from the Caribbean to Corporate America
Runs through Oswego
Frederick James ’09 M ’11, taking
the road less traveled was always a necessity, never an option.
leaving the comforts of his native West Indies
to becoming the first member of his family ever to attend college, James has
always walked a less conventional route.
Born in St. Croix in the West Indies, James moved to the U.S. when he
was a young child to be with his father, leaving his younger siblings with
their mother back home. The two would spend the next four years living in the Rochester area before
James’ sisters would make the trip to the States permanently.
the hardships encountered, there remains no doubt for James that the move was
made with his best interests in mind.
just a better chance for success here,” he said. “When you put yourself in
certain atmospheres and places with certain people, you have a chance to
still can vividly remember watching his father work tirelessly day in and day
out. Holding various construction and repair jobs, the elder James would do
whatever was necessary to provide for his family. That sense of determination
rubbed off on his son, and played an integral role in helping Fred James become
the first member of his family ever to go to college.
saw all this, and it gave me the mentality that I need to go to school and work
to be successful,” he said. “They did a lot for me, so I’m trying to do
everything I need to do so when I have children they will be able to have a lot
of the same opportunities that I had.”
receiving guidance and advisement from employees while taking a co-op in high
school at Blue Cross/Blue Shield and an internship with Xerox, James’s
resolution for getting an education only grew stronger.
listened and took their advice,” he said. “I had people there trying to help
me, and I took their advice and realized that education was the way out. The
only reason I’m here today is not just because of family and friends, but also
would end up transferring to Oswego
and receiving his undergraduate degree. After being accepted into the MBA
program in fall 2009, he received Oswego’s Festa Fellowship
at Kinney Drugs executive office in East Syracuse.
The experience helped provide James with the real-world experience he sought in
me, it was a tremendous help … Some of the things I learned from going to class
I got to apply and see what worked and what didn’t work. It really helped
give me the experience I need,” he said.
by Fred ’81 and MaryLynn Barbero Festa ’82 in 2006, the Festa Fellowship provides
exceptional graduate students with a résumé-building job and provides an up-to-$10,000
stipend to help cover living expenses during the single-semester experience.
in the final stages of earning his MBA in marketing management, James again
is unsure of the exact path that he wants to take once he graduates. But he
remains steadfast in his desire not only to become a productive citizen of
corporate America, but also hopefully someday becoming a teacher and mentor to young
people in need of guidance, just like he was not so long ago.
“I just want to return the favor, since it was
done for me,” he said.
Kyle C. Gargan ’11
Frederick James '09, M '11 is a first-generation American and Festa Fellow.
Back to December front page • Next story: Business Best • Previous story: Ameigh at WRVO