Name: Bernadette Conticchio Martel
Class of: 2008
Major: Business Management
Position: Financial Analyst I
Summary: While attending Rivier College, Bernadette took full advantage of the clubs and organizations available to all Rivier students. She had the opportunity to participate in the Student Development Committee, Campus Ministry, Model United Nations and the Peer Mentoring Program to name just a few. Bernadette’s commitment to these organizations allowed her to accomplish great things at Rivier and to reach a better understanding of world events.
How did you obtain your internship? Did you network through friends, family, or faculty to find out about the position?
The summer after my freshman year I got an internship in the Finance department at Goodrich in Chelmsford, MA. I heard of the position through my father who works there as a senior engineer. To create my resume, I used online resources for my resume format. I also, utilized the resume service offered by my high school. It was not until the second semester of my freshman year that I learned Rivier offers resume assistance through their Career Development Center.
Did your internship experience help you obtain your current position at Goodrich?
Yes, within the first two weeks of working as an intern at Goodrich, I was offered a part-time job (with full-time hours during the summer and on school breaks) for the duration of my college career. After I graduated from Rivier, I was offered a full-time salaried position as a Financial Analyst I.
The internship was very helpful to me on many levels. Being able to work in a finance position while taking business classes made those classes even more meaningful because I could relate what I was doing and learning in class to what I was seeing every day at work.
How did your participation in extra-curricular activities help you with your career choice and your ability to get a successful position upon graduation?
Extra-curricular activities were a great way to develop leadership skills especially when I chose to hold an officer position. I was President of the Model United Nations club for one year and it was a great experience. It allowed me to take hold of a project, monitor it, and watch it progress from start to finish. Eventually, I found that my favorite position to hold was Treasurer. It had the same type of responsibility and accountability that the President’s position held but it dealt with understanding the budget and allowed me to offer possible fundraising ideas that would be low risk to the current budget . The Treasurer’s position required a lot of careful consideration and work outside of the group’s meetings. I enjoyed the opportunity to work through things partially on my own.
When I started as a financial analyst intern at Goodrich, I realized many of the job aspects I enjoyed most about the treasurer position were comparable to my intern position but on a much larger scale and with many more responsibilities. For me, the experiences I had participating in the clubs at Rivier really helped to make me feel confident in the career path that I chose.
What was your most important accomplishment while attending Rivier?
I feel that one of my most important accomplishments was developing my leadership skills and ultimately becoming an independent and confident individual who could both realize her goals and pursue them.
What Career Development Center services did you utilize?
As a freshman I took the Campus to Career class since I had not determined my major nor did I really have any direction at that time. That class really helped me consider who I am personality wise, what my strengths were, and what career would be enjoyable to me. Later on, as a college senior, the Career Development Center visited my Senior Business Seminar class to discuss resumes writing and services that they offer to Rivier students and alumni. For me, it’s great knowing that when I consider a job change I can ask the Career Development Center for help with updating my resume.
Based on your experience, what advice would you give current students to better prepare them for their careers?
The advice I would give current students is to take on challenges and become involved. Not only does it to give you experiences to place on your resume, but it also gives you interesting experiences to use during an interview. Volunteer, join SGA or a club with an active role, participate in a fundraiser for your favorite charity, or speak to a high school class that shares your interests (i.e. a high school marketing class). All of these opportunities are regularly available and you will be surprised what you learn about yourself in the process. I know several people who found the career they loved based on extra-curricular involvement. For example, you may never know that you are an excellent teacher until you volunteer to teach computer skills to children of low income families.
What job search techniques did you find most valuable?
I found internships to be most valuable. It is one thing to research a job, talk to a few people who have that career, and take classes within the field. However, nothing else lets you know how well you will like a position until you actually step into the environment and try it out. In addition, the experience you gain through your internship will really help you when looking for a full time position. In my case, my internship turned into a full time position.