Alma DeMetropolis to be honored at university’s scholarship gala
Caldwell, N.J., March 19, 2018- You have to “laugh and smile and give off positivity, even if you have a bad day; that’s what attracts people,” said J.P. Morgan executive Alma DeMetropolis. At a roundtable at her company’s Summit, New Jersey, headquarters Feb. 23, Caldwell University undergraduate and graduate students received invaluable professional advice from DeMetropolis.
As New Jersey Market President for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and New Jersey Market Manager for J.P. Morgan Private Bank, DeMetropolis provides executive leadership across the firm’s lines of business as well as community and employment engagement. She will be honored at Caldwell University’s Presidential Scholarship gala on April 20 at Mayfair Farms in West Orange. DeMetropolis remembers well what it was like being a college student ready to embark on a career, so she is passionate about sharing her insights with young people.
“Communication is incredibly important. This is a people’s business,” she told the students. When interviewing, don’t underestimate what a thank-you note can do, said DeMetropolis, recalling that her company recently wanted to hire a candidate but that the person lost out on the job after failing to write a thank-you note.
DeMetropolis, who was the first in her family to go to college, said that as a little girl growing up in Brooklyn she lived in an orphanage for several years. She returned home, attended a public high school in Brooklyn and graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies with a minor in accounting. Her original plan was to go to medical school, but she was a bit of a “math geek” and soon found herself working at J.P. Morgan. She started during the first Persian Gulf War, and her first assignment was to analyze J.P. Morgan’s risk exposure to sovereign countries. She began working with the CEO and the CFO and received an assignment in London, dealing with the emerging euro. For the last 26 years, she has served the company in many capacities including international assignments in London, Zurich, Paris and Latin America.
“Be proactive,” work hard and deliver, and bring humility to the job, said DeMetropolis. She encouraged the students to reinvest in themselves and their education as they pursue their careers and to keep current. “There’s an art to who you are.” IQ, EQ (emotional intelligence) and LQ, “the love portion,” are all important characteristics to bring to the table, and employees should work on all of those fundamentals. “If you marry the science, the art and the heart of what you are doing,” people will want to work with you and will trust you, she said.
Mehruz Shafana, an accounting and financial economics major from Bangladesh, said the roundtable was one of the most interactive sessions she had attended. “She was a big inspiration,” said Shafana. The information DeMetropolis provided, such as the advice to pay attention to details and to send thank-you notes, was particularly helpful, said Shafana, especially since she is an international student and is still learning about U.S. business protocols.
Will Levier, business administration major, had interned at Morgan Stanley in New York City in the summer and was glad to learn there are opportunities in the suburbs that would make the commute into the city unnecessary. He was interested in hearing about DeMetropolis’s international business experiences. “I just think from a global perspective in the industry there are a lot of opportunities to be had for employees and entry-level students.”
Brandi-Lee Brochu, a financial economics major, appreciated the discussion about financial health and the importance of young professionals starting to save early for the long term. “Hearing her speak about it and taking what we learned in the classroom and bringing it all together really shows you that we are preparing for life outside of Caldwell.”
Hritesh Regmi, a master’s in business administration candidate, was enthused to learn about DeMetropolis’s work in the community and about J.P. Morgan’s commitment to philanthropy. “It was so refreshing to hear about it,” he said.
DeMetropolis has been involved on the boards or councils of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, the Liberty Science Center, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the Nature Conservancy in New Jersey. J.P. Morgan’s philanthropy commitments are in areas such as economic empowerment, workforce readiness training, affordable housing and Rising Tide Capital, which provides financial backing and coaching to small businesses.
Professor Bernie O’Rourke, associate dean of the School of Business and Computer Information Systems, was pleased to bring the diverse group to the meeting. The cohort group included sophomores, juniors and seniors, master’s candidates, international students and students with a variety of majors including financial economics, accounting and marketing. “She had a point of view for all those different perspectives,” said O’Rourke. “She offered good advice on interviewing, skills and analytics and the importance of working together in teams.”
The Caldwell University Presidential Scholarship Gala will be held Friday, April 20 at Mayfair Farms in West Orange. The reception begins at 6 p.m. with dinner to follow. For information contact Lori Funicello at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-3226 or go to https://www.caldwell.edu/gala2018