Alex Bielecki '03 Owner, J. Ryan’s Pub, Sr. Auditor/Financial Analyst, Manning & Napier, LLC
Currently I have two jobs, owner of J. Ryan’s Pub in Syracuse, NY and Senior Auditor and Financial Reporting Analyst for Manning & Napier, LLC an investment firm in Fairport, NY. With J. Ryan’s I am responsible for the financials and the general oversight of the business as it is a partnership with my wife and father –in-law. For Manning & Napier, my primary responsibilities are working to get the company Sarbanes-Oxley compliant as they recently went public; along with assisting in the new financial reporting requirement for the public company.
My Canisius education has helped my immensely in my career as many of the things that Canisius stresses in its curriculum are what one experiences in the business world. First, everything is done in teams or through collaboration with someone else, Canisius taught me how to work in teams and with others to incorporate their ideas toward a successful goal. Never is this more critical to me than with my bar. I have a great deal of business knowledge when it comes to finance and strategy, my wife has the same knowledge in finance along with a law degree with emphasis on corporate law and estates and my father-in-law has over 25 years experience in the bar industry, so having the ability to work in conjunction with them and incorporate all of our ideas, knowledge and experience has allowed us to develop the great ideas & business model which has in turn, directly lead to the success J. Ryan’s has achieved. This teamwork makes us feel confident in our ability to manage the business for the long term and look to expand our family corporation if we see the right opportunity in the future.
Teamwork and collaboration have also been critical for me at Manning & Napier, Kodak and Ernst & Young as most every project and assignment I have been on has been within a team setting. No one in business works alone anymore, so if one does not have the capacity to work with others effectively, they are dooming themselves to mediocrity. Canisius stresses that they are “where leaders are made,” and I have found that being a good leader in my various projects and assignments has directly correlated with my ability to work with others, listen to them, and incorporate their ideas and energy into successful outcomes.
Secondly, Canisius gave me a great foundation in finance, accounting and business management, this has been critical when it comes to being the boss at J. Ryan’s and working for multi-billion dollar businesses in wealth management, accounting and manufacturing. The companies I have worked for have been in different stages of their life cycles, but all have required me to have an expert knowledge in the core business disciplines in order to succeed and advance within each organization. Today’s business world does not tolerate someone operating on a slow learning curve when they come into the job. Everyone is expected to hit the ground running, and if you don’t have a good mastery of the fundamentals of business, you won’t succeed. Canisius gave me that strong foundation which has helped me to achieve a great deal in a very short career.
Finally, Canisius did an excellent job of providing me with the opportunity to explore and develop my talents and never stifled me with respect to the development of my ideas and imagination. I am sure I drove a number of my professors crazy with my odd project subjects and “out of the box” thesis ideas. However, instead or trying to make me conform to one ideal; the professors and faculty of the businesses school allowed me to explore those ideas and helped me to cultivate the skills that get I now get commended for in the business world with respect to tasking the initiative, developing ideas proposals and problem solving. Without question, the success I have today would not be possible if it was not for the education and guidance I received at the Wehle School of Business.