Our Stories

Brewing Up New Opportunities

Beverage entrepreneur finds the right blend at Owen.

Alan D'Adamo
Associate Brand Manager, Keurig Dr. Pepper

Vanderbilt MBA 2022

Before Vanderbilt, Alan D’Adamo’s career path intersected at two of his passions: the beverage industry and entrepreneurship. When the pandemic hit in 2020, he was working on a hard seltzer startup company on Martha’s Vineyard. “Unfortunately,” he says, “we had to put the project on hold.”

But that pause also proved fortunate for the next step of his career. As he evaluated his options, he recalls, “I quickly pivoted from applying for jobs to applying for MBA programs. Going back to school is something I had always considered, but it wasn’t until the pandemic that all the pieces fell into place. I felt strongly that pursuing my MBA would put me in the driver’s seat for the next step in my career and would help me polish my business skillset, make valuable connections, and better myself overall.”

Alan quickly gravitated toward Owen, which he came to see as “the perfect blend of a more intimate class setting and access to the resources of a highly ranked program.” He also was drawn to Nashville, he says, “because of the city’s incredible growth and all the opportunity that is here.” 

For Alan, personal scale at Vanderbilt meant, in part, being able to pursue interests outside the classroom that aligned with his career interests. As president of the student-led Owen Venture and Entrepreneurship Club, and as part of the 2021 Venture Capital Investment Competition Team, he gained an added layer of practical experience.

In addition to fellow students, personal scale also meant building relationships with alumni. As an example, Alan cites a “cold-message” email he sent Patrick Baird, an alum of the Executive MBA program who works in a field that interested Alan and who, like him, had attended Babson College. “Just from that email,” he says, “Patrick has become a great mentor and friend to me over my two years, and I’ve worked on two independent studies with him. This is a connection I never would have had without Owen.”

Now, Alan has returned to the beverage industry—back home in Boston, he’s an associate brand manager at Keurig Dr. Pepper—but with the knowledge and expertise that can carry him even higher.

“Owen has been an incredibly positive influence on my life, both personally and professionally,” he says. “I’m excited to see what the future holds, and I feel more confident and better prepared to capitalize on the opportunities I encounter.” 

Fun Fact: Alan is an avid home chef who also roasts his own coffee and homebrews with a friend from Owen.

This is a connection I never would have had without Owen.