Months before graduation, Alison Feehan ’18 landed a position as a financial analyst with Education First (EF), an international education company specializing in language training, educational travel, and cultural exchange. Her new career, says Feehan, is in her “dream industry,” and will allow her to pursue her passion for international travel.
She credits two Bryant mentors, Sheila Guay ’83, ’86 MBA, the University’s Director of Conferences & Special Events, and Elizabeth Schlatterer, '07, ’08 MPAc, an Accounting Manager at Education First, with helping her to find a career she’s truly excited about.
“Bryant gave me so many really excellent opportunities – athletically and in the leadership realm – … so I wanted to give back as much as I could."
As a staff advisor for Feehan’s Sophomore International Experience trip to China, Guay came to know Feehan well, and later hired her as a student conference coordinator. When Guay learned of a management trainee position with EF, she recommended that Feehan, an International Business and Finance major, apply. “I thought the EF position sounded like a great fit for Alison,” says Guay, who describes Feehan as “a quick learner, dedicated, upbeat and a natural leader.”
Feehan, a former President of the Bryant’s Honors Program, is grateful for that brand of one-on-one mentoring. She spoke about the benefits of having good mentors in an April speech at Bryant’s Admitted Students Open House, noting that Guay was “a great example for me as a young professional. She has always had an open-door policy.”
After applying to EF, Feehan connected with Schlatterer through LinkedIn before meeting in person. Like Guay, Schlatterer offered Feehan both professional and personal support, including advice that she also apply to EF’s accounting and finance departments’ rotational training programs, which Schlatterer thought might be a better fit.
“Bryant gave me so many really excellent opportunities – athletically and in the leadership realm – … so I wanted to give back as much as I could,” says Schlatterer, who had been pondering how to connect the Bryant community with EF when Feehan first contacted her.
In addition to the invaluable mentoring she received, Feehan’s Bryant education helped her in other ways. She says she “was a sponge” in soaking up everything she could learn from the Amica Center for Career Education’s robust programming. Her “1,001 presentations” at Bryant and her experience as both a portfolio manager and the public relations chair of the student-managed Archway Investment Fund, prepared her well for a comprehensive day of interviews, which included presenting to a roomful of EF vice presidents, whom she impressed with her knowledge, passion, and dedication to her work.
“Ali took full advantage of everything available to her. She kept adding to her professional portfolio,” says Guay. “She drove herself.”
Feehan’s credentials, poise, job-ready skills, and mentoring earned her the job offer from EF, which she was thrilled to accept. “She’s a great standout, professional and well-spoken,” says Schlatterer. “I wasn’t surprised that she was extended an offer.” Her mentoring relationship with Feehan has continued as the latter prepares to join the EF team.
“I am very excited to see what she does in this program,” Schlatterer says.