Dedicated, driven and determined are some of the adjectives you might use to describe Zachary Gordon Naglieri. When he stepped across the stage at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater during Adelphi University’s 2016 Commencement ceremony to receive his degree in economics at age 20, it was because the Garden City resident managed to cram his course-load into a tight, three-year time frame. The discipline and hard work it took to undertake this kind of rigorous course load paid off—Naglieri will be getting his professional career started in a consultancy role for IBM’s Global Business Services firm. It’s a new chapter of life he’s eagerly awaiting to embark on.
“It’s kind of a two-year, entry-level program to get you experienced,” he explained. “At that point, you’re ready to move on and hopefully get a promotion and choose a specific sector of consulting that you’d like to work in.”
And while academics were a top priority, the Stratford School alum did far more than keep his head buried in books. After his freshman year, he served as a legislative intern for the 93rd District of the Virginia General Assembly, where he engaged in constituent services and wrote briefs on economic development through tourism and improving access to early childhood education. Naglieri worked as a research intern with Long Island Capital Alliance (LICA), helping local startups to acquire funding. Though both were considerably different experiences, they both had an effect on him.
“[With my internship], I was exposed to small-town politics, which is a little different than it is up here. Some of the area is a little rural, so it was kind of a different and neat experience to be a part of,” he said. “With LICA, it was a completely different experience working with a nonprofit. A lot of my work was independent, meaning it was going to be what I made of it. It ended up being a really rewarding experience. I was there for the Clean Energy Forum this past summer. It really was amazing to see the individuals that you helped and to be in awe of them because of the technologies that they came up with. It’s really outstanding, but they don’t have the economics or business experience to market themselves or be prepared to go in and acquire more funding. So it was really rewarding to see them go through the process and be successful.”
Lacrosse and music also play a big part in Naglieri’s non-academic life. He served as a manager for the Adelphi men’s lacrosse team and has been playing the violin since getting his start in the Suzuki program at the age of four. Despite growing up in lax-happy Garden City, Naglieri never picked up the game and his interest only increased once he got to Adelphi.
“I actually never played lacrosse at Garden City, if you can believe that. I was more of a hit-the-books kind of kid,” he admitted. “But I knew the Adelphi coach, Gordon Purdie—I worked for him at the Summer at the Waldorf School program. And he said the team needed a manager and I grew to love the sport here, getting to see it every day whether it was practice or going to the games. It was a very cool experience. This year, my role grew. I was able to help out on the field a little bit, running the substitution box here and there. So it was really interesting.”
When asked about growing up in Garden City, Naglieri lights up, whether he’s talking about his time in the Italian Club during high school or being under the tutelage of teachers Francis Dial and Margaret Gullotta during the seven years he was in the music program right up through being a high school senior.
“When anybody asks about it, I always credit [my teachers] with being responsible for where I am today,” Naglieri said. “Just some of the work they put in with me, especially in the high school. If I was struggling with a course, it was great being able to go in and get extra help or encouragement from them.”