2024 Best & Brightest Business Major: Grace Maietta, Fordham University (Gabelli)

Grace Maietta

Fordham University, Gabelli School of Business

“Red-headed Midwesterner who tackled NYC with determination, discovering a love for bagels and public transit.”

Fun fact about yourself: Bill Nye the Science Guy taught me how to take the perfect selfie.

Hometown: Elmhurst, IL

High School: York Community High School

Major: Marketing with a concentration in Strategic Branding

Minor: Film and Television

Favorite Business Course: It’s a tie between “Global Sustainability Marketing” and “Revealing Consumer Insights”

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

School Awards and Honors:

  • Global Business Honors Program
  • Honors Thesis Program
  • First Honors Dean’s List
  • Beta Gamma Sigma Inductee
  • Alpha Sigma Nu Inductee
  • Woolworth Award Recipient
  • Manresa Scholar
  • Founder’s Scholar

Community Work and Leadership Roles:

  • Co-chair of Special Events Committee for Campus Activities Board
  • Co-chair of Live! at Fordham Committee for Campus Activities Board
  • Social Media Administrator and Vice President of Marketing for Gabelli School of Business Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board
  • Rose Hill Society Undergraduate Ambassador
  • Gabelli School of Business Freshman Advising Mentor
  • Fordham Dance Marathon Fundraiser and Volunteer
  • Residential Hall Association Program Coordinator

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • The Shark Group, Strategic Partnerships Intern, Remote
  • Warner Bros. Discovery, Digital Distribution Intern, New York, NY
  • NBCUniversal, Commerce Partners Intern, New York, NY
  • NBCUniversal, Ad Sales Corporate Communications Intern, New York, NY
  • NBCUniversal, Ad Sales Creative Strategy Intern, New York, NY

Where will you be working after graduation? Still in the application process

Who is your favorite business professor? One of my most outstanding professors was Caroline Dahlgren. Not only was it her first time teaching “Revealing Consumer Insights”, it was her first time teaching any college course. I did not discover this until the end of the semester because she conducted the class like a seasoned pro. Professor Dahlgren helped me tap into an area of marketing that I had not previously known interested me—streaming media. I spent the semester studying Netflix and examining its password sharing problem. Through focus groups, in-depth interviews, and surveys with students, I conducted primary research to produce powerful insights about this streaming company.

This was the most rewarding class I have taken at the Gabelli School, as Professor Dahlgren’s guidance and commitment to garnering insights helped me to conduct research and create work of which I am incredibly proud. In addition to an engaging semester-long project, Professor Dahlgren took the time to get to know each of the students in her class and provide career advice for those looking for internships and jobs. We also consistently kicked off class discussing Succession, stressors as students, or our weekend adventures. Despite holding a senior-level, full-time positions at Tiffany & Co., Professor Dahlgren was always accessible and encouraged communication outside of class. Her compassion and determination to see her students succeed is something I admire. I am so grateful for the relationship I cultivated with her in the classroom, and I hope to carry it with me throughout my business career.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Over the past four years at the Gabelli School of Business, I have learned the extraordinary power of making strong connections. Whether it is connecting with classmates to conquer tough material, gaining insights from a dean or professor, or meeting with alumni and industry professionals to discover new opportunities, I have found these exchanges immensely valuable. There is so much to gain from learning about other people’s experiences, which can have a massive impact on your own. The personal and professional connections I have made helped me to discover my own strengths and have pointed me in the right direction for my career.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? My advice to prospective business majors would be to find ways to tie in personal interests to your field of study in order to get the most out of your degree. For me, I have always had a passion for television. I love the way it brings people together, especially my own family members, as we quote scenes from our favorite shows around the dinner table. I would encourage students to keep an open mind as they select classes and minors. You may find yourself in an “Ethics of Reality Television” class because of it.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? While majoring in marketing, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed core curriculum classes like business law, accounting, and social psychology. I did not expect these classes to capture my interest and inspire enthusiasm as much as they did. With the help of incredible professors, I learned there are so many facets to business you should understand to be a well-rounded student, professional, and person. Each class cultivated an affinity for the subject matter and revealed a part of me I didn’t know existed. I may not necessarily use my knowledge of groupthink, balance sheets, and tort law during my internships or future career, but I am really grateful for the business core classes for and the surprising interests they stirred in me.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? As a marketing major, I found I was surrounded by students who were often pursuing careers in more traditional business fields such as accounting or finance. Sometimes, this made me doubt myself and my own academic and career path. If I could do one thing differently, I would compare myself less with my peers and be much more confident in my own judgement about my choices. The decisions I have made have led me to work in a field that I am passionate about, but there were moments of doubt along the way. I am now very certain I am pursuing the right field of business for me. I wish I could go back and assure freshman year Grace to trust her gut more and focus on her passions.

Which academic, extracurricular, or personal achievement are you most proud of? I started applying to internships during my sophomore year and soon realized it was a huge numbers game. Without any personal connection to the companies, there were many times when I feared my efforts might not produce the results I sought. Fortunately, I was able to complete a successful summer internship with a media company that bolstered my confidence. Then, during the fall of my junior year while I was studying abroad in London, I hit my personal internship jackpot. However, it took perseverance and being absolutely vigilant to pull it off. Despite the five-hour time difference, I navigated multiple rounds of interviews in hopes of securing an internship for the spring semester. Later, I discovered an email in my inbox from a recruiter at NBCUniversal stating that he had called me multiple times and could not get a hold of me. While I thought I might have lost the opportunity, I remained calm, and switched my US phone number to a UK number for the duration of my time in London. I immediately replied to the email, supplied this new information and hopped on a Teams call to complete an interview.

Thankfully, I had not squandered my chance and was offered a role to intern with the Commerce Partners team that began in January, 2023. I could not believe it! My persistence had finally paid off. Despite lacking connections at the company, my professional experience and on-campus commitments were enough for me to stand out and helped me secure this incredible opportunity on my own. I am so proud that the hard work and the time I had put in for over two years did not go unnoticed. My continued commitment to the entertainment industry paid off along with my ability to move quickly to ensure no obstacles stood in my way. I am so glad I did not give up on my dream of working in such an exciting and competitive industry.

Which classmate do you most admire? In the summer leading up to my first year at Fordham, my freshman advising mentors hosted a series of Zoom calls for the members of the Class of 2024 Global Business Honors cohort to meet each other. Recognizing these would be the students I would share most classes with, I was really nervous when I first logged onto the call. It was during these calls that I met the classmate whom I admire most. Although we initially found each other to be a bit strange and not our usual friend type, my bond with my classmate and good friend, Leah Veneziano, has grown immensely over our time at Fordham. After helping me survive “Honors Business Calculus” during our freshman year, I soon discovered how intelligent and hardworking Leah truly is.

She has worked tirelessly to pursue a degree in finance and to secure internships at top companies. Fellow classmates and friends constantly tell me Leah is always ready with the correct answer in her tough Credit classes. Beyond her academic success, Leah she is very involved on campus. We are both members of the Rose Hill Society and love to give tours together. Her jokes always make me laugh and put our visitors at ease. She also recently took up a job driving Fordham’s intercampus shuttle. As a Ram Van driver, Leah values her playlists and the safety of her passengers. Leah also takes the time to meet with and mentor underclassmen interested in a career in Finance.

Coming full circle, Leah and I now get to mentor the current first-year cohort of the Global Business Honors Program. We meet regularly with the students to guide them through registration and any issues that may arise during their first year. As roommates, we now laugh about how we initially did not expect to become such close friends. I am so lucky that Leah decided to move across the country to attend school in New York and even more fortunate to have her in my corner as one of my biggest cheerleaders.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I am so grateful to have many cheerleaders in my life, but I have to give a big thank you to my mom. Without her, I might have never landed at the Fordham Gabelli School of Business. She first visited the campus to catch up with a former swimmer and immediately sensed Fordham University would be a wonderful choice for me to pursue my business education. She brought me to campus and I knew this was a place where I could thrive. I am so appreciative of her constant support. Whether it is a call on my commute home from the office or a perfectly timed care package, my mom has always been the one to listen and send me love when I need it most. Thank you for being one of the best role models and biggest champions of my success. I love you and dad so much!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? As a massive sports fan, my dream is to work the Olympics—and no, not just as a lifeguard (although I am lifeguard certified and ready and willing). Having the opportunity to work behind the scenes at the Olympic Games in a capacity that related to my career path would fulfill a lifelong dream. Beyond that, I hope to be a successful woman in business who can champion other women as they strive to find their own path to success.

What made Grace such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“Grace Maietta truly sits in a class of her own. I first met Grace when she enrolled in my class, Revealing Consumer Insights. From day 1, it was almost immediately apparent that Grace would be the top student in my class; she consistently asked discerning questions, pieced together involved case studies with ease, distilled impactful consumer-centric insights, and proactively bridged the gap between classroom concepts and real-world examples.

Grace is wise beyond her years and regularly demonstrates the near perfect blend of art and science that all marketers should strive for, seamlessly connecting quantitative indicators with critical humanistic motivators to establish a holistic view of the consumer. This, coupled with her passion for media and entertainment, where she has already begun an impressive career interning at both Warner Bros. Discovery and NBCUniversal, she stands to make an incredible impact as a marketing leader.

Grace exudes all the best characteristics of a Gabelli student; extremely bright, exceedingly high EQ, innovative mindset, and not afraid to wrestle with messy, complex challenges. I look forward to watching Grace’s undoubtedly successful career takeoff.”

Caroline Dahlgren
Adjunct Professor
Gabelli School of Business Advisory Board Member


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