Donald Kahler sits at the head of a conference table in a New York City tower, a seat many college graduates seek to fill upon their entrance to the workforce. Seven years after leaving Monmouth University, he has not only filled that seat, but has achieved the title of investment banker in the financial capital of the world. Since his graduation in May 2008, Kahler has made a home at Argent LLC, an investment firm in the heart of Midtown.
"Karl Gordinier, a member of Monmouth's Business Council, helped place me in an unpaid internship my last semester. I've been with the same company ever since," said Kahler. "I graduated in 2008, when the financial world was basically ending, and yet I left MU with a secure job."
Not only did Kahler land a position during the economic crisis, but he was able to excel and grow within the company, thanks to the coursework he completed within his business major and finance concentration.
"Everything I learned in my business classes has become incredibly useful at the office. John Burke's Derivatives class got me through my Series 7 test, and the subject matter is really what I do on a daily basis." Kahler believes this kind of preparation is not limited to his experience, and understands that Monmouth's student body as a whole is aptly prepared for future careers and ventures.
"When a resume from Monmouth crosses my desk, I hire that person. I already know they will be prepared for not only what we do at Argent, but also for the real world. The school is a pool of good people."
Kahler found his place in this pool through the Division-1 football program. As an NEC Champion in 2003 and National Champion in 2004, Kahler established athletic success and lasting bonds from his first training camp to his last game.
"I met so many friends during double sessions at camp, the summer before I started classes. My time with the team was really a lesson in work ethic, time management, and standing back up when things knock you down. That sounds corny, but it is absolutely true," he said. And while football dominated much of his time, Kahler said he had assistance setting the proper balance both on and off the field.
"Dr. Robert Scott was my advisor, and he was always available to help me organize my time and work out my class schedule and football obligations. He was easy to talk to, enthusiastic, and genuinely interested in my success," he said. Dr. Scott was just one reason Kahler was satisfied with his college selection.
"I chose Monmouth because it was a good distance from where I grew up, I loved the campus, and the athletic program looked great," he said. Kahler found happiness far from his hometown Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and he takes pride in his stature as an MU alum.
"When I look back, there were ups and downs, like there are for everyone," Kahler said of his time at Monmouth. "But, after seven years, it's all positive in my mind. I'm lucky to be able to say that, and I would go back in a second."