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Johnny Pohlman

Even with a heavy academic course load and plenty of responsibilities as a member of the Golden Knights men’s baseball team, Johnny Pohlman ‘21, G’21, was able to receive both his BS in Finance and MBA in four years (a year ahead of what he originally forecasted). But he’s quick to admit that his time at Saint Rose wasn’t all work and no play. Pohlman credits his relationship with teammates and the fun times they had together as a major factor in his ability to graduate on time and with honors.

We recently caught up with Pohlman to ask him about his Saint Rose experience and future plans. Here’s what he had to say:

What did you like best about your program?
I like how easy and accessible it is to get in contact with professors and have them help you with whatever it may be. Every single professor I had in the business program was extremely flexible and wanted to see me succeed more than anything.

Why did you decide to continue your education at Saint Rose after receiving your undergraduate degree?
In the fall of my sophomore year (2018), I was made aware that I could be in the five-year MBA program, where I would be able to get my bachelor’s degree in finance and MBA at the same time. It was a no-brainer because it allowed me to get my MBA now rather than have to get it while working five days a week and whatever else I’ll have going on in the future.

What clubs/organizations did you join while at Saint Rose?
I am on the baseball team and a part of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). I am also on the executive board for SAAC, where I serve as the treasurer and run their social media.

What is your favorite memory of Saint Rose?
All of the friendships I’ve made since being here. In a short four years, I’ve made friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. Saint Rose has given me some of my best friends.

What have you learned through the pandemic?
Life is short and precious and can be taken from you at any moment. One thing money can’t buy is time. Go out and do what you want without second thoughts and enjoy every moment you have with the people you care about because you never know when it will be the last.

What was the best class you took at Saint Rose, and why?
Probably my investment classes: We’re given the opportunity to create a portfolio and invest in it. It has taught me a lot of lessons and given me a new hobby. Ever since taking an investment class, almost every day I talk to my dad about the stock market and investing.

What are your future plans?
Right now, I’m up in the air about the exact type of job or career I want. All I know is that I enjoy talking and interacting with people on a daily basis. Will that lead me to become a financial advisor? A financial analyst? An investment banker? I’m not sure. I’m a family-oriented guy, so I would like to stay on Long Island and close to my family.

What are your career or grad school prospects?
Because I’m in the five-year program, I won’t have to worry about getting my MBA from anywhere else, I’ll be getting it done here. I’ll be finishing that up in August of 2021, which will be one of my favorite accomplishments in life — finishing the five-year MBA program in just four years.

What did Saint Rose teach you?
Even though I didn’t go to some big-name Ivy League school, I can still have a successful career. The resources and surplus of outstanding professors make you feel confident you can compete for and hold any job you want. Saint Rose also taught me to always have a winter coat with me and to not take my mom’s cooking for granted!

Who was your favorite professor, and why?
I’ve had a lot of really great professors here at Saint Rose, but two that stick out to me are Dr. Dandan Wu and Dr. Haidy Brown. Dr. Wu has been the instructor for almost all of my finance classes and has taught me so much. She is always available to speak with and truly cares about the students’ success. Dr. Brown was the first professor I ever had at Saint Rose. It was a basic business course and I ended up having her for a graduate course as well. Just like Dr. Wu, Dr. Brown is extremely flexible with office hours and cares about her students academically and personally. I tell friends all the time to try and take courses instructed by both of these professorrs.

Advice for incoming students:
Have as much fun as you can. School is important, don’t get me wrong, but I’m a firm believer that you can’t have success in school if school is all you think about. I was fortunate to be able to play baseball throughout my time here. It gave me a bunch of friends — some people who are like brothers to me — and gave me something to look forward to every day. It took my mind off of stressful school work and allowed me to relax. College seems long, but in reality, it’s very short. Sometimes it’s okay to take a break from studying to go to the movies or hang out with friends. After college, you have the rest of your life to work, so for the short four years, do as much as you can to enjoy yourself!

Look for Pohlman and other Class of 2021 and 2020 graduates in the upcoming Saint Rose Magazine.

By Caroline Murray

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