20 Pieces of Advice for the Class of 2020
Congratulations to the Class of 2020! The Endicott College alumni community welcomes you. We have compiled advice and well wishes from 20 alumni from all age groups and across many majors and industries for you to consider as you transition to alumni Gull status.
1. Be Happy
Third Grade Spanish Immersion Teacher and Coordinator at Portland Public Schools and English major Florencia Lailer ’09 says, “Don’t be afraid to quit a job that makes you unhappy. Big and scary decisions can lead you to the happiest place you’ve ever been! Dare to find the right place, even if for a little while you have no place at all!”
2. You Can Always Reroute
Presentation Specialist, Publishing & Creative Services at Wellington Management, visual communications major, and GOLD Leadership Council member Abbey Murphy ’16 says, “You earned your degree and no one can take that away from you! You’ve set a foundation for your life and as you enter the ‘real world’ your dream career may not be what you thought it would be. Just remember you can always reroute!”
3. There Are No Limits
Vice President of Wealth Management at UBS Financial Services Inc., secretarial major, and Vice President of Alumni Council Susan Dowling ’72 says, “My advice to the Class of 2020 is simple: the only one who can stop you from succeeding is you. Have goals and you will achieve them. There is no limit to what you can accomplish if you follow your dreams.”
4. We’re There for You
Former Sales Coordinator at Nova Biomedical, visual communications major, and Alumni Council member Jennifer Adams ’95 says, “Endicott is with you, now and beyond. You have the support of an amazing alumni community—one that is unlike any other. Two-year degrees, four-year degrees, and coeducational to master’s and doctoral. Endicott is a special place and has prepared you for the next chapter in life. As a fellow alum, I welcome you. If and when you need us, we’ll be there for you. Be a Gull and soar.”
5. Visit Often
Assistant Director of Student Activities at Endicott, hospitality management major, and GOLD Leadership Council member Alyssa Laurenza ’15 says, “The Nest will always welcome you back! Come visit anytime!”
6. Cherish Memories and Friendships
Special Education Teacher at Westwood Public Schools, liberal studies education major, and former Endicott Council member Kelly Fitzgerald ’09 says, “Cherish your memories and the special friendships you made. You’re about to embark on your greatest adventure. It’s time to take that knowledge and share your gifts with the world!”
7. Discover What Matters
Global Sales Director at IBM, MBA graduate, and Treasurer of the Alumni Council Ted Stanton M’07 says, “Discover what you’re passionate about and stay focused on what is important. If you want something, set your goals and every day make progress towards those goals. You’ll get there!”
8. Take Chances
Sales Coordinator at Stanley Black & Decker Inc. and criminal justice major Molly Dillon ’19 says, “Take chances. Apply to every job, even if it might not be the job you thought you were going to get or one within your major. You might end up finding a career you love with co-workers who turn into great friends. Take the chance and send in the application.”
9. Stay True to You
Director of Operations at Shooting Touch Inc., Owner of Ashley Irene Events LLC, sport management major, and GOLD Leadership Council member Ashley Walenta ’14 says, “Welcome to the time in your life where there are many unknowns. For the first time, there is not a guaranteed next step or stage in life you should be at. In fact, many of your friends and peers will be on a very different chapter of that journey. It is completely okay to be on a different page.”
She continues, “But while you are continuously writing your own story, stay true to who you are and don't be afraid to rewrite the next chapter. Find your passion, make a tough career decision, travel the world, or move across the country. Do whatever you have to do to continue to learn, grow, and challenge yourself. And when you become stagnant, make a change and remember that this is your story to write. As one chapter ends, another will always begin and you are exactly where you are supposed to be!”
10. Be One in a Million
Class Correspondent and retiree Patricia Richardson ’61 says, “The world is before you. Right now, you are one of a million. Aim for being one in a million!”
11. Say Yes!
Corporate Events Sales Manager at Misselwood Events and hospitality management major Delia Day ’14 says, “Try new things. Say ‘yes.’ In my first year after graduating I moved, by myself, to a new city where I didn't know anyone. I made a conscious effort to get out of my comfort zone and really integrate into my new home. I tried going to events through MeetUp.com, joined a local book club, a new spin studio, and spent plenty of time exploring downtown and taking myself on solo dates. I learned and grew SO MUCH in that first year by simply saying ‘yes’ to new things—and really built a sense of home for myself, including an amazing group of new friends that I love!
12. Prioritize Your Goals
Art Director at Endicott and M.Ed. Arts and Learning Gull Angela Gulino M’10, says, “My advice to new graduates as you enter into the professional workforce is to consider the big picture of your overall life goals (travel, family, financial security, hobbies, etc.), prioritize which of these goals are most important to you, and make career choices early on that support those goals. My advice to continuing education grads is to never let the passion and fire you have for learning burn out!”
Administrative Assistant in Admission at Endicott, communication major, and MBA graduate Mariah Slocum ’03 M’16 says, “Talk to everyone and anyone about your job search and your goals! You never know who will connect you to the job of your dreams!”
14. Embrace Failure
Social Media Director at Warner Communications, communication major, and Class Correspondent Casey Piece Burkinshaw ’09 says, “Throughout your career, what you see as a setback will most likely lead you to personal growth. Embrace the failure.”
15. Model Humanity and Integrity
Financial Aid Administrator at Endicott and business management major Diana Barr ’16 M’20 says, “Speak when you walk into the office every day. Say good morning to your boss and peers as you walk past their offices. Always smile at janitors and receptionists in your office. Don't be so focused on getting ahead and that it's all business all the time. Treating people with humanity and integrity is most important.”
16. See the World
Photographer and Videographer at Endicott and visual communications major David Le ’10, says, “Class of 2020, welcome to the Endicott Alumni family! You have had to deal with some unprecedented circumstances, for sure, but you are part of a strong class—a dedicated and resilient class—and you will get through this.”
He continues, “My advice for you is to go out and see the world. Travel to the places you want, move to a different part of the country or even a different country—whatever you end up doing be sure to enjoy your immediate post college life. Find a job that makes you happy and surround yourself with the people who make you happy and will support you no matter what. Be sure to keep in contact with your college friends and roommates, the bond you share years down the road is truly special. And as always, Go Gulls.
17. Work Hard
Reporter and Photographer at Hearst Television, digital journalism major, and GOLD Leadership Council member Matthew Leighton ’18 says, “Work hard and don't be afraid ask for feedback so you can grow and improve.”
18. Dive in Headfirst
District Manager at Dell Technologies, liberal studies major, and Alumni Council member Jeff Scola ’10 says, “First off, congrats on graduating! It's no small task to successfully complete any college course of study, never mind doing so with such a significant curveball thrown your way at the eleventh hour.”
He continues, “My biggest piece of advice would be to jump whole-heartedly into the next endeavor presented to you. College is a unique time that's certainly challenging, but was likely also incredibly rewarding and enjoyable for most of you. It can be tempting to dwell on the fact that you're moving on and try to re-capture what you had at Endicott. It can be equally tempting to wait and try to find the perfect position for you, whether that be a job in the private sector, public, or post-graduate studies. However, I'd encourage all of you to dive headfirst into what challenges and opportunities you do have and apply what you've learned to whatever it is that comes next. You may not find the perfect opportunity (especially right now), but embrace what is available to you and live fully in the moment. You'll be shocked to find just how well positioned you are for your career after your studies at Endicott. Stay in touch with the friends, faculty, and staff who've become so close to you and honor your alma mater by giving it all to your next stage of life.”
19. Be Okay With the Unknown
Assistant Director of Athletic Giving at Endicott and hospitality management major Kelsey O’Keefe ’19, says “Graduating is scary and it's absolutely okay not to have everything figured out or have a plan. Use this as a time to build your career and professional profile. Don't miss out on any opportunities because there's too much unknown.”
Fan Clubs Representative for the Boston Red Sox and sport management major Keller Dinan ’14, says, “Network, network, network! Never stop connecting with people—you never know when you’re going to meet someone who makes a difference in your future.”
Class of 2020, we are so proud. Welcome to your next incredible adventure!
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