When Irvin Knight landed in New York from his island home of Dominica, he was 41, and hungry for his slice of the American Dream. Knight started working as a residential mortgage specialist. But the housing market went boom, and he was forced to find a different career path. Knight enrolled at Touro, majored in finance and graduated Summa Cum Laude. He was hooked on the “practical and positive aspect of every single class”, so on he went to Touro’s Graduate School of Business.
Vanessa Okonta is a planner. With a calendar jammed with reminders and to-do lists, she maps out her life in years, months, weeks, days and hours. In the spring of 2013, Okonta had a pretty detailed plan. She’d graduated from Pace University and had just landed a job with New York City’s Human Resource Administration as a fraud investigator. The position provided many opportunities for growth and advancement, a chance to make a difference in the lives of others and steady income to help pay off her college debt. She planned to attend graduate school one day and assumed that was far off in her future. And yet, the best laid plans often go awry, especially when opportunity knocks.
New York, NY – June 22, 2015 - With his invitation to be the guest speaker at the Graduate School of Business’s 2015 commencement, accounting professor Chayim Herskowitz has come full circle. “It was very comforting to come back to Touro. I felt like I was back home.”
Prior to enrolling with Touro’s Graduate School of Business, Daphne Theodore was working at an H&M retail store in Manhattan. She encountered a deaf man looking for employment, and rather than see his impediment as a liability, she saw past the applicant’s hearing and sensed he’d be a committed, reliable colleague. She was right. The man still works at that H&M, and the experience continues to inspire Daphne as she studies toward a career in human resources.
"I'll show that HR’s not just about hiring and firing and benefits," she says. "It's important for me to see each person as an individual."
The way Theodore sees it—and the way Touro’s Graduate School of Business feels in kind—if we can create opportunities for others, it’s the most enriching thing we can do for ourselves.