"My education was exploring the world. It was terrific."
The first time Sean Gamble '96 stepped outside the U.S. was as a Bucknell exchange student. He spent a semester studying at the University of Nottingham in England. Since then, he has lived and worked all over the world. "My education was exploring the world," he says. "It was terrific."
When he returned to Bucknell, Gamble says, "I realized there was a lot more for me to learn." The engineering major completed two internships, one each in engineering and finance, and tackled his senior engineering design project with a sharper focus-an experience he calls "enlightening."
"It blended all the elements of teamwork, business and finance, from budget-setting and seeking funds, all the way through the actual physical engineering process of designing and building a project," says Gamble. "It touched on a lot of the same types of things you experience in a real-live work setting."
Gamble has since built a career in finance with General Electric (GE). He started in the company's financial management program, then moved to its corporate audit staff to work across multiple GE businesses in the U.S. and overseas. He took a job as vice president of financial planning and analysis for GE-owned NBC, and in May 2007 he moved to Florence, Italy, to assume the role of CFO of GE's oil and gas equipment business. "I was there for about a year and a half when the opportunity presented itself back here to be CFO of Universal's film business, which is also owned by GE," he says.
Gamble's Bucknell connection has remained strong throughout his career, never more so than in his most recent position. He took the CFO reins from another Bucknell grad, Christy Rupert Shibata '95, who moved on to become executive vice president for financial analysis for NBC Universal in New York City.
His career path has wound its way all over the globe and through many of GE's business interests, including energy and entertainment — two very different industries. "A lot of the skills I've developed in finance are fairly transferable," says Gamble. "But the business cultures and the operating models of the organizations are radically different. It's a matter of taking those skills and applying them to significantly different business settings."
Posted January 2010