Veteran and M.B.A. Graduate’s Expanding Career in Finance

By Jeanne Leong

Eric Carbone’s professional life has led him from a successful career in the military to the finance industry, and now after earning his master of business administration degree, he hopes to advance his career even further.

In 2015, when Carbone started the Rutgers Online M.B.A. program, he was working as a direct client representative at Goldman Sachs in New York City. At the time, he was fresh out of the U.S. Army, where he had served for seven years as an armor officer in Texas and Colorado, along with one deployment to Iraq.

“Coming out of the military, I knew I wanted to go into finance, but I didn’t have the knowledge base to get there,” says Carbone, of Tinton Falls, N.J., and a 2008 West Point graduate. “I started at Goldman Sachs to build a foundation for understanding the finance industry, but without an M.B.A., I felt I would be missing the academic background that many of my peers already had achieved.”

The online M.B.A. program exposed Carbone to new ways to work in group projects with classmates who’ve never met and who hailed from many parts of the country. Being from different time zones added to the challenge of coordinating schedules for conference calls to discuss strategy for a project.

“In an online class, working in a group requires accountability; in your own work, but also in work for the group,” says Carbone. “The students I encountered in the Rutgers online program are all working toward a common goal, which makes relationships form immediately to get the work done well.”

Estelle, Sarah, Eric, and Liliana Carbone

Carbone chose the online M.B.A. program because it allowed him to fit coursework into his jam-packed schedule, which included his full-time job, serving in the New Jersey National Guard, and spending time with his wife, Sarah, and baby daughter, Estelle, who is now three years old.

Time management is a challenge for anyone working a full-time job and taking classes, but during Carbone’s two years in the program he also switched jobs, moved into his first house, and recently welcomed into the family a second daughter, Liliana. She was born during finals week of his last semester. It was an exciting and stressful time, but he managed to balance his responsibilities at home and ace his courses and graduated with honors.

“If not for the flexibility of an online M.B.A. program,” says Carbone, “I would not have had the ability to complete my degree.”

After graduation, Carbone will continue working at Schafer Cullen Capital Management in New York City. In the fall, he plans to further his education and pursue a Six Sigma Certification.

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