Monmouth University’s Alumni in Management (AIM) Series, a Zoom program that features alumni who educate undergraduates about the real business world, hosted its second event on Wednesday, Oct. 20.
The second call featured Paul Salvesen, who currently works for a boutique real estate agency in Manhattan, New York. Salvesen graduated from Monmouth University in 2008 with a degree in psychology. Monmouth University was the only school Salvesen applied to during his high school days. He loved the campus and beach community, which was the reason for his choice to enroll and become a Hawk.
Salvesen decided to study psychology after reading a book about psychology studies in a business class at his high school. He thought the idea of psychology in the business world was fascinating and felt that learning this discipline could help him get a greater value out of college and translate that value into a career. Salvesen also took many businesses management classes at Monmouth and has only worked in professional office settings to this day.
By his junior year, Salvesen had already written his thesis in psychology. He said he was successful at Monmouth University because, “I was able to navigate things I was interested in, with things I was good at and combine them. I think if you can do that in school, it is great practice to do it at work and it just makes life much easier.”
Salvesen graduated from Monmouth University on a Wednesday and started his first job, with a real estate company, the next Monday. He explained that when a graduate gets their first job, it is important to get socially comfortable talking with co-workers, especially older and more experienced ones becausethey know things a young graduate, fresh out of college, might not.
Salvesen found this older mentor in his first boss. Salvesen and his boss had to do a lot of tedious work, but it taught him one important lesson.
He said, “You have to do what other people either don’t want to do or don’t know how to do.” Joe Palazzolo, Ed.D., Instructor in the Management and Leadership department within the Leon Hess Business School and organizer of the event, added, “These are the types of observations from the professional world that the AIM Series is designed to bring to our students. I am thankful for Paul’s willingness to share his time and experience with our current Hawks.”
Salvesen stayed with his first job for five years until he joined the apartment side of the real estate business. He was auditing leases, making sure proper rent was entered in the billing files, and making sure rent was collected. It was a steady job, and he loved going to work every day. After five years in that position, Salvesen left to join the boutique real estate agency in Manhattan. There, he helped rebuild their business structure and currently manages income and expense reports for their collegiate housing business, which spans the East Coast.
Salvesen explained that it is hard to be the best at general business skills because the discipline is so broad. He said, “If you can find a niche or a different angle, it can sometimes get you the exposure into a solid career path.” The final piece of advice that Salvesen gave to the undergrads was, “You have to understand how your company makes money and your role in supporting that.”
The next AIM series event is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 17 with Graziella Ruffa. Students will be receiving the Zoom information via email before the event.