Spotlighted Student: John Masella '17
Masella has accepted a post-graduation position with Prudential in their project management group.
In high school, during the college visitation process, John Masella ’17 had been looking at larger colleges along the east coast. He had aspirations of continuing his high school baseball pitching skills at a higher education institution. While participating in a baseball show-case, Haverford College’s baseball coach, Dave Beccaria, noticed John and invited him to campus for an overnight with the baseball team. This was John’s introduction to Haverford College. He was impressed with its academic reputation, and thoroughly enjoyed the campus visit and the comradery of the baseball team. In his words, “It was the first place where I felt like I could see myself.” He applied early decision only a few days after his overnight visit. As one of the core relief pitchers for Haverford, he helped the team make it to regional play last year, getting Conference recognition in the process. The team is eager to duplicate their success in conference this coming spring and to contend for a regional championship.
With his father’s major being economics, and both parents having careers in business, John took AP Macroeconomics in high school expecting nothing less than to enjoy the topic, which he did. It opened his eyes to the breadth and scope of the applications of economics. Subsequently, he entered his freshman year at Haverford committed to majoring in economics.
Courses at Haverford that furthered his commitment to economics were Professor Shannon Mudd’s Impact Investing, a class with a ‘greater-good’ emphasis. It has a real-life component with a focus on community, which John found appealing and rewarding. He also enjoyed Professor Richard Ball’s Statistical Methods in Economics, a course that instructs an introduction to STATA, a data analysis and statistical software program widely used in economics. In fact, he will be applying his STATA skills to his thesis.
John plans to investigate whether there is salary discrimination against minority players in Major League Baseball. Previous studies have been done to try to answer the same question, but they leave out an important variable: contract length. He aims to incorporate contract length into his regression and run a two-stage least squares regression to account for endogeneity. Furthermore, he will use Wins Above Replacement as his main performance metric for professional players. Past studies have used less comprehensive performance metrics, so he believes that the use of Wins Above Replacement to control for player ability will result in less biased estimates. Given that most past studies do not find evidence of racial salary discrimination in Major League Baseball, he expects his results to be similar. Ideally, though, his methodology will add a level of robustness that is not seen in previous scholarship on the topic.
John has spent his summers gaining valuable work experience. The summer following his freshman year he worked in insurance sales at Prudential in Warren, New Jersey, not far from his hometown of Randolph, NJ. It was a good introduction to working at a reputable firm, where he researched background data on clients and assisted the human resources department by contacting applicants for job interviews.
The summer after his sophomore year John worked on Haverford’s campus assisting Mike Fratangelo ’07 with his sports and leadership camp, DiverseCity, Inc. Haverford College hosts the non-profit camp whose goal is to bridge socio-economic gaps by providing scholarships and subsidies to low income middle school and high school students. Students awarded funding participate in baseball with students from higher income backgrounds, and the organization is making great headway in a growing number of cities across the country. John’s role at DiverseCity was to contact schools and organizations to pitch the program and to garner interest. He also met with families, teachers, and leaders of other programs to discuss financial aid and potential partnerships.
After his junior year John returned to Prudential for the summer where he joined their financial sector in Newark, N.J. As a Project Management intern in their Financial Systems and Enterprise Services he focused on SIFI’s (Systemically Important Financial Institutions) researching how financial institutions might stay afloat during financial crises by identifying problems and issues surrounding bankruptcies.
John has accepted a post-graduation position with Prudential in their Project Management Group, located in Newark, N.J. He has plans to secure a career in investment management while earning an MBA.