Spotlight on Social Sciences Alumni: Jonathan P. Mahoney

Name: Jonathan P. Mahoney
Age: 30
Occupation: Credit Risk Manager at M&T Bank
Education (UR and additional): B.A. in Economics, University of Rochester, 2003; M.B.A. in Finance, University of Buffalo, 2009.
Current city/state of residence: Buffalo, NY
Family: Married (Amy O’Byrne Mahoney – University of Rochester BA Economics 2004), Father (Robert Mahoney – University of Rochester BA Math 1975), Mother (Laura Cohen Mahoney – University of Rochester BA Anthropology 1975)
Community activities: University of Rochester Young Alumni Council (YAC)

Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?

The obvious answer to this question is because both of my parents are University of Rochester alumni (Class of 1975). However, the more genuine response is because of my visit to UR’s campus while still in high school. I do not know what captivated me so much, but the feel of the campus and the energy of the people really seemed to be a place where I thought I could thrive. I eventually applied as an “early decision”, was accepted, and could not have been happier with my decision.

When and how did you choose your major?

I began my undergraduate program majoring in Mathematics, but quickly came to realize that, while I enjoyed Math, I preferred it in the context of Business. After taking a few courses in Business, I changed my major to Economics. Apparently, this was a wise decision as Economics remains a focal part of my career in Finance and Commercial Banking.

What resources did you use on campus that you recommend current students use?

The on-campus Career Center is an extremely valuable resource to students. I can remember spending countless hours discussing my future career with various Career Counselors, and reviewing my resume in preparation for applications. My resume is still formatted based on the advice of the Career Center (from nearly 10 years ago).

What do you do now and why did you choose this career?

Currently, I am a Commercial Credit Risk Manager with M&T Bank in Buffalo, NY. It is my group’s responsibility to manage, track, stress, and report on M&T’s Commercial loan portfolio. I chose this career because of my background in Economics (undergraduate degree from UR) and Finance (graduate degree from the University at Buffalo). I have also held positions in Financial Modeling and Pricing at United Parcel Service (UPS) in Atlanta, Georgia.

How are you still connected with the University?

I remain very engaged with the University of Rochester. Not only because of frequent visits to the campus for events or Alumni Weekends, but also because I recently joined the Young Alumni Council (a group that aims to encourage “new” alumni involvement in regional events, class reunions, and annual giving). In addition, I volunteer for the interviewing program where I assist the University with screening and interviews of prospective students.

What advice do you have for current students?

Network, network, network. This is one of the least utilized activities a student can do during the undergraduate program. As a student, you have over 1,000 peers in your graduating class; make it a goal to meet as many of them as you can. Having an extensive network covering different regions of the country and with different educational backgrounds will be essential when you find yourself in a position where you are looking for a job.