“Adelphi gave me an opportunity I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.
Memorable Professors: David Rubinstein, Sal Primeggia, Gene Hecht
At Adelphi: member of Phi Chi and the Psychology Club
Like many college students, Michael Graziano ’77 entered Adelphi unsure of what he wanted to pursue.
“My grades weren’t good in high school,” he said. “Adelphi gave me an opportunity I wouldn’t have had otherwise.” At the University, he enrolled in the ABLE program, today known as University College. “The other students in that program and I went through Adelphi as a cohort….we were a tight knit community.”
Graziano, who held several jobs off and on campus to pay for his college tuition, had the opportunity to study abroad in Denmark his junior year. “While there, I lived with a Danish family and studied at the University of Copenhagen,” he said.
Graziano, who studied at the University from January 1976 through May, stayed through the summer to explore Europe. “I traveled to Rome, and spent a week in the Soviet Union. The trip behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ was an eye opener in many ways,” he said. Later that summer he visited Berlin. “I passed through “Check Point Charlie,” the real thing, not the tourist attraction that people see today. At the time, East Berlin was still a wreck from World War II with many buildings still in a state of ruin from Allied bombing. In both Moscow and East Berlin there was a sense of tension that was palpable.”
When he returned to the United States and back to the classroom at Adelphi, he continued his studies in psychology, graduating with his bachelor’s degree in 1977. Still unsure of what his career path would be, after Adelphi he went to U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He dedicated the next five years to the U.S. Navy, with his service culminating in the role of lieutenant.
After serving in the military, Graziano landed a position with Merrill Lynch and went on to earn his M.B.A. in finance from the Fordham Gabelli School of Business. He found his niche in compliance, and went on to gain experience working at Lehman Brothers, Citibank, and RBS Global Banking & Markets, before becoming the head of compliance for China Construction Bank’s New York branch.
Today Graziano is managing director in the ethics and compliance department of BNP Paribas. In his current role, he is responsible for bank regulatory compliance for the New York Corporate and Investment Banking Division. His role also gives him the opportunity to travel to the bank and financial services company’s global headquarters in Paris.
When reflecting on where he stands today, Graziano looks back to the his years at Adelphi and to the opportunities he received at the University. “Adelphi gave me the chance I needed,” he said.
In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors and sports. He ran the New York City Marathon three times.
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