The Econ Guitar Hero
Argenys Morban ’20 is an economics major on the NYC Campus. He’s the COO of a nonprofit, served as a member of Pace’s award-winning Fed Team, joined the Battery Park City Authority as an intern, and in his spare time? He shreds it on the drum and bass.
As an economics major, Argenys Morban ’20 knows his stuff. Since he came to the NYC Campus, he’s been an active member of Pace’s award-winning Federal Reserve Team as well as the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting. Morban even got involved in the opening of a new nonprofit, Special Ops NYC, which provides those experiencing homelessness with much-needed resources. Right now, he’s interning at the Battery Park City Authority assisting in the research, tracking, and enhancing of accounts receivable data for 30 residential buildings, six commercial buildings (including the Goldman Sachs office at 200 West), and two hotels in Battery Park City.
Morban isn’t all business, though. He’s been an avid Guns N’ Roses fan for a while now, and not only did he learn how to play the drums and bass, but he’s also working on his proficiency with a third instrument. What’s this rocker up to now? We tracked him down on his tour through Pace for all the details!
Why did you end up choosing Pace? What set Pace apart from other universities?
I went to a very small high school where everyone knew each other and treated one another like family. I cherished every moment I spent there and wanted to find a university that embodied some of those values, as well as one that had a reputation built on opportunity. After countless hours of looking for and applying to different colleges, I remembered an old travel baseball coach of mine—who is probably one of the nicest, all-around coolest people you'll ever meet—telling me about his experience at Pace and how much he loved it there as an undergrad student. I told myself, "If these are the kinds of people that the culture at Pace produces, then that is where I want to be for the next four years of my life."
Another key factor that played a role in my decision to come to Pace was its large population of international students. I've always enjoyed meeting people from different parts of the world because it allows me to learn more about different cultures and it broadens my perspective in life. Having the opportunity to interact with those students on a daily basis was definitely a big plus for me.
How did you hear about Career Services? Were you referred by a professor or a student?
I remember hearing about Career Services during my UNV 101 class. My professor at the time, Carolyn Endick, informed the class about Career Services through a presentation conducted by one of the Career Services advisors. It was really helpful and pushed me to start prepping for my future early on in college, which was vital in helping me land my first internship.
Who worked with you?
I worked with Rachel Josephson at Career Services.
What was the preparation process like?
Career Services truly did a great job ensuring I was well-equipped for the real world when it came time to make the transition from student to professional. Specifically, Rachel Josephson was amazing! She revised my resume with me on multiple occasions and made sure I presented my candidacy as an employee eloquently on paper. Additionally, she showed me how to prepare for life in the workplace by providing me with all the resources that would go on to make me a valuable asset for my current and future employer.
Of all your employment positions, which did you like the best? What was a defining moment for you while working there?
I would have to say I enjoyed my time working as an assistant baseball coach for New York Empire Baseball the most. I grew up playing for their travel team all the way through the end of high school, so it became like a second family for me over the years. As for defining moments, I always got an inexplicably great feeling when I saw one of the kids I trained go on to hit their first homerun. The huge smile on their faces while they enthusiastically ran around the bases to then go on and see their entire team waiting to celebrate with them at home plate was just an incredible experience as a coach. It's also something they will remember for the rest of their lives.
What motivates you?
I genuinely love helping people. One of the reasons I work so hard today is so that I can reach a position that enables me to meet and inspire as many people as possible through philanthropy. It's astonishing how much uncharted potential there is out there because many people just can't afford to go to college. My end goal is to start a foundation that provides full scholarships to first-generation minority students seeking to attend any four year university of their choosing. I hope to provide them with the key to unlock that potential through this foundation. It's a huge motivation for me—making that happen.
You're the COO of a nonprofit working to aid those who experience homelessness. That's an incredible achievement! What drew you to that work? How did it all start?
Growing up in the city, I saw firsthand how omnipresent the issue of homelessness was at a very young age. It progressively worsened as the years went by, and I wanted to find a direct solution that ensured the homeless would receive the necessary resources they lacked in their daily lives. Fortunately, the perfect opportunity came when my good friend from high school, Jake Hulsh, asked if I would be part of a nonprofit organization he had just founded called Special Ops NYC. I didn't hesitate to say yes.
It was very tough work at first. None of us had any experience running an organization, but we learned from our mistakes early on and made the proper adjustments to enhance our strategy. As a result, our team of six was able to provide over 500 homeless people with prepackaged food and clothing when we first launched in the summer of 2016. Additionally, we collaborated with Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen on Thanksgiving to help feed over 250 homeless people as part of our first annual Thanksgiving food drive this year! We are still growing and have even expanded to New Orleans and Boston to spread our mission to other cities in an effort to help as many homeless people as possible.
We see you've participated on the Federal Reserve Team! What was that experience like? How has it shaped you as a professional?
Being a Presenter on the Federal Reserve Team is definitely no walk in the park. It is perhaps the most arduous challenge I have ever experienced thus far, but it is so worth it. It was a very rewarding and awesome feeling winning Nationals after all of the hard work we put in this year, which taught me that staying determined and resolute really does pay off in the end. Additionally, with Professor Weinstock and Professor Colman as our advisors, we developed a deep understanding of how the Federal Reserve System functions, as well as an ability to comprehend and analyze movements in the financial markets and global economy.
Moreover, all of the skills I have acquired through the Fed Team have been and will continue to be so valuable in the workplace, especially as I prepare to begin my internship as an Equity Research analyst for Goldman Sachs this summer.
Tell us fun fact about you! What's something most people don't know?
I am a pretty huge Guns N' Roses fan. In fact, Slash, the lead guitarist, was the reason why I decided to pick up a guitar in the first place. I heard his solo in "Sweet Child O' Mine" and thought, "Whoa—that was awesome. How can I play that?" I quickly developed a love for music and went on to learn how to play the drums, bass, and have recently started practicing the piano.
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