4/18/2014 9:09:13 AM

Business Lecture: Developing Success

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

By Lexi Palma '13

Students gathered in the Key Auditorium for another installment of the School of Business Lecture Series. This time, students heard a presentation from local businessman Burke Cos. Principal Thomas Burke titled, “What Business Am I Really In? How Many Hats Do I Wear?”

“I think Thomas Burke’s story is very interesting and it’s great because it’s different from some of the stories we’ve heard before,” said School of Business Dean Jeffrey Mello, Ph.D.

According to a January 7, 2011 article in The Business Review, Burke and his brother Jerry run Burke Cos., a Malta-based firm that owns and operates dozens of Dunkin Donuts franchises among other development projects and investments.

During his lecture, Burke told the student that one of the things he loves most about his job is that every day is different and exciting. He also told them that this career wasn’t one he thought he’d be pursuing. “My career path was not something preordained,” Burke said. “One day I just decided that what I was doing wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore. Self-employment was the best route for me and I’m so happy I followed what I wanted.”

Burke encouraged students to do the same in their lives and gave them some advice. “What I want to tell you is to follow your dream,” Burke said. “Don’t be pigeon-holed. Each one of you is here at Siena, and that’s a blessing, so take every opportunity you can from it. This is the time to explore, so don’t settle and don’t be afraid. Whatever you do, don’t give up.”

The students asked Burke a number of questions after the presentation. Most students seemed to be interested in the reasoning behind placing Dunkin’ Donuts stores close together in some places. They also asked Burke about any challenges he and his brother faced in their early career and how they overcame them.

“There will always be struggles in life,” Burke said, “You just have to forge ahead despite the problems, and it will pay off in the end.”

The School of Business Lecture Series will welcome Jason Gottlieb ’92 for the fall semester’s final lecture on Monday, December 3 at 12:35 in the Key Auditorium.

Like Burke, Gottlieb wears many hats in his work at Goldman Sachs. He is Managing Director in the Alternative Investments & Manager Selections (AIMS) Group, based in New York. Gottlieb is also the head of the AIMS Global Manager Strategies Group and a member of the Global Manager Strategies and Hedge Fund Strategies Investment Committees.

Contact: Ken Jubie
Contact E-mail: communications@siena.edu

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