Alumni Spotlight: Michael Warner ’04
Michael Warner ’04 currently serves as Vice President of Global Executive Recruitment and Strategic Partnerships at MSCI, Inc., where he partners with senior leadership and executive committee members to lead the attraction, engagement, and selection of world-class leadership talent to build the future of the company. In the past, he has served in similar executive recruitment roles at American Express and Moody’s. Prior to that, Michael worked in private banking at J.P. Morgan. He volunteers his time regularly with Food Bank for New York City and Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention. Michael holds a BBA in economics from Baruch College and is currently working towards his MBA at Columbia University. He resides in Manhattan with his wife, Vanessa, and one-year-old son, Pierre.
After earning a degree in economics and beginning your career in banking, what inspired you to pivot towards a career in executive recruiting?
Working on Wall Street has long been the industry of choice for me, and I’m very grateful for the amazing opportunities that I’ve had post-undergrad. What really inspired me to make the pivot to talent acquisition is the simple fact that it is such a rewarding career. You get to know people on a personal level, understand their drives and motivations, and assist with matching top talent with amazing opportunities. I’ve not only worked for some world-renowned companies, but also had the privilege to mentor both high school and college students on career readiness, interview prep, and resume reviews. With regard to executive recruitment, you really have the opportunity to shape a company from the top down, and work with senior leadership to define what “great” looks like. In addition, you get to be part of a life-changing moment and there is no better feeling than that!
How do you think your time at Kellenberg Memorial helped to prepare you for your success in your academic and professional pursuits?
My experience at Kellenberg is one that I will never forget. My friends will never believe this, but I used to be a bit of an introvert and Kellenberg really provided an environment for each individual to develop and thrive in their chosen area of interest. I was a bit of a math nerd (YAY PreCalc and Algebra) which led me to pursue a degree in economics, and my teachers were beyond amazing!
Do you have any advice for current students or young alumni who are struggling to find the “right match” in their professional endeavors?
NEVER STOP LEARNING! For current students about to enter college/university and young alumni, try to be involved in as much as you can, whether it’s affinity groups, professional clubs, or athletics. Although Covid has put a damper on in-person engagements, building your network and breaking out of your comfort zone will pay off tremendously as you think about career opportunities. We may not get it right the first time, but never turn down an opportunity which allows you to learn something new.
Do you have any favorite teachers, coaches, or club moderators from your time at Kellenberg Memorial?
Too many to name them all, but some notable mentors, teachers, and coaches who have challenged me to be the best I can are Coach Alfalla, Mr. Sica, Mr. Conrade, Mr. Estrella, Miss Ronan, and Mrs. Zaccoli.