June 23, 2020

DAUS Faculty Spotlight: John O’Malley

We invite you to get to know one of our professors, John O’Malley, who teaches marketing courses in the Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies. This summer, we’re  introducing a new interview series to showcase members of our community who help make our division unique. 

Before joining NYU SPS, what were you doing?

I was a manager at Saks Fifth Avenue (SFA) at the flagship store on 5th Avenue in New York City. I was there for 20 years and held several positions during that time. Prior to SFA I was with Barney’s New York for four years, and prior to Barneys, I started my professional career as operations manager at RH Macy’s.

Is there a figure, either living or passed, famous or not well known, who you’d like to come guest lecture in one of your classes or whom you'd like to joint teach with? Why that individual?

How about two:

A. Jesus Christ. Well, because he is Jesus Christ and he had a few things worth hearing! They wrote a very influential book about his life.

B. Marcus Aurelius. Having a Roman emperor and a Stoic philosopher talking about his writings reflecting on leadership would make an interesting class, especially for students who are in the leadership and management course track.

Is there a research topic that you have not yet researched or taught, but would like to in the future?

I am exploring several areas regarding CRM (Customer Relationship Management) in marketing and am always developing material to make business ethics more interesting for students in a rapidly changing world.

Did you have mentors? Tell us about them.

Of course, my parents were my first teachers and the lessons of life were part of our household growing up. Those lessons stayed with me and I often reflect on their lessons and how positively they impacted my life.

As far as mentors, not really. I did have numerous success/not-so-good/failures life lessons that have contributed to me being me.

If you didn’t teach your current subject, what would you teach?  

Business ethics and/or public speaking. In all my classes, I emphasize public speaking because I can improve all students’ presentations and point out that job interviews involve public speaking. 

What's the best advice you’ve ever received?

1) “Never lose sight of who you are; and be true to yourself.”

2) “Get on the revenue generating side.”

3) “Stay curious and always keep learning something.”

4) “Sometimes, John- you need to shut up and listen!”

Was there a class or subject you dreaded or really struggled with in college?

Accounting. I was told by the professor to drop it as I was failing and I never could figure out debits and credits. By the time I did, I was wayyyyyyy behind. He did me a favor by being direct and honest. It was an important lesson that sometimes you must have a direct and candid conversation with a person and that this can benefit both you and them.

I also did not put in the work needed to be successful in the course and the results reflected my failure to do so.

If someone was visiting NYC for one day only, what would you tell them they absolutely had to do before leaving?

Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. It's free and every time you see the bridge in a movie you can say, “ I walked that bridge.” Do it at night; or after the first snowfall and it becomes more magical. (Do it and tell me it’s not!)

What was the proudest moment of your life?

I have many moments that I am proud of, which have made me appreciate the gifts that I was given and thank the divine for being blessed to be able to experience them.


John O’Malley teaches various marketing courses at NYU SPS, including Integrated Marketing, Principles of Marketing, and Strategic Marketing.


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