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High-Power Pep Talk

High-Power Pep Talk
By Nicole LaRosa

High-Power Pep TalkFordham’s women’s basketball team received an unexpected pep talk on the heels of winning the Atlantic 10 championship and just before their first-round NCAA matchup.

Christine Driessen, GSB ’77, executive vice president and chief financial officer of ESPN, returned to Rose Hill on March 19 with twin sister and college roommate, Marianne Cooper, FCRH ’77, a managing director at IBM.

When she was at Fordham, Driessen said, men’s sports got all the publicity. “So now, for you guys to be the story, the headline—it’s just so fantastic.”

The executives also shared tips about getting ahead and prioritizing.

“Never sell yourself short,” said Driessen, who started as controller at ESPN in 1985 and has helped drive the network’s remarkable expansion. “I never got a raise or a promotion that I didn’t ask for.”

Providing a nice lifestyle for one’s family is important, but more important is “to have a positive impact on someone else,” said Cooper, who mentors other women. “That’s a pretty strong motivator.”

Though the Rams lost their first-round NCAA game by one point, they made valuable connections that night—exchanging e-mails and promising to stay in touch.

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