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Tailored Career Resources for New Graduate Students

December 14, 2012
Executive Development prepares graduate students for successful leadership in business

The Girard School’s new Master of Science in Management program immerses students in preparation for successful leadership positions in business.
One of the program’s key components – career and professional development resources – was the focus during an Executive Development event early in the fall semester. Staff of the O’Brien Center for Student Success led the event, which covered resume writing, creating an elevator pitch and storytelling to highlight two stories in each student’s resume.
Biologist Matthew Raitt applied to the MSM program so he could learn about managerial tasks. “After the Executive Development night, I started to imagine the possibilities I potentially had at other companies and how valuable I could potentially be to a company.”
Raitt, a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, is a lab technician at Smith & Nephew medical technologists. He didn’t study finance or management in college.
“My goal is to learn how to communicate effectively and become familiar with common finance techniques,” he said.
He recognizes how Executive Development also honed his interviewing skills.
“I believe the ability to hold your own in an interview also applies to daily work,” he said, whether it’s being introduced to a department vice president or interacting with the new chief executive officer, visiting the lab. “These situations can be very stressful and being able to remain calm and communicate effectively is just as important in these situations as in an interview.”
“The resume workshop was the most relevant to me. I really liked that they looked at our individual resumes prior to the workshop and gave us feedback,” said Carla Grieco ’12, who majored in Italian studies with minors in chemistry and mathematics.
“I have always had an interest in business and, when I found out Merrimack was creating a program, I jumped at the chance to apply. I love everything about this school and have found my niche here, so it only made sense to stay for the extra year.”
Grieco, a busy fifth-year student, works at both the Revere Recreation Department and as a graduate assistant in the Girard School. The MSM program is tailored to students like her, with late-afternoon and evening classes.
“These programs have helped me become more confident in myself,” she said about Executive Development. “I tend to be very shy, and all the presentations and elevator speeches have helped me come out of my shell.”
Sarah Holcomb ’08 agrees that Executive Development enhances her confidence. A finance major at Girard, she works as a financial reporting accountant.
“I know I can do the work and I have the education to prove it; now I’m going into an interview with a resume that has been reviewed by a professional and a better knowledge of the basics of interviewing, which I had forgotten,” she said.
Executive Development also stressed networking.
“When searching for a job it is important to use all the resources you have available. Using Merrimack as a networking tool could get your foot through the right door,” Holcomb said. At her first job, a treasury accountant at Best Doctors, her manager also was a Merrimack graduate.
“I believe I was able to get the job on my own, but I really think that (Merrimack connection) is what made my resume stick out to her (my manager),” said Holcomb.
Self-confidence also matters to Yi Liu, a businesswoman from Urumqi, China. She said the resume workshop made her analyze her strengths and weaknesses so that she could best present her background.
“By knowing who you are or what difference you can make would help you build up self-confidence to position yourself at a right place,” she said.
Fifth-year business student John Massey ’12 – who starts his CPA career in January at Sullivan and Bille in Newburyport – says the MSM degree adds to his credentials at an interview.
“I appreciate that while the MSM will give me an opportunity to get ahead things such as the Executive Development program help prepare for that opportunity,’’ he said. “They complement each other well. I think both will prove useful as I advance in my career.”

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