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Seeking a Smaller Place for World of Diversity

Jay Romano makes Vanderbilt his go-to spot for international business career

Jay Romano
Analyst, Slalom Consulting
Consultant, Strategy and Operations, Slalom

Vanderbilt MBA 2017

In college, Jay Romano studied abroad in Osaka, Japan. (He’s still fluent in the language.) The experience piqued his interest in a career that would allow him to work internationally — an opportunity he frequently enjoyed after graduation on the foreign exchange operations team and in the corporate audit department for State Street in Boston.

Jay enjoyed the diversity of the people he met within the company as much as the international travel itself. While he’s not certain where in business he ultimately wants to be — concentrations in Strategy, Finance and Marketing expand his options — “I know I want to make international business part of my career.”

Yet while he is interested in the world, Jay also knew that, for his MBA, he wanted “a more intimate educational experience.” Vanderbilt, he says, “was the perfect place. My professors — who have written books, worked for exclusive investment banks or been champions of an industry — know me by name. You just don’t get that anywhere.

“Furthermore, the CMC (Career Management Center) knows me and my story. They know what I previously did and what I want to do going forward.”

And amid a small program, he has also found the world of diversity he craved. “Everyone in my class has a unique story,” says Jay, who is president of the student-run Japan Business Club. “I don’t believe I could have gotten that elsewhere. Some of my closest friends are from Peru, India and Japan, just because of Owen.”

Because of the more intimate, collegial environment, Jay believes he has emboldened to broaden his horizons in other ways, too. “I have been able to explore academic fields that I did not previously think I would,” he says. “Prior to setting foot on campus, I had never taken a marketing course, and now I am working on a concentration. Having the opportunity to push me out of my comfort zone has helped me grow as a person and taught me things about the world I never would have imagined.”

Fun Fact: A classically trained singer, Jay spent his high school years in Massachusetts singing with the New England Conservatory of Music.

“My professors — who have written books, worked for exclusive investment banks or been champions of an industry — know me by name.”