Alumni Spotlight: Michael Pozzi

M I C H A E L    P O Z Z I
(formerly) Briar Hall Country Club, caddie/bag room

Villanova University  |  Class of 2002

Michael Pozzi is a former three-year caddie and bag room attendant at Briar Hall Country Club (now Trump National Golf Club – Westchester).  He graduated in 2002 from Villanova University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with majors in both finance and accounting.  Michael worked for three years post-graduation for a big four accounting firm in New York City, and subsequently pursued an MBA at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, where he graduated with top honors and received two prestigious awards for academic excellence.  He then worked for seven years as an investment banker and is now the Vice President of financial planning and analysis at a large logistics firm in Danbury, Connecticut.

Michael’s hard work and commitment has been critical to his successful career, and that mentality began during his junior and senior years in high school working at Briar Hall.  Trying to earn money for college, a typical weekend started with the morning shift in the bag room at 6AM on Saturday, followed by the afternoon shift at Putnam Country Club in Mahopac loading bags, cleaning clubs, and parking carts.  Sunday began back at Briar Hall with a regular 7AM loop of two bags and two putters, followed by the afternoon shift in the bag room, when oftentimes Donald Trump himself would visit and play a very quick 9.  Through all this, Michael graduated in the top 10% of his high school class, was a 3-year captain of the golf team, president of the school’s business association, and gained acceptance to attend Villanova’s business program

After working and studying in the mid-Atlantic region for almost 10 years, Michael relocated back to Westchester in 2014 to be closer to family.  He currently lives in Armonk with his wife and two children and has been a consistent supporter of the WGA Caddie Scholarship Fund for over 15 years.

Q & A:

Q: What was your college major? What made you pursue your academic studies in this major?

I remember taking a high school elective in accounting and somehow became intrigued by the idea of being a career accountant.  By working at the golf course, I was able to save up quite a bit of money, most of which I invested in the stock market and later used for college.  I made a decent return in my portfolio and by watching a lot of CNBC, became more interested in understanding the factors that drove global markets higher or lower, as opposed to memorizing accounting rules. 

I decided to double-major in finance and accounting so that I would have more options in selecting a job after graduation.  The economy was not great when I graduated in 2002 and entry-level jobs in finance were scarce, so I decided to start my career in accounting, where jobs were still plentiful.  The plan all along was to work in finance, which I was able to accomplish by pursuing a graduate degree and entering the world of investment banking. 

Q: If caddieing/working at a golf club has taught you anything, what would it be?

Dedication and trustworthiness.  I never missed a single shift and was never late to open the bag room in the mornings, when sometimes we started before 6AM.  I picked up more shifts as a result and was introduced by the starter to a steady group of members for whom I caddied on Sunday mornings.  There was no formal caddie program at Briar Hall at the time, so I was one of the few guys that actually got to loop around the course.  I feel that since my days at the golf course, I continue to be dedicated to just about everything that I pursue and have become someone that can be trusted, no matter what.

Q: If you were to give back to the community, how would you do so?

I have been actively involved in Junior Achievement, which is a K-12 program focused on helping children to become financially literate while introducing entrepreneurship and other basic business principles.  I love working with kids and I find this to be a great way to give back to the community while having fun at the same time.  My wife and I also donate to several charities on an annual basis, mostly to support education and children’s health initiatives (as well as the CSF).

Q: What are your plans goals now being out of college?

I’ve been out of college for over 16 years now, and have been able to accomplish many things.  For the first eight years, I focused on career advancement, and after our daughter Samantha was born in 2011, I spent the next eight on raising a family, as well as continuing to advance my career.  Without too much spare time since graduation, my golf game has suffered tremendously, and so I plan to spend more time getting my game back in shape.  Samantha is now learning to play, so I figure there’s not much time left to enjoy competitive golf before she starts beating her dad!

The Pozzi Family