plays multiple intramural sports, pursues challenging coursework and brings along his classmates for the adventure. Danny’s optimistic, energetic course through life is infectious.

I had a front row to Danny’s inspirational personality in Financial Statement Analysis. The course is rigorous and demanding. Students must navigate complex and challenging problems, filled with subjectivity and interpretation. Danny drew upon his experience across a range of courses to successfully engage with the topic. But Danny’s most important contribution was his ability to bring the class along with him. I often observed Danny stopping a classmate to check on their understanding and progress. He regularly takes time to practice topics with classmates when they are struggling, and encourages them to ask questions in class (typically by staying after class with them to make sure they have the courage to ask their questions). Danny’s support is noticed and modeled by his classmates. In conversations with other professors, Danny’s name is mentioned frequently, with faculty citing experiences in which Danny mastered course material and then quickly pivoted to teaching the concept to his classmates.

In summary, Danny is a friend to all, a concerned classmate and an incredible example of learning. This example inspires his classmates to take advantage of their college experience, driving growth and learning. This makes Danny an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023!”

Curtis Nicholls
Associate Professor of Accounting
Co-Director, Bucknell’s Student Managed Investment Fund
Chair, Accounting; Financial Management Department
Freeman College of Management
Bucknell University


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