Berkeley Today Stories

Max Avellaneda Berkeley College graduate

Berkeley College Prepares U.S. Marine Corps Veteran for Ever-Changing Business Environment



Max Avellaneda joined the United States Marine Corps in 2007 after graduating high school. He served in Camp Lejeune, NC, and was deployed to Iraq for 11 months. Upon returning home, Mr. Avellaneda became determined to earn a degree in business management. “The military had set me up for success, but I knew it was important to be vigilant in self-learning and to get certification for other skills, aside from my military experience,” Mr. Avellaneda said.

A resident of Bergenfield, NJ, Mr. Avellaneda took courses in Midtown Manhattan, and graduated in 2015 with a B.B.A. in Business Administration – Management. Shortly after graduating, Berkeley College’s Career Services department helped him secure a role as an Invoicing and Billing Specialist at Syska Hennessy Group, a global consulting, engineering and commissioning firm. While employed, Mr. Avellaneda continues to work towards earning a B.S. in Accounting degree from Berkeley College.

One of the most valuable lessons Mr. Avellaneda learned during his time at Berkeley College was how to prepare for change and manage the challenges that arise in an ever-changing business environment. In particular, courses that addressed ethics and managing change left a lasting impression on him. “The courses I took gave me a framework on how to deal with the paradox of stability in a changing business, and how to ethically traverse business deals and relationships,” Mr. Avellaneda said.


Up Close with Max Avellaneda

What initially inspired you to enroll in Berkeley College?
The location and culture of Berkeley College’s campus in Midtown Manhattan appealed to me. Berkeley College also felt like the right fit because professors really encouraged interaction amongst their students, as well as mixed classes to suit all the student’s needs.

How did Berkeley College prepare you for success?
Berkeley College prepared me for success by enabling me to professionally traverse the tumultuous and ever-changing business environment we face today. Berkeley College offered many courses on how to be adaptable to business environments with material all the way from unemployment, employment transition, stress management and effective leadership. The professors inspired us to learn the concepts instead of just learning material for a test. It made me want to work harder.
I also found Berkeley College’s international depth beneficial because it allowed for a more qualitative learning environment, where I was learning and interacting with people from across the globe. I felt confident that everyone was learning. That made us more effective in the long run.

In which way(s) do you see yourself being successful in the future?
I see success in personal business relationships and creating change in whatever environment I work for. Berkeley College students, past and present, are educated individuals who should strive to create a positive impact wherever they go, professionally or personally. This is what I hope to do in all aspects of life.

What advice would you offer today’s college-bound students?
Stay motivated in all things you do and strive to make lives around you easier. Also, don’t be intimidated by changing environments because that is the nature of the beast. However, be proactive in creating or fostering change.

What was your most memorable moment at Berkeley College?
There are a lot of memorable moments, but I enjoyed participating and running the debate team for a while. It helped prepare me for career success by enabling me to create better arguments, as well as help build my confidence in public speaking.