By Ed Brennen
As a research analyst and portfolio manager at Cox Capital Management in Andover, Ethan Brown ’14 is all about helping clients grow their investments.
So in his recent address to nearly 130 master’s and doctoral graduates at the Manning School of Business’ annual Hooding Ceremony at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center, Brown framed his advice in investment terms.
“The best thing you can do for yourself is have this degree be worth more 10 years down the road than it is today,” Brown told grads. “How do you do that? By networking and keeping in touch. By connecting on LinkedIn. If you have the opportunity to mentor another UMass Lowell student, take that opportunity.
“I truly hope your journey with UMass Lowell doesn’t end tonight, but is just beginning,” he said.
The Manning School conferred 431 advanced degrees this year, including 347 Master of Business Administration (MBA), 31 Master of Science in Accounting (MSA), 24 Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA), 22 Master of Science in Finance (MSF), six Master of Science in Entrepreneurship (MSE) and one from the doctoral program.
“When you earn a graduate degree, you gain the ability to look at problems with a whole new lens,” said Manning School Dean Sandra Richtermeyer, who co-hosted the ceremony with Asst. Dean Leticia Porter.
Shirley Shen received the Outstanding Doctoral Student award. Shen, whose concentration was in finance, is joining Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., this fall as a tenure-track assistant professor.
Stephen Esares and Kelly Skelton, who both finished with perfect 4.0 grade point averages, received the Gary Mucica Outstanding MBA Student award.
Tomeo Yoshida was recognized as the top MBA student from the Manning School’s Abitus partnership in Japan. Yoshida, who works as a communications manager for Japan’s largest biopharmaceutical company, Takeda, was among more than three dozen Abitus students to travel to campus from Tokyo for Commencement weekend.
Outstanding student awards also went to Evie Bradley (MSA), Ronnie Zubi (MSE), Kishon Delancy (MSF) and Akanksha Jain (MSBA).
Two members of the Manning School’s advisory board, Brian Rist ’77 and David Ameen ’84, were also recognized at the ceremony.
Brown, a Lowell native, shared his path from Olympic hopeful to investment professional.
Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan, where he was a member of the cross country and track teams. He went on to become a professional triathlete, winning a pair of national championships.
After just missing a spot in the 2012 London Olympics, Brown returned to Lowell and was struck by the transformation of his hometown university.
“There was a buzz in the area, and I started reading all these articles about how an MBA from the Manning School was one of the best returns on investment you could make,” he said.
Upon completing his MBA in 2014, Brown joined Cox Capital Management, a firm led by fellow alum Bill Cox ’81.
“Over the last four and a half years, Bill has been a really great mentor and taken me under his wing,” said Brown, who added that a succession agreement is in the works for him to take over the company when Cox retires.
“I went from a kid riding his bike around Lowell to being the future owner of a wealth management business,” Brown said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that I could not have accomplished that if it wasn’t for the foundation that the Manning School laid down for me. I owe an enormous part of my success to UMass Lowell.”
Brown is helping pay that debt forward. In the past two years, Cox Capital has hired eight Manning School students for internships.