Richard Pierre is a recent graduate from Bentley University (Class of 2011), with a B.S. in Marketing and a minor in Finance. He currently works as a Finance Specialist at the Boston Consulting Group. He is originally from Boston, MA and currently resides in the city. He enjoys playing basketball, football and dominos. However, he enjoys hanging out with friends, traveling and playing videogames on his downtime. His plan is to develop his career in the finance industry and build his network in the business world. He is also passionate about supporting his friends and family whenever they are in need.

High School: Boston Latin Academy

College: Bentley University

Graduation Year:
2011

Job: Finance Specialist at the Boston Consulting Group

Bottom Line Memory: Summer 2007, freshman farewell party

If I could send a care package, I’d fill it with:
Airheads and Laffy Taffy’- and some winter gloves.

Why I stay involved with Bottom Line: Bottom Line instills positive values in young individuals, and that’s something I will always respect.

People would be surprised to learn that I used to: Watch “Dawson’s Creek”.

The BEST part of being a college graduate is: That you can go out on the weekends, and not have to worry about homework that needs to be done on Sunday.

The HARDEST part about being a college graduate is: Knowing that you can’t use the “I’m in college” excuse anymore…

Join me in supporting Bottom Line by: Staying involved, attending the events, spreading the word about the organization to those around you, and donating if you can. (Learn more about care package sponsorship here: http://bottomline.org/care-packages.aspx )

NetworkingAs part of our College Success Program, Bottom Line spends a lot of time helping students find job and internship opportunities that will help prepare them for their careers. Here’s some advice that we recently gave our college students – a good reminder for any professional who is starting a new job!

Joining a new company offers an opportunity to build connections that may benefit your career in the future. Here’s 5 easy steps you can take to build your professional network.

1) Act friendly. Put a smile on your face and say hello to other employees in your department and building.

2) Ask questions. Start a conversation with a co-worker by asking about him/her. “How long have you worked here?” is a great starter question.

3) Develop conversations. Once you establish yourself as a friendly, articulate person, you’re ready to keep a two-way conversation going. Try to join different groups for lunch, but always ask first before simply sitting down.

4) Network with new friends. After you’ve found a few people in your department whom you enjoy, continue to develop those friendships and professional relationships. Each new friend could lead to another acquaintance, and then another. Before you know it, you will have built a network.

5) Set networking goals. Keep a list of people whom you meet at your internship, including their job titles and departments. Try to add to that list every day.

For more career advice, check out the Employability page of Bottom Line’s website.

Victoria Sargent
Career Coordinator

 

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Every year, Bottom Line hosts the Go Far Forum, the premier career event for our Massachusetts college students. With close to 130 volunteers, over 20 employers, and hundreds of students in attendance at the Westin Copley Place Hotel, this year’s event was a big success.  Attendees took part in mock interviews, a career fair, workshops, and a networking social that helped students build job searching skills and make connections.

Career Conversations, a key piece of the event, helped students who wanted information about different career paths. Volunteers who work in fields such as Health Care, Political Science, and Business responded to students’ questions: Why did you choose your major? What was your career path?  What advice do you have for me as I choose my major?  Through these conversations, students were not only able to make informed career decisions, but also further build their communication skills, an essential part of the transition from a student to a young professional. One volunteer said, “ The participants were articulate, bright, excellent people. Their questions were well thought out and I enjoyed talking to all of them.”

Most importantly, the Go Far Forum provided hundreds of students from Boston and Worcester with the support, advice, and opportunities they need to succeed in the job market after graduation. One student said, “I learned a lot from the Go Far Forum, especially from the mock interviews and the career conversations. I am glad I attended.”

Thank you to all the volunteers who made this event possible.

Victoria Sargent
Career Coordinator

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The sunshine is out and homework is nowhere in sight. Yes, as a college student, it’s tempting to spend the entire summer on vacation. After all the work you’ve done during the school year, you deserve a break. But the summer is also a good time to get a job that can offer you a number of benefits, including:

Huy (Suffolk University, 2012) at Sun Life Financial.

Money – Beyond being satisfying, getting a regular paycheck means you can save money to pay for tuition and books. While your life may be monopolized by classes and homework during the busy semester, summer break leaves plenty of time to earn some cash. Whether you take the part-time mail room job you work at school to full-time for the summer or find a seasonal job waiting tables, saving money is a smart idea.

Experience – Summer break also allows you to pursue internships and professional development opportunities in fields that interest you. Particularly if you know what job you want to pursue after college, finding an internship can allow you to test drive a particular job or develop skills that will increase your qualifications for your intended career path. For example, if you are interested in marketing, perhaps you will apply to be a Social Media Intern at a local museum. If you are interested in becoming a veterinarian, you could apply to be an assistant at a local animal hospital.

Responsibility – In addition to gaining some work experience, a summer job can give you a taste of real-world responsibility. Learning about the expectations of employers and the consequences of decisions and performance at a job is an important lesson to learn before graduating from college and one that you won’t learn in the classroom.

Freedom – On the flip-side of responsibility is independence. While you explore the expectations of the working world, you can also experience the freedom that comes with having your own money and managing your own schedule. Having decision-making power with your own time and finances is liberating and exciting, and will help you prepare for becoming a fully self-sufficient adult.

Connections – The saying is true: it’s all in who you know. If a manager comes to appreciate you as a hard worker and dependable employee, chances are that he/she will feel comfortable serving as a reference for you in the future. Networking is a key component to landing great jobs, but connecting with co-workers and managers also has a more immediate payoff: you can learn a lot from smart and supportive colleagues. While your professors at school teach you a lot through theory, formulas, and research, co-workers can teach you about on-the-job skills such as time management, professional demeanor, and negotiating work-life balance. Learning about these things early on will make you a more desirable job candidate.

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Mock Interviews at Bottom Line's 2009 Go Far Forum

In two weeks, Bottom Line will host the annual Go Far Forum, a student event that features a career fair, mock interviews, presentations from industry leaders, and (new this year) a networking reception. All the planning for this event has got us thinking, Why is it important to help college students with their professional development and careers? Below are four things Bottom Line focuses on helping students in our College Success Program with to promote their success after graduation.

1. Interviewing
With few exceptions, most undergraduates will never be assigned homework that requires them to undergo a professional interview—the kind where you have to answer abstract questions that indicate your work ethic and team-working abilities, wear a modest pencil skirt or tie, and generally present yourself as a polished and qualified individual. This just isn’t part of the curriculum for an engineering program or a humanities degree.

While some colleges require students to take a speech class where they learn how to speak confidently and make eye contact, promoting oneself to a potential employer can be remarkably different than giving a presentation in class. You need to be prepared to answer difficult questions, such as why a company should hire you over someone else, why you left your last job, and how your studies have prepared you for the industry. Unless they seek the advice of a mentor or their school’s career center, a college student will probably not be asked one of those questions until they land in a job interview. Furthermore, many jobs that students interview for prior to completing their degree don’t require the same preparation and skill set that an interview for a post-graduate job does.

2. Networking
College is a great place for learning how to mingle in social settings, but not necessarily professional ones. It’s possible to spend an entire college career traveling between class, a lax on-campus job, your dorm or home, and the occasional gathering with friends without experiencing a business social setting. This is another place—other than the job interview—where college students could develop the skills of tactful self-promotion and professional confidence. When a student leaves college, being able to network would greatly benefit their job search and general success in the business world.

3. Dressing Professionally
When you’re a teenager, you can get away with wearing an ill-considered outfit, even if you’re filing or answering phones in an office. But when you’re an adult with a college degree who is applying for jobs that require you to represent someone’s business, an employer will be looking for you to look the part. Most college students spend their days in jeans (if not their pajamas) and don’t necessarily have a reason to own an iron or lint remover. In fact, these details probably escape you when what you’re wearing is irrelevant to completing a 12-page paper or passing an exam. For this reason, exposure to a business setting can be important for college students to learn how to carry themselves professionally.

4. Exploring (Realistic) Post-Graduation Options
While professors may impart how your schoolwork will help you in the working world, it’s not always clear how spending twenty-something hours a week in a classroom translates to you being qualified to work in the field. For English or History majors, it may not even be clear what kinds of jobs you should pursue.

Exposing college students to their field through meaningful internships or introducing them to successful professionals can show them their options, give them a feel for what they may like to pursue, and allow them to make informed decisions when they graduate rather than searching blindly for a career path. Many college graduates would probably say it would have been nice to know which industries could use their talents, what the salary offerings are like, and how much more schooling they would need to land their dream job, prior to entering the working world. Information about what employers are looking for allows graduating seniors to set appropriate goals, whether that means attending graduate school to become a psychologist or climbing the career ladder from an editorial assistant to an editor in the publishing world.

While Bottom Line doesn’t expect to impart all of this wisdom to our college students in a 3-hour event, we hope that the 2011 Go Far Forum offers a great jumpstart for them to prepare for their careers. In the coming months, we will help our students write resumes and cover letters, apply for summer jobs and internships, and get one step closer to becoming confident professionals and pursuing fulfilling careers.

Jen Bees
Success Coordinator

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