Fraternity Founder Reflects on Well-Lived Stevens Experience

5/20/2014

Julian Gallo ’14 knows how he wants to live his life—with no regrets.

So, while at Stevens, he studied abroad in Australia—discussing politics with Aussie cab drivers and bungee jumping 500 feet between two mountains in New Zealand. He started the first new fraternity on campus since 1938.  He worked several internships, landing a private meeting with a high-ranking Bank of America executive who reports directly to the banking giant’s CFO.

“I don’t think that I could have done more,” Gallo says.

This highly driven business and technology major from Medford, New Jersey—who takes his large coffee black when you meet him—is ready for the next challenge. Gallo joins Bank of America Merrill Lynch this July as a technology analyst program associate at its 8,000-employee campus in Hopewell, New Jersey.

He will work with the technology sector for the global wealth and investment management team—making sure that the technology used by the company’s financial advisers is superior to the competition’s and helps them do their jobs better, he explains.

Gallo continues the work that he began as an intern last summer, with the same team and fast-paced but supportive corporate environment that he loves.

“I’m going into the job that I want to be doing,” he says. “I can’t ask for anything more.”

Gallo chose Stevens for its strong career focus, which helped him secure an internship with a geotechnical engineering company his freshman year—and discover early on that he wanted to switch from engineering to business and technology. He’s the type of person, he explains, who looks at problems with a business mind, who sees a company and imagines how he can find a better way to do things.

His dream job is to eventually work internationally, in private equity, buying businesses and making them more efficient.

He’s already made a name for himself with the company. It was Gallo, the intern, who introduced “Bowtie Fridays” to his group at Bank of America—a twist on casual Fridays that made him feel more energized, he says. A group of full-timers have embraced the practice.

With his infectious enthusiasm, Gallo was also the driving force in founding the first new fraternity on the Stevens campus in 75 years. He was visiting Temple University several years ago and met a brother of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. He came back to Stevens so inspired by this fraternity’s focus on service that he set the wheels in motion to help start a chapter at Stevens. Kappa Sigma’s Rho Omega Chapter was chartered at Stevens in January 2012.

“We do nothing but give back to the community,” Gallo says, with each brother required to do 18 hours of community service each semester. He proudly counts a diverse group – from computer programmers to sports captains—among its members. Kappa Sigma now has 70 brothers and won the Interfraternity Academic Excellence Award at Convocation in 2012 and 2013.

But this past fraternity president, who was a resident adviser, freshman orientation leader and Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity member, also counts his time away from Stevens, studying abroad in Australia, as among his most memorable.

“It was a dream,” he says with a big smile. He attended Bond University, in Queensland, Australia, but it was the experiences outside the classroom that inspired him most. Besides the bungee jumping and hiking a glacier, he met students from across the globe and everyday Australians—a straight-talking society that wasn’t afraid to challenge him on American politics.

As he starts his new career, Gallo has one more big trip planned, for now, funded largely by his internship earnings. He and a buddy from Stevens will embark on a 38-day odyssey through Western Europe—Spain, France, Germany and England. It’s their last hurrah before his friend moves to a new job in Oklahoma.

“We’ve been through a lot together,” Gallo says.