2016 Best EMBAs: Gaman Guadagni, Arizona State (Carey)

Gaman Guadagni Arizona State

Gaman Guadagni

Arizona State University, W.P. Carey School of Business

“Everything is possible … I am my own limitation.”

Age: 44

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Family Members: Laurie (wife) and Safia (daughter)

Undergraduate School and Degree: B.A., political science and B.A. sociology, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada

Where are you currently working? Caesars Entertainment, vice president of luxury hotel operations (Caesars Palace) and general manager of Nobu Hotel Las Vegas

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work, and Leadership Roles: Ki Aikido, chair of MVV Committee (Harrah’s), lead for Code Green (Harrah’s) and HERO

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? During a renovation meeting … looking at a document and being able to spot discrepancies on an NPV and IRR formula … prior to the MBA this would have never happened.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Planning, designing and executing a room renovation of 2,500 rooms at Harrah’s Las Vegas.

Who is your favorite professor? Phil Drake, Accounting. It was struck by his ability to connect and explain the principles of accounting in a way that is digestible and that will stick with you for a long time.

Favorite MBA Courses? International Practicum, taught by Professor Gerry Keim

Why did you choose this executive MBA program? I was impressed with the pedigree of the university. What sealed the deal was receiving a personal email from the dean of the business school, Amy Hillman, extending her personal assistance in answering any question. This personal touch indicated that there was something special about ASU.

What did you enjoy most about business school? The diversity of my cohort and that we are so different but we ALL get along and help each other at a moment’s notice … these are friendships for life.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? Pushing myself and learning to be comfortable and centered under pressure.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? The amount of work and dedication that is required.

What was the hardest part of business school? Managing time with family, work, and school. Finding an unbalanced approach that works with the immediate priorities at hand and being at peace with sacrificing other priorities for the time being as you move to achieve the objective at hand — an MBA.

What is your best advice for juggling work, family, and education? Being able to prioritize and strategically choose a sense of imbalance that works best, instead of trying to achieve a work-life balance.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when …” When I observed that my surroundings and environment in Las Vegas was analytically driven.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be …” Sorry that I didn’t go and would not have been exposed to great relationships and friendships that were made possible by attending business school.

What are your long-term professional goals? Everything is possible … I am my own limitation … become a president of Caesars Entertainment.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My wife and daughter for being my anchor and support. They believed in me when I was questioning myself.

Favorite book: Lawrence of Arabia

Favorite movie: Gandhi

Favorite musical performer: Bob Marley

Favorite television show: “Fareed Zakaria GPS”

Favorite vacation spot: Trieste, Italy

Hobbies? Aikido and cycling

What made Gaman such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?

“Gaman Guadagni brought a unique diversity into the EMBA cohort, as well as a steady, measured, and bright leader amongst a class full of leaders. Managing the course load while receiving a significant promotion during the program, as well as commuting from out of state every other weekend, Gaman did so with ease while still maintaining a strong connection to his teammates, cohort and faculty.

“Bringing a service-driven viewpoint to the cohort, Gaman held a key leadership role in a student-driven initiative with Zappos, wherein the cohort presented a new revenue stream and operational strategy for Zappos to implement other business school inquiries. Gaman was the on-the-ground contact, having a base in Las Vegas, Nevada, and was the spokesperson for the cohort in presenting their strategy.”

Joan Brett

Associate Dean of Graduate Programs & teaching faculty in the Executive MBA program

Arizona State University, W.P. Carey School of Business 


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.