Dan Fapp (MBA, ’93) started his career in the entertainment industry as an amusement park manager while in college (BS in Marketing from California State University, Northridge) and then as a tour operations manager. He moved on to more altruistic work in special education teaching and coaching high school basketball. In fact, he was the first former student to return as a teacher to the public high school where he graduated.
Realizing he wanted a change in his career, Dan returned to school to earn an Eller MBA, concentrating in Finance and Operations Management. Dan really enjoyed the close-knit group of students and professors in the MBA program. In fact, he still keeps in touch with most of the people from the program.
Dan offered three pieces of advice for current students:
Be adaptable. Every project, every client, every job is different, and what worked one time may not work the next. You will have to know how to adapt in projects, with clients, and in your career to be successful.
Know how to communicate well. This is especially true for finance majors. You need to know more than just how to “crunch numbers” – you will need to know how to write and speak well. When we interview students, we know they can design spreadsheets so we focus on whether the person can present themselves well, and this includes emails we exchange.
Stay connected. Beyond setting up a LinkedIn page, actually making an effort to reach out to people and stay in contact – through email, local business meetings, or an occasional phone call. Most of my jobs came through connections I made somewhere along the way. It will make a difference in your job search, too.
Dan is now Vice President and an equity owner in L. E. Peabody & Associates, Inc., a boutique consulting services firm specializing in transportation, energy, and regulatory issues – combining a strong understanding of the industries with sophisticated analysis and proprietary quantitative models. Dan is responsible for generating and managing consulting projects, projects involving financial issues and modeling, and administrative duties such as personnel and the company’s retirement plan.
Dan stays connected to Eller and wants to help UA and Eller continue to build on their success. He enjoys giving back to the school and the program that provided so much to him and were important to his success. On trips to Washington, D.C., Dan often runs into alums who all talk about how much they love UA.