Student Voices: Meet Steve Casey, Executive MBA Americas Class of 2022

By: Janice Endresen
headshot of Steve Casey

Steve Casey, Executive MBA Americas Class of 2022

Sales professional, real estate investor, and new father—meet Steve Casey, Executive MBA Americas Class of 2022.

The national director of sales and marketing at the Melville Candy Corporation, Steve lives near Boston in Marblehead, Mass., and holds a BS in marketing, management and leadership from Boston College. As a student in Johnson’s Executive MBA Americas program, he connects with classmates throughout North and South America through live, interactive videoconferencing during weekend classes held every other Saturday and Sunday. Learn more about Steve in this Q&A.

Why did you decide to pursue an Executive MBA? 

I have always wanted to get my MBA but the timing was never right. I was furloughed due to COVID-19 and that gave me the perfect opportunity; it pushed me to commit to an MBA. You can always lose or leave a job, but you can never lose a degree. The MBA will carry its weight immediately [and prepare me] for opportunities in senior management.

What career goals will an MBA help you to achieve?

My career goal is to become a CEO of a large consumer product goods corporation. Several CEO mentors inside and outside of my industry encouraged me to get my MBA for the resources, network, and tools for success that it provides. Right now, I feel incomplete without an MBA and want to become more well-rounded in all aspects of business, not just sales. My short-term goal is for personal benefit but my long-term goal is to be a CEO of a corporation. Even 10 to 20 years from now, an MBA will solidify my position.

Why did you choose Johnson at Cornell?

Amidst COVID, this program is perfectly set up via Zoom to get a complete experience of an MBA even while the boardrooms are not available. The alumni network is incredibly strong and it is a top-tier program in the nation.

What aspects of the Executive MBA Americas program do you most value?

Meeting so many different people from around the world and learning about different industries has been an eye-opening experience.

Did you have second thoughts about starting your MBA now, during the pandemic? If so, what tipped the scales in favor of starting now?

I do not have any second thoughts. If it wasn’t for COVID, I may not have pursued my MBA. That, and a six-month-old at home who is only getting bigger!

Are you connecting with your cohorts and making new friends in the Executive MBA Americas virtual class environment? Can you describe what it’s like to make new connections in a purely virtual setting?

I am in sales and love people, so making connections purely in a virtual setting is not the same, but we are fortunate that we live in a world where we have Zoom, FaceTime, and many other ways of communicating. I have been able to reach out to other cohorts, but nothing will be able to fully replace an in-person relationship.

Have you joined any student clubs? If so, which ones?

I have joined the Cornell Associate Real Estate Council (AREC). Real estate is a passion of mine, so it has been great to connect with others who invest and enjoy it as well.

What’s one thing you’ve learned so far from your MBA experience?

I have learned how to work better with groups and lead projects in a virtual world, which is important as I work remotely now and still need to manage a team.

What have you most enjoyed about being a Johnson MBA so far?

I was on a panel recently with a CEO in my industry and it organically came up that he was also a Johnson MBA alum. It immediately created a bond and we have been talking ever since. The power of the Cornell name has already proven itself in my work life.