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Transfer Student Profiles

Carolyn Jenkins | Nicole Grinsell | Chris Conroy



Carolyn Jenkins

Major: Marketing
Minor: Law

Q: What was it about Bentley that made the school a good fit for you? Why did you choose Bentley over other schools?

A: I originally attended my prior institution because I had a strong interest in business but wasn’t 100 percent sure I definitely wanted to stay with that, so I liked that Fairfield had liberal arts as well. I knew that I could fall back on that if business wasn’t right. Once I got to Fairfield, academically it was a good fit, but socially it felt like something was missing. I really wanted more from my college experience, so I looked into transferring to a better business school, which led me to Bentley. Being from the Boston area, when you say you’re interested in business for college, Bentley definitely always comes up, and once I came here I just really knew. It had everything I wanted.

Q: How have experiential learning opportunities (Service-Learning, corporate partnerships, study abroad) been beneficial?

A: I didn’t study abroad, but I did work with a lot of companies in the classroom. I would say that benefitted me the most out of my experiences at Bentley, just getting to apply everything that I’ve learned in the classroom to real-world experience — better understanding the things I was learning. The best class for that would definitely be GB320, the Integrated Business Project. The company I worked with for GB320 was an online English language program for Spanish speakers. The CEO wanted Bentley students to help improve the company's business to consumer sales a majority of the profits were primarily generated from business to business sales. My group and I provided the company with recommendations involving a new target market, marketing strategies, financials, etc. by using the information the company provided us, as well as outside resources regarding language learning platforms. Each group hands in a paper with their recommendations roughly every 2-3 weeks, which is passed on to the company. A final presentation is required at the end of the semester by each group and the professor chooses a select number of groups with the best recommendations to present to the company. I was fortunate enough to be chosen to present to the company, along with my group. Gaining the feedback from the company was an rewarding experience because my group and I were able to see which of our ideas were plausible and which were not, learning why they wouldn't work for the particular industry and company. The company was so impressed by one of our marketing strategies, even commenting after the presentation was over that they would possibly use it in their future marketing efforts, which was amazing to hear after a semester of hard work. 

I also worked with a company called Quirky in my New Product and Development course this past year. Our professor assigned us a semester long group project where our assignment was to generate a new product. We not only had to come up with an idea for a new product, but also had to design the product, create a prototype, develop a marketing strategy, and even devise a launch plan for it. Our professor contacted Quirky, an invention platform, and had the company work with us throughout the entire process. If you don't know about Quirky, it's a start-up that invites anyone to submit an idea for a new product, vote on whether the product should be built or not, and provide feedback to the designer in how they can improve the product. The most popular new product ideas are then chosen to be designed, manufactured and distributed by Quirky. If was amazing to work with this start-up, gaining feedback from them regarding our new product idea and gathering suggestions in how we could market and launch the product after lots of tweaks to the product. The employees we were in contact with were a tremendous resource we got to take advantage of as we learned about and completed the new product and development process. They challenged us at times, but we wouldn't have been able to generate a feasible new product without their guidance and critiques. 

Q: You took advantage of Bentley’s five-year master’s degree program. Tell us a little more about that.

A: That’s definitely one thing that stood out to me, even when I first looked at Bentley. Being able to get a master’s in a fifth year, obviously you love hearing the sound of that. So I decided that, at the beginning of my senior year, to apply to graduate school in Marketing Analytics. One of my professors encouraged me to apply, actually — I did, and it ended up being a really great decision. I’m looking forward to starting in August.

Q: What tips or helpful hints would you share with prospective Bentley transfer students about the transferring process?

A: The summer before I came to Bentley, I was a nervous wreck. So one tip would be not to stress so much about it. Don’t be nervous about transferring to a new school, especially Bentley. I had such a smooth transition. Everyone was so welcoming that I really wish I hadn’t stressed out so much that summer before, worrying about meeting people and whether I was going to like it. I even thought about going back to Fairfield at the last minute because I was so nervous. But in the end it worked out.

In terms of when you get on campus, definitely step out of your comfort zone. Introduce yourself to people, do things you wouldn’t initially do, or hadn’t done at your previous school. Get involved — that’s definitely my biggest tip.

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Nicole Grinsell

Major: Accountancy

Q: How have experiential learning opportunities (Service-Learning, corporate partnerships, study abroad) been beneficial?

A: I participated in Service Learning for my Federal Taxation class and am a certified VITA tax preparer. For me, I liked connecting what we were learning in class to actual, real world tax problems and helping people clarify these issues. It was humbling for me to see people from all walks of life at the VITA clinics and help them file their tax returns.

Q: Please share any internship opportunities you have had to date and the process by which you obtained the internships.

A: The summer before my senior year I interned at Amica Mutual Insurance Company in Lincoln, RI. The program was a 10 week, rotational internship where I divided my time between the Internal Audit, Tax, Operations, and Financial Reporting and Accounting departments. I met with a recruiter at the Spring 2014 Career Fair and applied for the position through the company’s website. After the interview process, I was offered the job and found it incredibly valuable to have such a broad experience across the different functions of the accounting department. 

Q: Briefly describe one rewarding relationship with a professor or advisor at Bentley that really impacted you as a student.

A: I would say that I made a lasting connection with my Financial Statement Auditing professor, Jay Thibodeau. He is probably one of the most passionate, enthusiastic individuals I have ever met and he made me look forward to every class. He encouraged us often to come to his office hours when he needed help or just to talk. His insights on life in professional accounting practices were honest, yet positive and I feel he helped me solidify my decision to pursue this career path. He also encouraged me to reach out after my time in his class, which I was very touched by. Professor Thibodeau is the kind of person who doesn’t just teach, but inspires his students to be their best.

Q: How has transferring to Bentley improved your quality of life as a student?

A: Coming to Bentley made me develop qualities in the classroom that I was lacking. Now, I enjoy participating in class discussions and voicing my opinions. Sitting in larger classes, I felt that I wasn’t getting as much out of it as I could. In classes at Bentley, I feel like I’m retaining information that I will actually apply in my career one day. I feel less like a student being lectured at and more like a young professional being trained for my future position. 

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Chris Conroy

Major: Management
Minor: Natural and Applied Sciences

Q: Have you had the opportunity to do an internship yet?

A: Yes, several. Last summer, I was an intern at EMC. I’m a management major, I want to go into operations, and I was lucky enough to intern in their business operations divisions. I interned there for five months. I loved everything about it.

I also worked at a startup company called Influencers, being a brand ambassador, which has been great. And I worked at an accounting firm as well. It’s definitely given me a wide variety of experience. 

Q: Briefly describe one rewarding relationship with a professor or adviser at Bentley that really impacted you as a student.

A: I’m the first person in my family to go to college. So coming into college, deciding what I wanted to major in, was definitely a big step out on my own. I didn’t know what I wanted to take, so I was taking a bunch of different classes and ended up in Management 240, Interpersonal Relations, with Professor Michael O’Halloran, and he’s become my mentor throughout my Bentley experience. I went to him a few times after class, talked to him, and once I just said, “I don’t know what I want to do.” I gave him my background and everything, and he said studying management is a key that opens a lot of doors. After that, I just fell in love with management. And every question I’ve had, academic-wise, I’ve gone to him. He gives me advice about jobs, internships, anything and everything. It’s nice knowing the professors at Bentley want to have a real connection with the students. It’s been incredibly helpful, especially as a transfer student.

Q: Academic fusion is a big focus of the Bentley curriculum. Can you talk about how that combination of business and the arts and sciences enhanced your education?

A: I’ve always been into science in one way or another. So when I got here I took that coastal geography course and I loved the way that it all relates to business. For example, we were on the Cape talking about erosion, which plays into real estate and development. I took a health studies course — the health industry is a $2-billion-a-year business — so maybe I could look into going into hospital management. It’s really interesting.

I think Bentley does a great job connecting the two, business and liberal arts. Especially coming in as a transfer, you think you’re limited as to what you can take, but they want you to take as many arts and sciences courses as you can. I was encouraged to minor in something different, to try a Liberal Studies major. It’s great, because you get that business feel, it’s a business school, but at the same time you could take a science course your last semester and say, “Wow, this is what I want to go into.” It’s just another way to open doors, which I really like.

Q: What were your expectations of Bentley before you got here, and how has your experience matched up to those expectations?

 A: Since I was the first person in my family to go to college, I really didn’t have any expectations. I knew Bentley was a great business school and all that, but really it’s exceeded everything I could’ve imagined. My first year at Bentley, I was a commuter student. I never thought I’d meet a good group of friends and get that whole college experience. I was able to get that. I never thought I would have two or three internships by this point but I’ve had that. I didn’t think I’d be graduating, possibly, cum laude — there are just so many different things that I’ve had here that I never could’ve imagined. It really says a lot about the school and the faculty: They invest a lot of their time in the students. Professor O’Halloran doesn’t have to do what he does — he doesn’t have to go out of his way to text me and ask how I’m doing, how things are going — but the faculty do that, and having that kind of motivation from people definitely makes you want to do well. 

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