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The Mass Media

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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Jesse Wright Makes a Home in Plainville


Management & MBA, 2014

Sitting in a ballroom on campus a month before graduation, Jesse Wright felt a surge of pride and a certain finality. This was the first TEDx at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and he was responsible for making it happen. 
“We had maybe 500 students in the audience, and it [was being] broadcast on TVs around campus,” Wright says. “It was a great event, the culmination of a lot of different people in the university coming together.” 
As a student government leader, Wright invited eight speakers to UMass Boston, including the CEO of Dana Farber, an Olympian, and famous restaurateur. It was three hours of pure inspiration. Wright saw it on his fellow students’ faces. He had worked as hard at putting together this event as he had on his degrees that semester. 
“As an older student it was important to me to find an institution that was going to be flexible in allowing me to complete my degree as quickly as possible. At UMass Boston I could do my undergrad and MBA at once, and that might not have been as possible if I had gone to a school that had a more traditional style of doing academics.” 
A year earlier, in 2013, Wright had finished his BA. Now he was on the cusp of getting an MBA.
“I believe I was the first person to have completed the program in 12 calendar months,” Wright says. “That’s what I was told by the Dean at the time.” 
After graduation, Wright’s wife gave birth to twins, so he took it slow and spent six months with his new family. Then, this past January, he got a job at the CVS corporate office as a Strategy Analyst in the Merchandising Department. He works with profit margins, and spends a lot of time thinking about how to better serve customers. In his off time, Wright is also on on the finance committee for the town of Plainville.
“To know that my sons are going to be raised in this town,” Wright said. “To be part of the town in a way that my skill-set can best serve the future of my family and hopefully the future of the town in some capacity, I enjoy a lot.” 
Before attending UMass Boston, Wright was already a professional. He’d been through the military. He knew how to work, and he knew what he wanted, so he was apprehensive about going to school with a bunch of 18-year-olds still trying to figure out who and why they are. But he wanted that MBA. 
“I think UMass Boston’s going to be what people make it,” Wright says. “It can be that commuter school that you show up at and take two classes and leave, or it can be a whole lot more. Everything from our centers, the LGBTQ community, our veterans community upstairs, the Asian Student Center, there’s opportunities at our university to be successful. You might need to look deeper to find them, but it’s going to be worth all of the work that you put in, for sure.” 
At first he was a little hesitant to join in student activities, but he found that age is really immaterial at UMass Boston. His fellow students valued his experience. 
“I was hesitant hanging out with a bunch of 18-year-olds and not knowing how that would work out. But I found an organization in student government and with Neil MacInnes-Barker, that was very open to my situation.” 
In his first semester he was Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, and Student Body President after that. Then he was the President of the Grad Student Assembly while finishing his MBA. He was also in the Honors Program at the College of Management, where he developed an honors thesis called “Sustainable Affordability of College Education.” 
“At that time Occupy [Wall Street] was going on, so there was a little more weight on the issue of affordability. I think now maybe that conversation switched to student loans and the overbearing debt that those are providing long-term for our economy, but at the time affordability was very important.” 
There are two UMass Boston professors that he remembers in particular: Mary Still from the College of Management, and David Areford, from the Art History department. 
“The College of Management and my classwork taught me the value of always being a professional in whatever situation that you’re in, and things all the way down to the small solutions, really understanding when it’s time to take a step away from an email instead of sending it, or proofreading the work that you’re sending. It’s those details that really helped me out in the professional world.” 
He returns to campus regularly for events like the Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner and the Student Government Annual Dinner. 
“I was able to do a lot at UMass,” he says. “I’m not the only reason that I was successful, and I won’t ever be the only reason that I’m successful. A lot of people played big parts in providing me the opportunity to do everything that I was able to do, including the Dean’s making waivers for me to be able to take six MBA classes in a semester, or other people making accommodations. It was one of those environments that always acquiesced to my needs, which was great when you’re trying to do a lot.” 
Wright spent most of his time on campus in the Student Senate offices, and he particularly enjoyed participating in the daily university operations. He hopes that the university continues to stay student centered. 
“That’s been the root and driver of its success in the past. As change happens, I hope that the university keeps the students at the forefront of all of their thoughts and decisions. If they do that, they’ll continue to be eternally successful, especially for the next 50 years.”

About the Contributor
Caleb Nelson served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years: Editor-in-Chief: Fall 2010; 2010-2011; Fall 2011 News Editor: Spring 2009; 2009-2010