This post was written by Anthony Mongelli, a recipient of the CUNY School of Professional Studies ACE Scholarship.
In her recent blog post, fellow ACE Scholar Christine Hansen wrote of the persistent dissatisfaction with her law career that prompted her into a search that eventually brought her to CUNY SPS. I empathize entirely with her feelings of professional emptiness, as I have also been dissatisfied with my two decades-long career (spanning 13 companies) in finance, and came upon CUNY SPS in a similar fashion.
I remained in finance for so long merely because it paid well, I could always find a job in the field, and perhaps most importantly, I had not discovered that about which I was truly passionate. After much reflection, I now recognize performing work of great intrinsic value as the key to profound satisfaction, and there is neither salary sufficiently large nor a perk so compelling as to compensate for feeling unengaged with one’s work. Moreover, I now understand that I changed jobs frequently because the work itself—not the bosses, commute, benefits, or whichever reason I would cite to justify leaving—was unpalatable.
In my view, no work is as valuable as that which places one in the service of others. I deeply believe that those who hold talent and advantage ought to work those talents and advantages to societal benefit. By their ardent support of the ACE Scholarship program, it is clear that the administration of CUNY SPS believes in this incumbency. It is also clear that the benefactor of the ACE Scholarship, Mr. Alan Fishman, likewise believes in this incumbency, as evidenced by his generous financial support of the program.
While working in finance, I utilized my work ethic, articulation, organizational skills, persuasiveness, intelligence, communication skills, team-building ability, and skill in motivating others for the narrow benefit of corporate interests; it is difficult to describe the excitement I feel now that I am on the cusp of pressing my talents into the service of the many in the hopes of making lives substantively better through a career in social work. I will be attending New York University’s Silver School of Social work, pursuing a Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree.
I was most strongly attracted to the ACE Scholarship because it keeps one close to the CUNY SPS community via a tether of obligation. ACE Scholars act as mentors to two incoming students, are required to produce a blog post (the one you are reading), participate in School events, and make known our experiences with the ACE program. ACE Scholars, who enjoy the advantages of being diligent, persistent, self-starting, and goal-oriented, give back to the CUNY SPS community by leveraging those talents in the service of their mentees and the school.
It would not have been possible for me to complete the undergraduate degree with which I flirted for twenty-something years if it were not for CUNY SPS. The programs are innovative, the online learning environment is intuitive and flexible, and the professors with whom I have studied were all eager, interested and responsive; all of these coalesce into a unique learning experience that benefits additionally from CUNY’s affordability. It is without reservation that I say that CUNY SPS is one of the brightest gems of the CUNY system.
Anthony Mongelli is a recipient of the CUNY SPS ACE Scholarship, a scholarship program designed to support high-achieving undergraduate students Achieve College Education (ACE). He will graduate from the Psychology program at the end of this semester.