Ernest Moegelin, BA’66
Ernie Moegelin was first exposed to the business world through his six co-op experiences on the manufacturing floor of Ford Motor Company's massive, historic automobile complex known as The Rouge. An amalgamation of these eclectic co-op experiences in Dearborn, Michigan, prepared him for a successful 37-year tenure at Merrill Lynch.
"I honestly believe that the experiences - the no-nonsense manufacturing background and the Northeastern co-op program - was the number one reason I was successful at Merrill Lynch," said Moegelin, who, by the time of his retirement from the investment giant reported directly to the president of Global Wealth Management and oversaw 3,000 employees.
While on co-op, Moegelin and his fellow Northeastern co-ops made their way to The Rouge, which was the largest factory in the world upon its completion in 1928. His title changed every rotation. He went in freshman year as a tool and dye maker's apprentice, and he spent his last term as a production control manager's assistant, with 20 to 30 employees working under him.
"Looking back on it," he said, "this was where you formed everything you knew about how to manage your life in the business world. It was not an ‘observe-and-report' program, it made you accountable and responsible," recalled Moegelin. He worked 12-hour days, seven days a week.
"What I learned in The Rouge was that it wasn't what I did, but what I was able to get others to do and do willingly. That stuck with me my entire business career," said the Wilmington, Massachusetts, native, who majored in Industrial Relations.
Bringing that same efficacy to Merrill Lynch, Moegelin quickly rose through the ranks at the investment firm. He went from financial consultant in 1967 to positions that included sales manager; regional sales manager; regional vice president; and district manager. In 2004, he retired as mid-east regional managing director, overseeing more than $2 billion in revenue.
On the topic of his success, Moegelin is very modest. "It's just a story of a guy who worked hard and had the proper mentoring early in his career, thanks to co-op, and who applied that discipline for all his working life and is now enjoying the fruits of that labor," he said. "That's about it."
Moegelin is happily retired, living between suburban Detroit, Michigan, and Naples, Florida, with his wife Carol. They have three children: Michael, who is matriculating in Northeastern's MBA program, Ernest Jr., and Deborah.