Many Hats, One Alma Mater
Christopher Frank ’89 M.S. ’93
Christopher Frank ’89 M.S. ’93, vice president of AmexInsights at American Express, attributes his expertise, leadership skills and much of his professional success to his Stevens education and connections. And he’s gone above and beyond to give back to his alma mater.
As chair of the dean’s advisory board for the School of Business at Stevens, giving valuable, real-world advice comes naturally to Frank, whether it’s to the board or to students and young alumni embarking on their careers.
Frank has made a career out of sifting through our overexposed, data-driven world to deliver insights. He sees himself as a translator, converting raw data into actionable recommendations, and cites Stevens’ technology management program as the catalyst for developing those skills.
“Stevens has taught me the skills of how to think critically, how to analyze problems efficiently and to deliver creative solutions that have sustained impact,” he says.
Taking on the challenge of data deluge, in 2011, Frank co-authored a book on managing information overload, Drinking from the Fire Hose, with his Stevens contemporary Paul Magnone ’88 M.S. ’93. For recent graduates, especially with the rise of remote work, searching for their first jobs can feel like “drinking from a fire hose.” To these future leaders, Frank advises, “Don’t find the perfect job. Find someone you want to work with. You could have the ideal role on paper and not have someone who motivates you or a leader who is willing to coach, support and inspire you.”
In his own professional life, Frank has found people he wants to work with by tapping into the Stevens network. Before publishing his book with Magnone, Frank founded a startup — one of the first online job matching platforms — with two other Stevens alumni, Gerry Crispin ’69 M.S. ’72 and Jim Suzansky ‘62 M.S. ’74 Ph.D. ’74.
Frank’s career aspirations did not include becoming an author or entrepreneur, but he always made it a point to explore the opportunities that came his way. This included relocating to the West Coast, where he had a distinguished 10-year career at Microsoft, helping to grow a global research team from 8 to 103 people.
“Be open to possibilities,” he says. “When something unexpected presents itself, don’t discount it.”
Frank became an entrepreneur, author and, most recently, an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School by remaining “open, curious and inquisitive.” Frank credits Stevens for making these things possible.
“It’s important to me to give back to Stevens in recognition of all that I’ve received,” says Frank, who formerly served as a young alumni trustee. Frank gives his time, money and talents to his alma mater, yet he says he’s still the one who benefits most.
These days, he brings his expertise and decades of experience to the School of Business' dean’s advisory board, whose mission is to elevate the school’s quality and impact by providing recommendations for creating differentiated programs and growing corporate support. The board also offers many opportunities to students through mentorship, to help them secure internships, co-op positions and full-time jobs.
A notable board accomplishment under Frank’s leadership is the 100% Advisory Board Challenge. The board recognized that students and faculty give 100% every day. To honor this commitment, 100% of the board members made multi-year gifts to Stevens to support the school’s academic and research activities.
Frank strongly encourages students and fellow alumni to embrace the proud Stevens network.
“The Stevens alumni network is extraordinary. Those connections will last a lifetime,” he says. “You never know who you can help or who might be able to help you. If someone from Stevens calls, even if you don’t know them, take the call.”
To support the School of Business as a volunteer, please contact Sara Victa at [email protected]