Member of Sigma Alpha Delta Since: 2004 – 2006
Baruch College Date of Graduation: May 2006
Major: Finance and Investments
Minor: Corporate Communications / Theater
For Max May, the decision to attend Baruch College was initially all about practicality. The life-long resident of New York City sought a convenient location to study something – anything, in the field of business. When it came to time to declare a major, Max May settled on Finance and Investments. He perceived Finance to be the most “broad and encompassing” of his options. Max found that he disliked his major, but he did not allow that fact to dissuade him from seeking fulfillment in other outlets. Max found outlets for growth in his passion for the entertainment industry, interest in stocks, and Sigma Alpha Delta.
Atypical for a Finance major, Max May pursued internships at ABC and VH1 instead of Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley. He later moved on to become an Assistant Manager for Rave Wireless, where he developed honed his skills as a salesman. Max grew weary of working for a superior, and decided that he wanted more control over his professional life. He was driven to do more work, make more money, and most importantly, reap greater satisfaction from his occupation.
Ironically, Max’s heightened drive saw his career path veer back towards Finance. He developed an interest in the stock market, and found out that there was little similarity between real-world Finance and what he learned from a textbook. Eventually, Max joined the trading desk of a Union Square firm where he has worked for the past two years. Max May credits equity trading with increasing his worldliness. “I know more about the worldly current events than a history major graduate. I know what goes on in Congress. I know what goes on, on Wall St. … I know what other countries are currently struggling with – I really feel like there is no other field that makes you more of a well-rounded person than the equities market.”
In addition to working as an equity trader, Max May is also co-founder of the New York Boyz of Comedy (NYBC). The NYBC is a group of ethnically diverse comedians, spearheaded by Max and fellow Baruch alumnus, Victor Chu. The NYBC perform stand-up, sketches, and improvisational comedy in group and solo acts. The Jew and the Chu Duo has produced many videos for its NYCHITY YouTube channel.
Max got his start with Sigma Alpha Delta as a Public Relations officer. He moved up to Chairman of Public Relations in his second semester. As PR chairman he found himself serving in a vaguely defined role, which he made the best of by developing the Baruch Bodybuilding Competition and the Oxford Debate alongside two of his fellow officers. These events served their purpose in attracting attention and building Sigma Alpha Delta’s reputation. During his final year as an active member, Max served as President.
Max May refers to his time as President of Sigma Alpha Delta as the highlight of his college career. “It was the time in my life where I learned about myself- about my strengths, my weaknesses – where I learned humility and the power of gratitude. By the end of it, I had become a much better person.” He takes pride in the fact that he performed to the best of his ability and did not hesitate to pursue the interests of Sigma with Student Life or USG. He found that he achieved a lot through persistence. Max was even bestowed a prestigious leadership award, one that he was nominated for by the same people he pursued so tenaciously.
Max May’s future looks to be governed by the same principles that got him to where he is today. His ability to adapt quickly to the needs of a situation, ability to feed off the energy of a crowd or a board room, and an innate sensibility for saying the right thing at the right time has taken him far. In following the examples set by such influences as Mitch Hedberg, Richard Pryor, Rodney Dangerfield, and Mark Twain, Max’s feels that his greatest asset is the ability to recognize where he wants to take his life. “Whatever I have accomplished thus far, my so-called resume, is really the byproduct of me knowing what it is that I am going after.”On setting goals, Max says, “I like to … focus on the process, or the journey, because that is all we’ll ever enjoy — the actual trip to meeting our goals.”
To the present and future of Sigma Alpha Delta, Max May leaves a message, “I am proud to say that out of all the “Thank you’s” I have said throughout my entire life, I had probably said 90% of them while I was the president of Sigma Alpha Delta. The higher my rank got, the humbler I became. I was the most humble at the top. You realize that you are a true leader when, at the end of the day, you really cannot take credit for anything that has been achieved, because it is your team that has gotten the job done. Treating people with appreciation and gratitude was the only thing that made me successful.”