For the students filling in the seats in the Richard B. Flynn Campus Union Dodge Ballroom, they were about to receive wise tutelage from those who had come before them and emerged for the better on the other side.
On Wednesday, Nov. 14, the Athletic Administration Leadership Series presented “What Could Maroon Do For You,” a panel-style discussion with four recent Springfield College alumni who graduated from the Athletic Administration graduate program.
“The main purpose kind of selfishly was to see what types of things they went through in their last spring semester and following graduation,” Jade Prickett, the chair of the Athletic Administration graduate program committee that organized the event, said. “Every time you get the opportunity to meet with these people in different schools, [it] is good for your professional development and networking and just relationship-building.”
Kirsten Britton (G’08), Ciaran Cullen (G’11) and Chad Dwyer (G’07) were invited back to their alma mater to speak. Mike Capotosto (’03, G’12) was also scheduled to speak on the panel, but the director of athletics for Longmeadow High School was unable to attend due to being at a game for one of his teams in the state playoffs.
The speakers addressed a wide range of topics, including why they chose SC, their personal career paths, the importance of cover letters, networking, what the lifestyle is like in the field and the importance of mentor relationships.
“To interact with students that we’re not far removed from is awesome,” Cullen, the assistant director of Flynn Fund Operations at Boston College, said. “I think the cool part is proof tonight that we’re able to give back, and I think that’s the most important part.”
Dwyer, the assistant commissioner for championships with the America East Conference, agreed with Cullen, especially in regards to the current graduate students in the Athletic Administration program.
“I think they’ve heard from a lot of people that are further on in their careers than maybe we have been, so [we’re] a closer look to where they are right now, to where we are and how to get there.”
This is the third year and fourth time that the Leadership Series has been held. It began on April 12, 2011 and has been held once a semester since. Each time the committee brings in different speakers to address a new topic and hopefully impart some lessons to the audience. This year, the committee came up with the idea to bring in recent graduates succeeding in the field.
“This particular topic came completely from them. The idea being we really want to get some of our more recent grads, young professionals, in these great jobs that they have in here,” Joel Dearing, assistant professor in the Athletic Administration program and advisor to the committee, said. “It’s really becoming a tradition, and it’s a great way for these students to get even more leadership experience from running these kind of events.”
The three speakers were excited to return to their alma mater to help the current students in any way that they could.
“Springfield was a great place for me and the time I had here, so I wanted to be able to come back and give back a little bit,” Britton, the University of Connecticut director of event management, said.