Brian Goncalves ’16, Investor Services Associate, Eaton Vance
“Merrimack College prepared me for the workforce by providing me with the resources to make me successful. Events such as the Professional Development Retreat or visits to alumni at their workplace was extremely beneficial.”
Brian was among the first group of students to use the Mucci Capital Markets Lab on campus, using the space to complete his senior capstone for the honor’s program that is now published on Merrimack’s ScholarWorks. His experience in the lab helped him to identify his strengths in the world of finance, paving the way for a career in investment research.
Brian took advantage of the networking opportunities at the Professional Development Retreat, and through a connection from an alumnus Brian found his first temporary position with Commonwealth Financial Network in Waltham, Mass. In September, Brian accepted a position with Eaton Vance where he is now an Investor Services Associate, a job he learned about through the job portal provided by the O’Brien Center for Career Development.
“I met an alumnus at the Professional Development Retreat who is the chief financial officer of a technology company in Boston. We got a chance to talk a bit about the world of finance. I ended up taking his advice and I even had the opportunity to interview at his company.”
Brian is on the operations team at Eaton Vance, where he assists in financial reporting, real estate accounting, tax accounting and client servicing. He is currently a CFA candidate expected to take level one in December 2017.
How did your experience at Merrimack help you as a professional?
My most memorable experience from Merrimack that helped me professionally was surprisingly my commitment to the Pep Band. When I first started at Merrimack, the band was made up of only six members. By the end of my freshmen year, I cemented myself as the leader of the band for my next three years. I was able to be a part of hiring our new (and outstanding) band director and together we had to network our way to growing the program to make the band successful. Over the course of two years together we ended up networking with the other bands in the area as well as with alumni and members of the Merrimack administration. The relationships we built helped us in recruiting and securing vital funding for the band. Building those relationships directly translates to my current position at Eaton Vance. As a professional, I have been continuing to build relationships with others within the company and at other investment firms. The people I have met along the way have helped me in advancing my career, and in turn I have helped them as well. The effect those relationships have had, ultimately benefited our firm in developing internal efficiencies as well as with our own personal career goals.
How did the Professional Development Retreat impact the way you approached the job hunting process? Did you make any connections with alumni that helped you after graduation?
The Professional Development Retreat was a great experience for me because of the people I met and the advice they gave me. In the end, all the alumni I spoke to were right. If you try hard enough, for long enough, you will succeed and to not be afraid to take chances.
What is the biggest lesson you learned from the Professional Development Retreat?
The biggest lesson I learned is to not beat yourself up for not having a job before graduation. It isn’t going to be that easy for everyone and it most certainly was not for me. I had to remember to keep moving forward and to learn from my experiences instead of just dwelling on them. Mistakes are inevitable and it is about how you can bounce back from them that makes you successful.