Alumna Highlights Career Lessons Learned for Business Students

Published: Thursday, August 22, 2019

Kathleen Ryan

Class of 1981 graduate Kathleen Ryan hosted four students for lunch at her home earlier this month, sharing experiences from her career and advice for entering the professional world after graduating. The gathering highlighted the value of alumni-student networking at Thomas. “I wanted to offer some of what I learned throughout my career in banking, particularly with young women looking to business fields,” said Kathleen, who worked for nearly four decades before retiring to Brunswick, ME.

Kathleen (pictured at center) encouraged students (from left to right) Tiffany White ’20, Cassidy Pinkham ’18, MBA ‘19, Elise Holly ’20, and Emma Berube ’20 to develop their own code of ethical conduct to help guide them, noting that during her time at a large bank, she decided to move on based on an unhealthy work environment. “Companies will have their own values and ethics, but you should have personal principles as well,” she said. Among her other words of wisdom: pay yourself first, maximize your employers’ match on a retirement account as soon as possible, and stay current in your field and news.

Added Emma, “I got insight on how being a female in a traditionally male environment can be challenging yet so rewarding. She gave us good advice on how to improve our approach to work, our personal drive, and our value as employees.”

“Meeting with Kathleen proved what kind of school Thomas is,” Tiffany said. “She was able to directly connect her time at Thomas with her success in her career. It is very inspiring to know that Thomas is setting us up for the future and has a great network of professional alumni who share a love for the College.”

Special thanks to Kathleen for hosting these students and for sharing her advice and insights. For more information on engaging with Thomas students through Alumni Relations, please contact Director of Alumni Relations Chelsie Pleau ’13 at pleauc@thomas.edu.

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