On his walk from his campus job at the Mary Walker Health Center to his second job in Cooper Dining Hall, then junior business administration major Steven Abbass ’03 swung by a career fair in the Hewitt Union ballroom and dropped off his resume with three companies. That simple act set in motion a series of events that has already led to an impressive career for 32-year-old Abbass.
That fortuitous resume submission launched his career with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance and Financial Services in 2002 as a Power of 10 college intern. In April 2014, he became the company’s youngest current managing partner—and one of the youngest ever—and is now leading the Long Island office in Melville, N.Y.
After graduation, Abbass became a full-time financial representative with the Central New York Group in Syracuse. He quickly achieved top new advisor awards both locally and nationally.
“I fell in love with the company during my internship,” Abbass says. “I had a great mentor in Oswego alumnus Kevin Gilman ’74, who worked at the company until he tragically passed away in 2009. I’ve always had a healthy drive to succeed and he and others helped me build a strong career. The company has an outstanding leadership development program.”
From 2005 to 2009, Abbass was involved with the Million Dollar Round Table, an elite, internationally recognized organization that represents the standard of sales excellence in the life insurance and financial services business. He led a successful college unit director program in Syracuse before becoming the managing director in Rochester, N.Y., in 2007. He quickly led that region to the distinction of being named a Top 10 district.
The husband and father of three says he is proud to be an Oswego alumnus, and he takes bragging rights for introducing his younger sisters—Allison Abbass Salamone ’06 and Michelle Abbass ’14—to the college as well. A frequent guest speaker on campus, he says he hopes to help other Oswego students and young alumni on their road to success.
“I’ve leaned on what I learned at Oswego,” he says. “I asked a lot of questions and opened myself up to be vulnerable by diving in head first. I want students to understand what opportunities are available to them and take advantage of them.”
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