Scott Allen Jr., MBA ’07, was a college freshman on Sept. 11, 2001, and has felt called to serve his country ever since.
In 2005, he arrived at the University at Buffalo School of Management, with Marine Corps candidate training and a Bachelor of Science in business administration under his belt. Even as he completed his MBA coursework and back-to-back Delaware North internships, joining the military remained in the back of Allen’s mind—so much so that after earning his UB MBA and a law degree from the University of Maryland, he joined the Marine Corps as a judge advocate.
Allen spent nearly four years in active duty, from August 2010 to June 2014, mostly as a prosecutor. During his first tour at Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina, he prosecuted federal felonies and misdemeanors by researching and drafting motions, and sitting second chair on several courts-martial.
Later, after earning bar certification and completing officer training, Allen “hit the fleet” at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. As a trial counsel, he prosecuted sexual assaults, larcenies and drug crimes, including representing the government as first chair on nine courts-martial.
“There was a period of time when I was one of the leaders running the shop and in charge of several other junior attorneys at Camp Lejeune, which then had one of the largest criminal dockets in the Department of Defense,” Allen says.
In 2014, Allen left active military duty to serve the country in a different capacity: as an assistant United States attorney for the Western District of New York. For most of his tenure in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Allen prosecuted child exploitation cases and white-collar fraud.
“White-collar crime is an area where my time in the UB MBA program really came into play because I was familiar with different financial documents and could trace money, while staying organized in Excel,” he says.
When asked for the most impactful experience he had at UB, Allen doesn’t hesitate: Professor Frank Krzystofiak’s data modeling course and his work as a graduate assistant in the Career Resource Center.
“The UB MBA program helped me become a problem-solver and better communicator, and really taught me the analytical skills I needed to be successful in the real world,” he says. “Through the CRC, I learned things like interviewing skills and how to draft a résumé. Every step of the way, I was more prepared for the interview process as a result.”
Today, Allen continues to serve as a captain in the Marine Corps Reserves; he will soon be promoted to major. Full time, he’s shifted to the private sector, as a senior associate with Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP, focusing on government investigations and compliance matters on the team of Dennis C. Vacco, partner and former New York State attorney general.
In addition, a few times a month, you’ll find him volunteering in the food pantry at Friends of the Night People, a nonprofit that assists poor and homeless individuals in Buffalo.
“That’s just another opportunity to be part of and see another side of our community,” Allen says. “I was there last night—it’s so rewarding.”
Written by Matthew Biddle