Heading Back to Paradise With an MBA and an MS

  • By Lisa Litzinger-Drayton
John Lafferty

LeBow’s recent grads are heading to a lot of cool places, and MBA/MS finance graduate John Lafferty is certainly no exception: He recently accepted a position as an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton in Honolulu, Hawaii.

“Companies don’t generally like to relocate people to Hawaii, but I’ve worked with this company before, and I’ve lived in Hawaii previously while serving in the U.S. Navy,” Lafferty says.

Including his MBA and MS, Lafferty now has three degrees from Drexel. His first, earned in 2001, was a BS in Computer Engineering. He is also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp.

Tropical places are not unfamiliar territory to the Lafferty family. Prior to joining the Navy, Lafferty took a job in the Marshall Islands and spent several years living there with his young family.

He joined the Navy in 2008, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant working in the civil engineering space. He left in 2013 to spend more time with his family, because he says he no longer wanted to be deployed for months at a time. His service qualified him for the GI Bill, and since Drexel is a Yellow Ribbon school, this presented the perfect opportunity for Lafferty to earn a graduate degree (or two) as he and his family returned to New Jersey.

“I got a wonderful education at Drexel. The instructors here are so grounded — when they talked, I got so much out of it.”

He says the MBA program provided a wonderful overall grasp of important concepts such as leadership and how the economy works, and also opened his eyes to the importance of finance. He decided he wanted a more in depth education in finance, so he added an MS in that discipline to his track.

As an associate at Booz Hamilton, Lafferty will work on defense projects related to the infrastructure domain, specifically focusing on developing technology for the military, as well as implementation strategy.

“With my job there are opportunities we might be dealing with foreign currencies, rate changes, time value of money, inflation,” he says. “The finance piece of my education gives me a good footing to think about these things.”

Lafferty, who began his new position in April, flew back from Hawaii to attend his LeBow commencement ceremony last week. “I’m very happy with the work I’m doing, which makes my education totally worth it,” he says.

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