Dan Caruso ’02 B.S.
Technology has created a host of different ways to make professional connections, but in the end, few can match the success of old-fashioned, face-to-face networking. Dan Caruso ’02 knows how important it is to keep up with contacts; someone from his years at Rivier ultimately provided him with the means find a job in which he is thriving. Says Caruso, “Staying in touch with [men’s basketball] Coach Dave Morissette after graduation really paid off for me.”
Caruso, 31, was a three-sport athlete at Rivier, playing first base on the men’s baseball team and running on the men’s cross-country team for one season. But Caruso truly excelled in basketball; he was a forward and three-year captain on the team and one of only 10 Rivier student-athletes to reach the 1,000-point scoring milestone. As a business management major, Caruso was amenable to a number of career options. “At the time I was in school, I was pretty much open to anything,” he says. “I just focused on doing the best I could and I figured the rest would take care of itself.”
The economy was uncertain in the spring of 2002; Caruso joined fellow job searchers in an effort that ultimately took six months. He eventually secured a position as a moving coordinator at College Bound Movers in Amherst, New Hampshire, coordinating local and long-distance moves. But within a few years he decided to look for a new position and put the word out to his professional and personal contacts – one of whom was Coach Morissette. “He knew I was looking for change and a new challenge,” says Caruso.
His decision to stay active in alumni activities proved life-changing. In the summer of 2006, at the Rivier College annual Golf Classic, Morissette introduced Caruso to the owner of a distributor of wholesale industrial products and a corporate sponsor of the golf tournament. This introduction helped Caruso land a job as an account executive at Johnson Supply, the position he holds today.
Caruso considers his participation in athletics vital preparation for his career. “I believe you need to have a lot of discipline to be successful in anything in life, especially sales,” he says. “Being a student-athlete taught me teamwork, commitment and discipline. I also gained a great deal of leadership skills by being a three-year captain on the men’s basketball team.”
His athletic experiences mirror those of corporate life. “Being a member of an athletic team and a member of a company are very similar,” he says. “You need to be able to rely on and trust one another during both the good and bad times.” And his networking skills are still at work: “During my time at Rivier, I was able to form many lifelong friendships and relationships. I am able to do the same thing in my workforce, building relationships with customers and my co-workers.”
Caruso’s college degree was an unquestionably effective asset in launching his career. “The education I received from Rivier gave me a great foundation for what I am currently doing,” he says.