Mike Dolan, a young businessman with a wealth of experience in finance and marketing, visited the School of Management recently to talk to students about how they can set about building successful careers.Dolan spoke to students in Financial Markets and Institutions, a summer class taught by Enzo DiCostanzo, an adjunct professor of finance. DiCostanzo is a Newark native, a 1993 graduate from the Newark College of Engineering and an economic advisor at Samarian Group.
Dolan is vice president at Samarian Group, in Manhattan, where he’s responsible for business development and client relations and a partner in Wealth Management firm Princeton Blazer Advisors. He came to Samarian from Voyager Group, a private equity investment firm, where he was responsible for government relations and business development. He also served as vice president for Voyager Jet Center, a private aviation company servicing clients in the sports and entertainment industries.
Dolan spoke to the class for a half hour about his career and his education at Penn State, and then took questions. College is the time to learn new skills and to work well in teams, said Dolan. One should also study what one is passionate about, he added. When he first entered Penn State, he studied the sciences because he was good at them. But he soon realized he was passionate about marketing, so he switched his major to business.
Many of the students in the class are athletes, and they asked Dolan about the roles of competition, networking and deal making in the business world. Dolan said that athletes often make good business people because they have that “competitive fire.”
“To succeed you must never quit,” he said. “Business is like sports; when the buzzer blows you must leave it all on the floor.”
It’s also important to find a mentor and to learn how to network, he said. “But what’s most important is to learn something that makes you interesting and different from everyone else,” he said. “I get several resumes a week and I want to see right away what sets a person apart.”