"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

--Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell University Commencement, May 28, 1995

Monday, February 16, 2015

15. Seth Traum

New York, New York · Engineering


Twitter:  https://twitter.com/sethtraum
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/sethtraum

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
I am living on the Upper West Side of New York City with my wife Lauren and two sons—Zachary, 11, and Jordan, 8.

I am a partner at a brand and marketing strategy and innovation consultancy called Vivaldi Partners Group. I really enjoy the work, but I make sure I find plenty of time to run around the parks of NYC playing sports with my boys.

After leaving Cornell with an engineering degree, I never practiced it, and instead moved into consulting and then spent many years in finance and banking before transitioning over to the marketing side of the business world.

I now return to campus a few times a year guest lecturing for marketing professors at both the Johnson School and the Hotel School. It is always wonderful to walk the campus, reminisce, and see what's changed.

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cornell?

My whole last semester on campus was wonderful. I had gotten ahead by a class and had queued up a few of the "easier" classes in my major for the final semester. And so I really enjoyed myself. Saw friends who I hadn't seen enough of, explored Ithaca a bit, went out a lot, and gave myself some fantastic final memories to leave campus on a very positive note.

How has your time at Cornell influenced you since you graduated?

Cornell taught me how to WORK. I thought I knew how to work hard before I went to college, but Cornell engineering took things to a whole other level. I learned how to have a work ethic while there, and I have always been proud of my ability to outwork everyone else to figure things out and get them done right. I have never abandoned this, and I have carried it proudly into all that I have done.

What are you most looking forward to at Reunion 2015?

I am looking forward to seeing old friends with whom I've done a horrible job staying in touch, but also enjoying the campus and city. I tend to zip in and out quickly when I come to campus to teach, and I never have enough time to take everything in. So I'm most looking forward to having the time I need to truly enjoy the experience.