Meet the People of Zarb: Associate Dean Gioia P. Bales
[Note: This is one in a series of posts to highlight the people who contribute to making the Zarb School of Business a special place.]
Here is our Q&A with Associate Dean Bales.
- In your time at the Zarb School, you have had various positions. Could you tell us about your roles at Hofstra.
Yes, in my 25 years at Hofstra, I have held various positions. I began my tenure at Hofstra as the MBA Placement Director, where I worked with graduate business students on career development (resume and interview preparation and networking skills) and employer development. I was actively engaged with alumni in a career information series. I also began teaching undergraduate Finance courses.
After a year-and-half in this position, I became a full-time member of the Finance faculty where I taught both undergraduate and graduate courses for 18 years. During this time, I was also the Coordinator of the Center for International Financial Services and Markets; the Finance Department’s Internship Coordinator; and the Faculty Advisor of the Financial Management Association.
In 2008, I was appointed Zarb’s Assistant Dean and then in 2011, I was promoted to Associate Dean. In this role, I am responsible for all aspects of the undergraduate program including advisement, professional development, and internationalization.
- What does your job as Associate Dean encompass?
In addition to doing one-on-one advisement with students who have special circumstances, I coordinate activities with our Zarb team in the Center for University Advisement. I also work closely with our Zarb team in Undergraduate Career Services.
Many of my efforts are focused on building student affinity to Zarb, making them feel like they are a very important part of our school. To achieve this goal, we have institutionalized events beginning with a Zarb Quiz Bowl during freshman orientation and ending with the Zarb Welcome Back BBQ every Fall.
I work closely with the 20 Zarb undergraduate organizations, and I attend undergraduate admissions events and talk to high school students about the many unique opportunities available at Zarb. This year, we started a Zarb Ambassador Program, where our students participate in Admissions events.
Promoting undergraduate study abroad programs and faculty exchanges is another area of focus. Recently, the Zarb School joined TABSA, the TransAtlantic Business School Alliance, which provides exchange programs with four European institutions.
- What is your proudest accomplishment at the Zarb School?
These are my proudest accomplishments: (1) The opening of the Zarb House in the Netherlands complex as a living-learning community for first-year business students. In addition to other business-related events, residents of the Zarb House invited faculty to three dinners this year. (2) The establishment of the Dean’s Business Scholars Program, an extra-curricular enrichment program for our highest-achieving first-year students.
- What advice you offer to Zarb students?
The career planning process needs to start on day one. Make an appointment with the Career Center; perfect your resume; do a mock interview. Start thinking about internships and what companies you would like to target. Join a Zarb student organization – these organizations provide excellent networking opportunities. Get to know your faculty – their insights are invaluable not only in terms of your coursework but also your professional development.
- Before joining the Zarb School, you had a successful career in business. Could you tell us about your career highlights.
For 8-½ years, I worked at Salomon Brothers Inc. in Global Fixed-Income Research, where I authored reports which were distributed to institutional investors worldwide. Although the hours were long and there was tremendous pressure to produce, it was an invaluable learning experience. I observed firsthand how markets work.
More recently, I was a consultant in the Global Fixed-Income Research Department at Merrill Lynch. Both of these experiences have helped me to be a more effective instructor.
- What is something that most people do not know about you?
My first job at Hofstra was as a Resident Assistant of the 4th floor of “Tower D,” now Estabrook Hall.
- Any final thoughts?
I am a proud Zarb alumna. MBA 1986.