Jim Kaloyanides wasn’t sure what to expect when he started the full-time MBA program at the Carroll School. He was five years out of college and working his way up the corporate ladder at Staples when he decided to head back to school.
“I remember getting out of the car on the first day of class, thinking that the dynamic felt very different from an undergraduate experience,” he recalls. “With people living off campus and juggling family responsibilities, I wondered if people would spend much time on campus or get to know each other.”
As it turned out, Kaloyanides found a strong sense of community at the Carroll School. “I spent much more time with my classmates than I anticipated,” he says. “The workload was very intense, and we were literally on campus most of the day and into the night. We came to rely on one another, and we created a great sense of camaraderie.”
Kaloyanides says he enjoyed working with Carroll School faculty, both in and out of the classroom. “I was especially impressed with the industry experience my professors brought to the table,” he says. “I appreciated the ability to go beyond the boundaries of a particular classroom lesson and talk about real-world business challenges.”
In particular, Kaloyanides recalls several in-depth discussions with Peter Wilson in the accounting department. “Before coming to the Carroll School, I worked at a public company that was working through financial regulation,” he says. “Pete Wilson had held high-powered roles not only in industry but also on the regulatory side of things, so it was very valuable to hear his perspective.”
When it came time to launch a job search, Kaloyanides found that his Carroll School experience stood him in good stead. “My Boston College MBA helped me get in front of people,” he says. “I interviewed for a lot of jobs, even before I graduated.”
After weighing a number of job options, Kaloyanides ultimately joined New England Coffee Company, the area’s largest independent coffee roaster, as director of strategy and communication. Although the company has been run by members of the Kaloyanides family since its founding nearly 100 years ago, Kaloyanides says he hadn’t planned to join the business.
“I was pursuing other opportunities. New England Coffee Company really wasn’t on my radar,” he says. “But the business was going through some changes, and the owners were starting to think about succession planning. I was intrigued and decided it could be a good opportunity.”
Today, as vice president for sales at the company, Kaloyanides says he regularly draws on his Carroll School MBA. “In my graduate studies, we took things that are very academic and brought them into the real world,” he notes. “New England Coffee does a lot of things—from manufacturing and logistics to sales, customer service and repair. My MBA has helped me look beyond the various silos and take a more holistic approach.”