Tag Archives: Mark Franczyk ’00

A Former Banker’s Cautionary Tale

Mark Franczyk ’00 gave a Cum Laude address on finding the courage to follow his heart
Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh
Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh

“Who loves cooking or even a good meal?” Mark Franczyk ’00 asked Williston Northampton School students and faculty on January 16. He nodded at the sea of raised hands in the Phillips Stevens Chapel.

“And who loves banking?” he asked. There was laughter from the crowd; a few hands appeared.

Mr. Franczyk smiled. “So why did it take me 10 years to determine that I should be working as a chef and not as an investment banker?” he said.

Mr. Franczyk was at the Cum Laude Induction Ceremony to provide what he described as a cautionary tale, particularly for those who are obsessed with being high achievers.

In a humorous and often self-deprecating keynote, Mr. Franczyk explored the twists and turns of his career, from majoring in economics—an area of study he didn’t love, but that seemed lucrative—to frantically pursuing a high-powered job to the point of collapse, and then finally changing courses altogether.

Read the full speech here.

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Mark Franczyk ’00 to Speak at Cum Laude Ceremony

Photo - Franczyk, MarkAn alumnus who decided to pursue his passion in dramatic fashion will be the guest speaker at the school’s Cum Laude induction ceremony on Friday, January 16, at 8:30 a.m. in the Phillips Stevens Chapel.

Mark Franczyk ’00 spent a decade working as a banker with the financial powerhouse J.P. Morgan. After taking a job as an internal consultant, Mr. Franczyk quickly rose to assistant vice president in the company’s Treasury & Securities Services and then as an analyst in the Investment Banking Division.

While Mr. Franczyk was involved in what he described as “a multitude of M&A and capital-raising transactions, including the largest U.S. equity deal in history,” he also had decided that the banking industry was not a good fit. According to his biography, he “began to more aggressively pursue his interests in the culinary world—interests that had always been simmering during his time as a banker.”

By 2014, Mr. Franczyk had enrolled in culinary school, started a food blog (www.outsideofthebreadbox.com), and began interning in some of the top kitchens in the country. He now works as a pastry cook for the Alta Marea Group, Chef Michael White’s Michelin Star winning group of restaurants, which include Marea, Ai Fiori, Osteria Morini and Costata.

The following are the names of the 14 inductees—all seniors who have excelled academically:

Lena Gandevia
Margaret Glick
Emily Grussing
Cameron Hill
Umi Keezing
Dong Ho Kim
Katelin Murray
Emily Peirent
Loren Po
Mackenzie Possee
Matthew Steinberg
Cade Zawacki
Yiting Zhang

The Cum Laude Society, founded in 1906 and modeled after Phi Beta Kappa, honors scholastic achievement in secondary schools. The society has 382 chapters, with the majority in independent schools. In 1921, Williston Academy became a member of the society, followed by Northampton School for Girls in 1951. In 1971, a new charter was created for the Williston Northampton School.