Bob Petrocchi ’89 is passionate about sales training and leadership development. When he was offered the chance to reconnect with Bryant to share his industry expertise and professional advice with students at a recent Global Foundations of Business presentation, accepting was an easy decision. “I think about Bryant as the place that got me started, got me prepared, taught me how to be a professional. I wanted to start to share some of the things that I’ve learned in 30-plus years of doing this."
Earlier this year, Petrocchi was promoted to Co-Head of Business at SS&C Intralinks, a cloud-based technology provider for global banking, financial deal-making, and capital markets, acquired last year by SS&C Technologies for $1.5 billion. Prior to joining Intralinks in 2016, he was Managing Director of Financial Services at Microsoft, responsible for driving the transformation to the cloud for Microsoft's largest financial services customers.
“I’ve been really impressed with the students I’ve interacted with. They’re really engaged, really bright, not shy, full of good questions.”
Petrocchi believes that the quality of training he received early in his career was critical to his success, and he recalls a formative experience at his first sales job after graduating from Bryant. For the first six months, “I thought I was the worst sales person in the world,” he says, but his supervisor spent a week working closely with him, and he had a breakthrough. “We figured out that I was 'presenting,' but I wasn’t selling. I was never really asking any hard questions, understanding what the customer’s objections were.” He considers it a defining moment in his professional career. Without a mentor who was invested in his success, he says, “I don’t know where I would be today. And I want to be that person. The leaders in my organization know how strongly I feel about being that person for others. I hold people accountable for it. That’s what I look for from them.”
As he becomes reacquainted with Bryant, Petrocchi is excited by what he sees. After meeting with several classes, he says “I’ve been really impressed with the students I’ve interacted with. They’re really engaged, really bright, not shy, full of good questions.” He’s proud that Bryant’s brand and name-recognition are stronger than ever, and he jokes that, if he were applying today, “I’m not sure I could get into Bryant!”
"Your education doesn’t end when you graduate. You have to have a hunger and a curiosity to learn continuously.”
Bryant’s integration of cutting-edge technology throughout the campus and its International Business curriculum particularly resonate with Petrocchi, and he strongly encourages students to prepare for a rapidly changing global economy. At his presentation, he told students, “as soon as you think you are good at something, that you’re an expert, that’s when you’re in trouble and you’re going to get beaten by your competition. Your education doesn’t end when you graduate. You have to have a hunger and a curiosity to learn continuously.”
Petrocchi looks forward to his renewed engagement with Bryant, and is interested in the ways he can continue to help Bryant students prepare for success. “I can remember when I was in a classroom, being captivated by people who had run businesses, who had real-life stories about their accomplishments, and how they made mistakes. I feel like if I can share with students some of the things I have learned, I believe I can add some value and have a positive impact.”