Point Park University MBA Alumnus Appointed New President of GAI Consultants Monday, June 19, 2017
Meet Anthony Morrocco
Job title: President
Organization: GAI Consultants, Inc.
Degrees earned: MBA with a concentration in management, Point Park University, 2010; B.S. in Civil Engineering, 1985 and Associate in Technology in Surveying, 1977, The Pennsylvania State University
Hometown: Scottdale, Pa.
High school: Southmoreland High School
Now living in: North Huntingdon, Pa.
Hobbies/interests: Golf, archery and politics
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA through Point Park's on-site program at GAI?
I have always wanted to pursue an MBA since entering the workforce as a civil engineer in 1985. I intended to complete this task much earlier in my career, and was delighted at the possibility of finally achieving an MBA through Point Park University's on-site corporate program at GAI Consultants.
I enjoyed my early career as a design engineer, but I always strived to secure a management position. For those engineers who want to eventually enter the management track at a consulting firm such as GAI, an MBA is so important.
We all enjoy the technical aspects of being consultants, but engineering consulting is a business and should be led by professionally-trained and experienced business people. When professionally trained and experienced business people are also degreed and licensed professionals in their respective technical fields, all the better. The best part of completing the MBA was interacting and working with my GAI peers on class projects and assignments.
-- Gary DeJidas, MBA, P.E., Chairman and CEO, GAI Consultants
How did your MBA classes help you as an EVP/COO and how will they benefit you as GAI's new president?
Both as EVP/COO and president, you are involved in all aspects of the company's administrative teams. You must interact and provide strategic direction and leadership to the company's human resources, legal, marketing, accounting and general business groups. To accomplish this successfully, you must have a good understanding of how these groups operate and what their strategic goals are.
Point Park's MBA classes provided me with an outstanding overview for each one of these administrative areas, especially for the accounting and legal areas. For example, I already had a good understanding of our company's balance sheet, income statement and cash flow analysis before I entered the MBA program, but I benefited greatly by actually having to prepare these documents from scratch in my accounting class. Also, I now have a much more thorough understanding of what these documents mean to the financial health of GAI.
What are your favorite grad school memories?
Being a graduate of Point Park's on-site program at GAI provided me with somewhat different memories than those I would have had on campus. Going through this program with my fellow co-workers and friends made it all much more enjoyable.
Point Park made it even better by tailoring our class projects to real-life situations at GAI. Our management team is a very close group, and we never held back both in compliments and criticism. We were very competitive and always tried to achieve a higher grade than our co-workers. And yes, there were a few trips to the local tavern after class on Tuesday nights!
What career advice do you have for our graduate students striving for senior leadership positions?
That's an easy one. Hard work and dedication. Obviously, you have to have the right temperament, experience and skills to get to that level, but those who work the hardest generally have the best chance at success. Very few students end up in a management position right out of grad school, so be patient and gain the necessary experience to take that next step. You have to be willing to sacrifice much of your personal time and make yourself available for the success of your organization.
Today's technology makes it so much easier to do this than it used to be. Those who want to succeed in senior management positions have to be willing to leave their smartphones on 24/7. If your leadership skills are lacking, take a leadership course and work at it. You will benefit greatly. Be honest with people, be a consensus builder and be ready to make the tough decisions, because that is what senior leaders do.
Would you recommend Point Park's on-site MBA program to other companies? If so, why?
Absolutely. I was involved in the creation of this joint program back in 2007, and Point Park University has been a fantastic business partner for GAI. Point Park is flexible with schedules and curriculum. They structure the program to ensure that GAI gets the maximum benefits for both the students and the company. Their faculty and staff are fantastic to work with and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them for many years to come!