Loyola University of Maryland Sellinger School of Business and Management graduate Matthew Marzicola, formerly of Bel Air, and now living in Frederick, didn't plan to achieve a 4.0 grade point average, the highest in his class of more than 800 people, when he entered the Sellinger School four years ago.
"I don't think I could have done it if I'd just come in and said I'm going to get a 4.0," Marzicola said. "I couldn't have achieved it without a sincere love of learning."
Marzicola graduated in May as valedictorian of Loyola with a bachelor of business administration in business economics with a math minor. He started in June as a commercial banking analyst for Citibank in Washington, D.C.
"Becoming valedictorian means a lot to me, because I feel like I left nothing on the table. I believed that the long-term is the sum of short-term decisions, and I knew that making positive choices each day would result in success," he said.
Marzicola focused on more than just coursework, however. He applied and was selected for the Sellinger Scholars business honors program, where he attended specialized classes with a select cohort of top Sellinger students. He participated in Sellinger School's York Road Initiative, which aims to connect the school with the community. And he led Beta Gamma Sigma, the internationally recognized business honor society for AACSB-accredited business schools, as president during his senior year.
He also interned as a summer analyst for Credit Suisse in New York City during the summer between his junior and senior years.
"Just landing the internship is a testament to the Sellinger School's reputation. Loyola has established roots not only in Maryland, but in New York too," Marzicola said. "I had a great experience during the internship. I could converse and be successful among Ivy League-educated professionals."
Marzicola, in part, credits his professors, who he said created a collaborative learning environment. He said he felt like a member of the academic community, comfortable with visiting professors for casual conversation and career advice.
"Sometimes people see something in you that you don't see in yourself. My professors made me realize that I have the capacity to push myself, produce good work and accomplish a lot."