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A Reflection: President's Business Council D.C....

Members of the President's Business Council meet with Colonel Rich Breen Jr. ’77, Director of Strategic Communications and Outreach for the Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs at the Pentagon
November 10, 2017
By: Abby Hatch '17, G'17
We continue to graduate well-rounded students who go on to become incredibly successful in their careers while remaining humble and generous

The President’s Business Council has been an integral part of my transformation throughout college. The first trip I ever went on was to Boston as a sophomore. I was terrified to speak with anyone but the alumni were very nice and it was great practice for future networking events. This October, I had the pleasure of going on my fifth PBC networking trip, now as a grad student, to Washington, D.C.  Although I am working in New York City starting next summer, I find it great to network with alumni in all the major cities. We left Thursday at noon to go straight to a networking reception with alumni from around the area. 

At the networking reception, we had the opportunity to speak with more than 30 alumni who work in the D.C. area and hear about their experiences. This is always my favorite part because you get to hear about not only the alumni work experiences but also stories from their time at Scranton. It is incredibly fun to connect with someone you’ve never met over a teacher you may have both had or a place that you have both visited in Scranton. 

 

The next day was busy, as we were meeting with three different alumni at their places of work. The first visit on Friday morning was with Susan Swain ’76 who is the co-CEO and president of C-SPAN. [You can read a profile of her here!] We had the chance to hear Susan’s story and ask questions about how she got where she is and what she does currently. We also met a few of her co-workers and learned more about how C-SPAN operates. After that, we were given a brief tour of the offices and even had the chance to have our pictures taken behind the desk where they do some of their broadcasts.  Next, we traveled to meet with Bill Hanni ’02, the senior vice president of Ticket Sales and Service for the Washington Wizards. Bill spoke to us about his early years out of college when he was looking for what he wanted to do. He shared his struggles with finding a way to include his passion for sports with his work. Bill was kind enough to provide lunch for us and take us on a tour of the courts including down onto center court where the Washington Wizards would be playing that night. 

 

Finally, we traveled to meet Colonel Rich Breen Jr. ’77, director of Strategic Communications and Outreach for the Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs at the Pentagon. We hit the ground running at the Pentagon, going through security and then taking a tour throughout the Pentagon while Col. Breen spoke to us. It was fascinating to learn about the history of the Pentagon, the military branches, and the U.S.

The importance of the PBC Networking trips cannot be understated. It is a fantastic opportunity for students to meet alumni in all the major cities and I would encourage every student from their first year through their senior year to consider attending at least one.  The advice the alumni give is top notch and one common theme throughout all the trips I have been on has been the power of the Jesuit education provided by Scranton and the strength of the Scranton alumni network. What continues to amaze me is although we are a small school in the mountains of Pennsylvania in a city most people only know from “The Office," we continue to graduate well-rounded students who go on to become incredibly successful in their careers while remaining humble and generous. 

 

Abby is currently pursuing a master's degree in accountancy.
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