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A Path to Success
It comes down to the way you think. Job hunters, including millennials, need to understand that a technical mastery of the finer points in your chosen business field is not enough. Skill matched with a particular quality of mind equals talent, according to successful business executives who have graduated from Bentley.
Mitch Roschelle, co-founder of the real estate advisory practice of the American unit of the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, said he seeks three key mental attributes when recruiting talent: agility, empathy, and passion.
Roschelle, who is also a partner at the firm, said he sees these same qualities in its leaders. He described tremendously agile people who have adapted and changed as required by new circumstances. People with the empathy to understand the needs of the marketplace and customers. And passion.
“Passion creates a direct channel from heart to mind to audience. You are executing at the highest level. Passion is that intangible that takes a person from good to great,” he said.
Strong business internships and technical skill are crucial to success but so is a strong attitude about continuous learning, said Francis Hyatt, Senior Vice President and Manager, Talent Management and Human Resource Services at Liberty Mutual.
Liberty Mutual believes learning extends well beyond a structured environment, said Hyatt. Employees cultivate their minds on the job but also with outside studies and professional development. Undergraduates can do the same by getting involved with campus activities and charitable events, he said.
Derek Vachon, Senior Vice President, Solutions Delivery and Client Relationship Management at XTRAC Solutions, a Fidelity Investments Company, said his company seeks people with multiple internships and technical expertise matched with a set of intangibles: imagination, innovation, and other character skills.
“It’s not enough to be talented at IT or engineering or writing code. You must know how to apply that expertise to make our business more effective and innovative,” he said.
Vachon said much can be learned on the job but many character skills — problem solving abilities, depth of thought, verbal acuity — are ways of thinking that must have been cultivated before arrival.
The working environment today demands graduates with proven academic achievement, coupled with meaningful internships but also a penchant for collaboration, said Gregory Mazmanian, Senior Director, Global Credit OPS at EMC Corporation.
When recruiting on campus at Bentley, Mazmanian said he often asks students more about group projects in order to gauge their ability to work well as part of a team.
“We seek individuals who can work effectively in a collaborative environment,” he said. “Not everyone can.”
Talent also involves the ability to synthesize life experience and make it matter, according to Melinda Williams Reno, a principal in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s health plans technology practice. She said a good consultant draws lessons from the classroom, internships, work experience, and friendships. All of it must be unified by a passion for the chosen career, she said.
The surest path to success and happiness is to make a career choice that feels right for you, said Reno.
“Do what you love," she said.
President Larson, along with guest experts, joined Bloomberg’s Carol Massar and Cory Johnson, to talk about how college and universities are preparing graduates to navigate diverse environments.