Future Friars Conference Attracts Variety of Speakers
Providence, R.I.— Eight alumni and one parent will share tips on pursuing dream careers and starting businesses at the 6th annual Future Friars Executives’ FFE Business Conference, according to organizers.
More than 120 students signed up to attend the event, which will take place on Saturday, February 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Moore Hall. It is sponsored by FFE in collaboration with the Office of Career Services, the Office of Alumni Relations and the Providence College School of Business. FFE is a student-run business group that provides educational and professional activities for members.
The keynote speaker, Jack Hayes ’89, who is director of athletics for Hofstra University, will discuss the importance of networking and building a career path, said Ashley Buglio ’10, coordinator of alumni relations in the Office of Institutional Advancement.
The conference, entitled “Pathways to Success,” will have a “3 Under 30” panel of recent alumni, including Michaela Shaw ’09, retail operations coordinator of Alex and Ani, the Cranston, R.I.-based jewelry company; Kevin Higgins ’10, an associate financial analyst at VCE; and Pete Mongelli ’07, a strategic project manager at 89 Degrees who also runs his own freelance photography and Web design business.
“We’re really trying to give current students insight into different career paths,” Buglio said.
Breakout sessions with graduates will feature Jeff Serowik ’90, the president of Pro Ambitions Hockey, Inc. and a former player for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, and Pittsburgh Penguins. He will talk about turning one’s dreams into a business. In addition to Pro Ambition’s instructional hockey camps, Serowik also founded Sports Save Souls, a nonprofit that gives at-risk children an opportunity to play hockey.
Other presenters include Lauren Jones ’05, director of policy and communications for Timothy P. Murray, lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, and Elizabeth Ray ’84, vice president, development, for The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, Conn.
The conference is “a perfect example of alumni giving back their time and talent, and taking this opportunity to connect with current students,” Buglio said.
This year has had one of the highest registration totals in the event’s history, said Jennifer Anello ’13 (Basking Ridge, N.J.), FFE’s conference committee co-chair.
She thinks the wide variety of careers represented by the presenters has attracted the high number, as well as that several young alumni are among the presenters.
“They’re really down to earth and straightforward,” Anello said. “I think they’re easier to relate to. That’s going to be me in a few years.”
This year is also the first time that a parent will be a presenter. Jeff Scharpf ’14P of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, who has experience as a short-term fixed income trader and a risk manager for short-term fixed income trading, will lead a break-out session called “Trading on Wall Street.”
One speaker will address the crowd from the West Coast. Kristen Gallagher ’95, a sales consulting senior manager at Oracle, will use Skype to deliver her presentation remotely.
“I think it’s exciting how we’re able to engage an alum in California using technology,” Buglio said.
Participants will be encouraged to network with presenters during lunch and to continue the discussion online using the Twitter hashtag #ffepathways during the event, Anello said.
-- Liz F. Kay