April 18, 2024

CNBC Anchor and NYU SPS Alum Morgan Brennan Addresses the Class of '24 and Receives Distinguished Alumni Award at Undergraduate Convocation

On Monday, May 13th, at the newly opened NYU Paulson Center in downtown Manhattan, co-anchor of CNBC's Closing Bell: Overtime Morgan Brennan will address the NYU SPS Undergraduate Class of 2024 after being awarded the NYU SPS Distinguished Alumni Award.

As a teen pursuing a career in the music industry, Brennan did not have plans to attend college. "But I always thought if something changed, the school for me would be NYU," says Brennan. "So, when I realized I wanted to seek higher education, I knew exactly where to apply. I had planned to try some classes at NYU SPS and then transfer to another school within NYU. But something magical happened."

"I fell in love with the School—with the professors, and my fellow adult and professional classmates," she adds. "I was in classrooms with teachers who were engaged and cared greatly, surrounded by students who were there because they wanted to be there to better themselves and were taking on personal sacrifices to do so."

Brennan credits studying anthropology and social science—alongside media studies courses at NYU SPS—for creating the strong theoretical and methodological foundation she brought to her journalism career. "Skills like writing, researching, analyzing data, learning how to think critically, and how to conduct interviews all contributed greatly to what I do now on a daily basis."

At Convocation, Brennan will stress to graduates that career paths are not linear. "That has been my personal experience. I spend time with some of the most successful and powerful people in the world, and have found that this is the case for many of them as well. With that in mind, it’s crucial to always be teachable and open to possibilities—even if the opportunities materializing were not the ones you planned on."

Brennan's experiences as an NYU SPS student continue to resonate with her as a high-profile CNBC news anchor and podcaster. "My educational background in social science—and specifically anthropology—is perhaps the most powerful tool in my proverbial toolkit because it enables me to approach financial, economic, political, and geopolitical news in a unique way, one rooted in identifying my own biases and moving past them in order to seek the facts and analyze the intersection between human behavior, social and cultural dynamics, and the flow of money which impacts and effects nearly everything in this world."

"Mentorship is invaluable," Brennan plans to convey to the Class of '24, "I wouldn’t have the life I have today without it, and I try to pay that forward. I was able to have some incredible mentors and teachers at NYU SPS, which helped forge the way for me professionally. Be curious, be open, and be willing to do the work."

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