As Bryant University’s Class of 2021 heads off into the world, they leave the University knowing that they have the tools they need to make their mark. A recent survey conducted by Bryant’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategy finds that the Class is confident that their Bryant experience has prepared them to become game changers and impact thinkers who make a difference in their professions and in their communities.
Those results confirm what the experts already know: A report on college and university return on investment by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce places Bryant among the top 100 (about 2 percent) in the U.S. and No. 1 in Rhode Island.
“The Class of 2021 is graduating at a time when a Bryant University degree has never had greater value,” notes Bryant President Ross Gittell, Ph.D. “Our approach to a real-world education is exactly why Bryant graduates are in high demand. Wherever their life’s journey takes our graduates next, their Bryant experience has prepared them to succeed both personally and professionally.”
Kaitlyn Fales ’21, who will be joining Pennsylvania State University’s doctoral program in statistics, agrees. “I've really had an amazing experience at Bryant, and I'm so glad that I came here,” Fales states. “I wouldn't go anywhere else.”
"You see how your courses translate to everyday life – and they definitely translate.”
According to the survey results, more than 90% of Bryant’s Class of 2021 (97.8% of College of Arts and Science students and 90.4% of College of Business students) were satisfied with their Bryant educational experience. Their Bryant education, they say, has provided them with the core 21st century skills that are needed now and long into the future.
Bryant’s emphasis on experiential, real-world-focused learning pays off, the students say. 90% of the class agreed that the coursework in their major was relevant, applicable, and useful in their academic growth and in their preparation for their future professional plans. “You see how your courses translate to everyday life – and they definitely translate,” explains Derrick Leroy Jr. ’21, who will be starting in Travelers’ Operations Leadership and Development program after graduation.
Working with real companies on real projects provides an unbeatable advantage. “You don’t just analyze something or write up a report about it – you actually get involved,” says Leroy. “You visit the facilities, get to understand the people that work there, and work with them to solve problems.”
“The relationships I had with my professors really helped me figure out what direction I wanted to go in. They all told me, ‘The reason I took this job is to help students learn what they want to do and then help them do that.’”
The University’s student-centered focus student means that faculty engage with their pupils as mentors both in and out of the classroom. In fact, more than 85% of the Class said that the Bryant faculty cared about them not just as students but as people. “The Bryant faculty are so involved, I’ve been able to have 1-on-1 conversations with my professors that I’ll carry with me throughout my entire career,” says Shannon Flaherty ‘21, now a Tax Associate with Big Four accounting firm KPMG.
Michaela Robbio, now a caseworker with Tides Family Services, says her professors worked with her to find a path that would fit her skills, goals, and personality – and then helped her make sure that path led to succeess. “The relationships I had with my professors really helped me figure out what direction I wanted to go in,” states Robbio. “They all told me, ‘The reason I took this job is to help students learn what they want to do and then help them do that.’”
“Bryant prepares you so well for the future, in so many ways. Whether it's learning about design thinking in the IDEA program, or the group work you do, or practicing your presentation skills, all the different things that you do here are going to help you after graduation.”
The Class of 2021 is equally certain that Bryant has prepared them to excel in their chosen field, with 91% agreeing the University has prepared them for career success. John Hagenow ’21, who has accepted a position as a Consulting Development Program Analyst at Accenture, has already seen the edge his Bryant education, and innovative offerings like a focus on design thinking, provide. “During my internship last summer, it was really apparent that design thinking and innovative problem solving were critical for how consulting operates in today’s world,” he notes.
A focus on academic excellence, mixed with professional development, offers an unbeatable advantage, students say. “Bryant prepares you so well for the future, in so many ways,” says Jonathan Huntley ’21 who recently accepted a position with the MassMutual Life Insurance Company. “Whether it's learning about design thinking in the IDEA program, or the group work you do, or practicing your presentation skills, all the different things that you do here are going to help you after graduation.”
“In my internships, I saw other interns who might have had strengths in particular places, but I think Bryant produces graduates who are more well-rounded,” Huntley notes. “They might have had strong technical skills, but Bryant equips us with those technical skills, as well as presentation, communication, and teamwork skills. “I think Bryant students stack up with anybody."
“In the last four years here at Bryant, I feel that I’ve really gained a sense of self-confidence in who I am and what I am able to do."
Prepared to Lead
The University’s immersive 24/7 experience, which accelerates personal growth and takes it beyond the classroom was also lauded by students. More than 90% say that Bryant provided important opportunities for them to develop their leadership capabilities and grow as a leader. “I was able to create the impact on the community that I wanted to see and I return the community gave me four years of amazing memories with the amazing people here,” says Kojo Appiah ’21, whose service as a member of the Bryant Student Government Association helped prepare him for his new role as an Associate Financial Analyst at Fidelity Investments.
During his time at Bryant, Bennett Stefanowicz ’21 founded Bryant’s Blockchain Club, where he and his fellow students explored emerging technologies. An incoming Actuarial Assistant at Liberty Mutual, Stefanowicz says that the experience did more than give him an edge in the job market, it also helped him grow as a person. “In the last four years here at Bryant, I feel that I’ve really gained a sense of self-confidence in who I am and what I am able to do,” he says.
“The relationships I’ve built with people while I’ve been here as well as what I’ve been able to learn and pickup from my mentors and the faculty have really changed who I am, I feel more confident in myself and feel like I’m prepared for the rest of my life,” Stefanowicz notes.