Alumni Career Advice: Passion, Purpose and the Del Network
Posted May 23, 2012
On May 23, 2012 eight Delbarton alumni shared career advice with the newest members of the Delbarton Alumni Association, the Class of 2012. Click here for photos.
The panel included U.S. federal prosecutor Mark McCarren '86, attorney Terry Gallagher '66, Subway's chief marketing executive Tony Pace '75, NY Stock Exchange specialist-turned-author Paul Maguire '86, technology sales executive Jim O'Loughlin, insurance sales executive Chris Holland '85, energy trader/professional fighter John Cholish '02 and entrepreneur Stephen Bienko '94. Frank Visceglia '85 and Lee Esposito'74 organized the event.
Both lawyers made a good case for careers in the law ("but don't go to law school unless you plan on practicing law," said McCarren). Tony Pace described how activities like editing college and grad school publications steered him away from finance and into advertising and corporate marketing. Maguire talked about how technology and regulation moved him from Wall Street to writing. Chris Holland explained how insurance works ("insurance is a promise") and Jim O'Loughlin said software design is for the "builders, artists and dreamers...because you create something out of nothing."
John Cholish, the youngest member of the panel, offered sage advice for college students: "change is okay" (he switched majors three times)..."try new things and don't be afraid to make some mistakes"..."listen to advice from others but make your own decisions."
Stephen Bienko's passion for entrepreneurship was contagious as he encouraged boys to be innovative risk-takers. "I am unemployable," he said cheerfully as he described a career that included stints in the NJ State Police, a personal training business, representing professional athletes and franchise owner/ promoter.
On Monday night Tony Pace had dinner with Jim Collins, author of the business bible Good to Great. He told Collins about his upcoming visit to Delbarton and got a second opinion on the advice he was prepared to offer Delbarton seniors:
1) Have a passion, have a purpose
2) Think about what in your DNA makes you really better at something than anyone else
3) How can you make money doing it? (But don't put money at the top of your list.)
Nobody on the FAC stage talked about retirement, burnout, boredom or lethargy. Each man clearly loves what he does for a living, and one idea was repeated often: respect your connection to Delbarton.
"One of the special things about Delbarton is the network you get after you graduate," said Holland.
Bienko summed it up this way.
"What makes Delbarton so unique? It's the culture. That's what makes Delbarton great...and that's what makes some companies great."