“As a UMass undergraduate, I had a secret plan to transfer to a higher-profile school,” Isenberg marketing graduate David Fubini ’76 once confessed to his fellow alumni. To that end, David secured admission to an Ivy League school as a junior. “But I looked conventional wisdom in the face and stayed at UMass. From that point on I took up academic residence in the business school, drawing pragmatic knowledge from my fellow students and professors, notably [now retired] marketing professor and my mentor, Charles Schewe.”
Twenty-one years later, as Managing Director of McKinsey and Company’s New England office, David created an endowed Isenberg scholarship in memory of Professor Schewe’s daughter. That exemplifies a commitment to the school that for decades has included seats on the Dean’s Advisory Council and the UMass Amherst Foundation Board, as well as through fundraising, classroom visits, and student mentorships.
No surprise then, to find David in a lead role as advocate and major donor to Isenberg’s Business Innovation Hub. The new, iconic building, he emphasizes, is above all a timely strategic investment in Isenberg, its faculty, and its students.
“I urge Isenberg students and graduates to strive for excellence in all that they do. Set high aspirations, be purposeful in your chosen actions, and engage others in these pursuits.” That passion to share strategic advice underscores David’s own involvement with Isenberg as a mentor to its students.
In his self-appointed role, David draws on inspiration from Professor Schewe. “He was a mentor, career counselor, even a colleague,” David recalls. “He played an essential role in my choice of classes and set me up with field studies and a network of business contacts, which led to my first job.” That was with McNeil Laboratories, where in a small marketing team, David helped launch the Tylenol success story. In 1978, he left McNeil for an MBA at the Harvard Business School, where today, as Henry B. Arthur Faculty Fellow, he shares strategic and leadership insights with students.
After earning his MBA, David embarked on a 34-year career with McKinsey, attaining senior partner status and running its Boston operations. He also founded and led McKinsey’s Worldwide Merger Information Practice and directed McKinsey’s North American Organization Practice.
“Every Isenberg student should understand that the school’s size and culture facilitate close student-faculty relationships,” he advises. “And with over 40,000 alumni, Isenberg offers tremendous strategic assets through networking and mentorship. For me, giving back through mentorship comes naturally. That’s because mentors have been invaluable in my own career.”