Business Management Students Hold Alumni Panel Discussion

Business Management AlumniThird-quarter Business Management students in their Management Practice Lab 1 planned an end-of-quarter event–a panel discussion, where NEIT Business Management alumni were invited to share their success stories and advice with current  MGT students. Students in the lab were divided into two teams, each with a project manager, who assigned various tasks  to their teams from booking a room in which to host the event, devising a list of people to invite, to writing the biographies of the panelists and the thank-you letters to send to the panelists after the event.

Among the panelists was Yrleni (Leni) Garcia, administrative assistant in the Automotive Technology at NEIT. A  Phi Theta Kappa honor society member, who is working towards her bachelor’s degree at NEIT, Leni received her associate from New England Institute of Technology in 2002. Employed at NEIT for nine years, her job includes working for three departments, which she says while hectic at times, is extremely rewarding. Leni stressed the importance of image, from the way you speak to the way you dress. She advised the students to keep a “business management attitude” at all times.

Suzanne Caldeira, vice president of Shamrock Financial, graduated from NEIT with her associate degree in business management in 1994. In her position as a mortgage broker, she helps buyers obtain financing to purchase various types of homes as well as to refinance existing properties. When asked what the most rewarding part of her job was, her answer was simple, “Changing people’s lives. Buying a home is a dream to many people.”  She is excited to be a part of that dream. When asked for advice about entering the workforce, her answer resonated with all the students, “Don’t see failure as a failure; see it as a step forward.”

Keith Thompson earned his bachelor degree from NEIT in 2008 and works as an IT Training and Development Specialist in the Computing & Information Services at Brown University. Keith, understanding the value of education, earned his Professional Training Certification from Bryant University, as well as an ITTL Foundation Certification in IT Service Management in 2013. In 2014, he went online to earn an Instructional Design Certification from University of Wisconsin-Stout. Keith is presently pursuing an MSE in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout (online). He hopes to one day return to NEIT to teach, providing the students with the valuable education that was given to him.

When asked how the MGT curriculum prepared him, he responded, “The foundation prepares you for anything; it depends on how hungry you are. Anyone can get a degree, it’s what you do with it.” Keith went on to ask the audience, “By a show of hands, how many of you are afraid of what’s next?” All the students in the audience raised their hands, and he responded, “If you’re not afraid, your dreams are not big enough! You’re all where you should be.”

Paul Pinto, vice president of Client Engagement for Atrion Networking Corporation, earned his bachelor degree from NEIT in 2005. Paul said the biggest rookie mistake graduates can make when entering the workforce is to “take opportunity for granted.” He also gave valuable advice about going through the interview process. He said, “Presentation! First impressions are important. Convey what’s important to you, and let the potential employer know what you bring to the workplace. Be yourself! Do your homework, and know the company. Know where you see yourself in the future.” He went on to say, “Things don’t happen overnight; be disciplined. Take steps every single day to get to your goal and measure it.”

Bob Larrabee, senior account executive in the Center for Technology and Industry at New England Institute of Technology, graduated in 2006 from NEIT with a bachelor’s degree in MGT. When he was asked what the most rewarding part of his job was, he told the audience that seeing students come to NEIT, learn skills, earn a degree, gain confidence, and ultimately become employed is the biggest reward of all.

MGT students were impressed with the panelists’ stories, which gave them insight into what’s next for them once they earn their degrees.