Jimmy Caputo is an MBA candidate at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. Caputo, who plans to graduate in 2023, shared his experience choosing Lerner graduate programs and how it has impacted him both personally and professionally.
Lerner: Why did you go back to pursue your graduate degree? Why did you choose the Lerner College for your studies?
Caputo: It’s easy to have an event like COVID-19 and see the bad and think about everything you can’t do because of it. I saw a lot more free time on my hands. It put me in a blessed position where I figured this would be the most time I would ever have to pursue higher education while simultaneously working full-time. UD was an easy choice because Delaware has always been home for me. Born and raised in Delaware, went to the University of Delaware, and now working at JPMorgan Chase in Delaware. On top of that, I have always learned a lot from Lerner professors. Off the top of my head, the most inspiring professors were Professor Jakotowicz, Professor Elson, Professor Reign and Professor Marra.
Lerner: What did you learn through this opportunity that you wouldn’t have learned anywhere else?
Caputo: Through this opportunity I have learned more about myself and what I am able to accomplish if I set my mind to it. One skill I had always lacked was time management. Through working full-time, while training a newly adopted dog and taking my MBA courses, I have become quite the time management expert.
Lerner: What is an example of a course or concept that you were able to apply directly to your life and/or career?
Caputo: In Dr. Wendy Smith’s course on ethical behavior, I learned how critical it was to not accept the information provided as the ultimate truth. Always question everything you are doing and why. I use that type of thinking every day in my job. Additionally, in Professor Darwin’s class, we learned about the importance of identifying bottlenecks in our work processes in order to find ways to eliminate any excess work. I have already applied this logic to many of my reconciliation processes in my work.
Lerner: Can you describe an important connection you have made through your graduate program?
Caputo: For me, entering the workforce online made it hard to meet people I work with outside of my direct team. Through group projects in my MBA program, I was able to meet people such as Sydney Treiman and Noah McCardell, who also work at JP Morgan, and I would now consider friends.
Lerner: If you were to describe your classmates in one word, what would that be?
Lerner: Fill in this sentence: “My graduate program helped me become…”
Caputo: More well-rounded through exposing me to content I don’t get in my day-to-day at work.
Lerner: What was the most impactful hands-on project or case competition that you were able to participate in?
Caputo: I really enjoyed working on the National Cranberry Case Project in BUAD631. It was a lot of work but it was really exciting to create multiple simulations and provide recommendations for a decision with confidence.
Lerner: What are your plans or next steps for the future?
Caputo: I will be rotating to a new role at JPMorgan Chase in July for one year. After that year is up, I hope to stay with the firm and move further west to a state like Texas or Colorado.