Alumni, students connect at networking night
Alumni shared their stories and offered tips to undergraduates in a sea of suits, ties, and handshakes at Providence College’s Student-Alumni Networking Night.
Sponsored by the Career Education Center, the Office of Alumni Relations, and the Greater Providence chapter of the National Alumni Association, the Mal Brown Club, the Student-Alumni Networking Night welcomed more than 70 alumni into ’64 Hall in the Slavin Center to share their stories and advice with 198 PC students.
One of the participants, David R. Meegan ’70, who studied sociology and social work at PC, leads his own law firm.
“PC graduates are willing to help PC students through internships or through referring them,” Meegan said. “The key of getting a job is relationships.”
Meegan personally knows the power that these connections can have and the opportunities they can create, especially at the start of a career.
“Someone helped me. I went to Chicago for six years after PC, and when I came back to Rhode Island I didn’t know anyone,” he said. “But I went to PC and contacted everyone I knew at the school, and I asked them, ‘Who can I call?’ And sure enough, six names turned into 12 names, and 12 turned into 24.”
Alumni at the networking night represented fields such as education, government, public service, financial services, law, healthcare, marketing, accounting, media and publishing, and technology.
Patrick Nigro ’15 (Upton, Mass.), who talked to alumni in marketing and sales, said, “It’s always good to talk to professionals who graduated from PC. Any knowledge I can get can only help me, and you never know if a connection I made today will help me later on.”
“All of these alumni who came to offer advice already have their foot in the industry,” added Stephen Kozak ’16 (Rocky Hill, Conn.). “They are helping me learn the proper steps in order to get my own foot in the door.”
The night began with greetings from Kate Kennedy ’92, president of the Mal Brown Club, words from Stacey Moulton, associate director of career services, and an address from the event’s keynote speaker, Russell Griffiths ’02G.
Griffiths, a special agent in the FBI, shared his career history and imparted career advice. As an undergraduate, he studied management at West Virginia Wesleyan College and then received an MBA at Loyola College-Maryland. As a result of financial crises during the 1990s, the FBI began recruiting people with business backgrounds, so Griffiths joined the FBI in 1991.
After working in Boston and Maine, Griffiths came to Rhode Island, where he worked on cases such as the Plunderdome investigation of Providence City Hall, the Roger Williams Medical Center investigation, and the Navy investigation into Navy employee Ralph Mariano. Griffiths also has worked on events such as the Egypt Air crash in 1999 and the September 11 terrorist attack.
Griffiths first came to PC in order to use its gym and fitness facilities. However, after a friend suggested taking classes, he then enrolled and earned his M.A. in history in 2002.
Griffiths offered tips on applying to the FBI. To make applications stronger, he recommended building résumés full of civic service and internships, in addition to good grades. As a former business major now working in the FBI, he encouraged students from all fields who are interested to apply.
— Nick Tavares ’16
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