Jordan Giallanzo, a graduate of Lehigh’s Class of 2010, has found much success in his five years post graduation. From doing acquisitions and asset management at a real estate private equity firm, to becoming a manager of strategic projects, he attributes many of his accomplishments to his time at Lehigh.
“My time at Lehigh was an integral part of my career trajectory and helped to shape the person I am today,” he said.
Giallanzo says he’s found success from both his experience inside and outside the classroom. He said the rigorous College of Business and Economics aided him in developing work ethic, and his professors have had lasting impacts.
He specifically named business school professors Sivakumar, Meyer, Weaver and Manzo, stating their influences on him during his time at Lehigh. Giallanzo noted the importance of learning the basics such as Microsoft Excel, and emphasized that students should invest their time in something they find interesting, which is something Meyer always taught.
“Professor Meyer taught me how to enjoy finance,” he said. “Lehigh’s curriculum is vigorous, and being able to take a step back to recognize the interesting parts of the things you are learning is definitely important. He also helped spark my interest in real estate finance, contributing to the career path I’ve taken thus far.”
Not only did professors aid Giallanzo, but he said Lehigh’s unique environment and opportunities also had a positive effect on his experience. Giallanzo’s involvement in Student Senate and Greek life helped him understand the importance of things such as building relationships, collaboration and civic duty.
“One of my favorite things about Lehigh was that because of its relatively small size, you were able to make a large impact in whatever pocket of the community you choose,” Giallanzo said.
In his description of his Student Senate experience, Giallanzo stressed the importance of learning from failure. When he was not elected Student Senate president, Giallanzo instead became involved in the Lehigh Investment Management Group, which he cited as a crucial role in him acquiring his first job at J.P. Morgan.
“I look back to the end of my freshman year and vividly remember thinking about all of the amazing things people were doing on campus and after they graduated, and feeling the urge/pressure/desire to do everything I could to ensure that I left a positive mark on Lehigh and went on to do something of importance,” he said.
After working for a real estate private equity shop, Giallanzo took a job at WeWork, a company dedicated to “(providing) the space, community and services you need to create your life’s work.”
“I took this role at WeWork because I believed in the product and it gave me the opportunity to learn new skills,” he said. “It definitely was a risk and took me out of my comfort zone, but proved to be highly rewarding so far.”
Giallanzo described WeWork as not a traditional finance company, but as a creative community. He said the company’s primary order of business is to provide startups and small businesses with a digital platform and spaces to work.
According to WeWork’s website, its mission is “to create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living.” Giallanzo just celebrated working at WeWork for one year.
At a company hoping to grow to 50 locations from its current 29, WeWork is constantly expanding, and Giallanzo has played a huge role in its expansion. His duties are not only financial, but also innovative, as he is continuously assisting members and working through roadblocks and projects.
Giallanzo said his favorite part of his job consists of coming up with new services for WeWork’s members. He describes this as “creating a business inside of a business.”
Giallanzo attributes his success to him pursuing a career in what he enjoys. While many students are pressured to take the “traditional” route after graduating from the finance program at Lehigh, Giallanzo challenges students to do more. Intelligent risk is vital to finding a career path that is exciting and interesting, and he did just that to end up in his position today.
Only five years out of college, Giallanzo said he misses Lehigh while still enjoying his post-graduate life. He jokes that the smallest of things such as eating chicken fingers on Friday or walking up long flights of stairs can spark nostalgia of his college days.
“It is also worth noting the power of the Lehigh network,” Giallanzo said. “Lehigh’s alumni network is truly special. Many of the alumni I’ve interacted with understand the importance of mentorship and were always willing to give advice. I can truly say that their mentorship was essential in the person I am today.”