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LHBS’s AIM Series Hosts Alumnus from J&J

The Leon Hess Business School welcomed Monmouth alumnus, Katelyn Walsh ’14, ‘15M, in a virtual discussion with University students on Wednesday, March 9. This online webinar was part of the LHBS’s Alumni in Management (AIM) Series, sponsored and facilitated by the business school’s Management and Leadership Department.

The online forum aimed to break down the theories around Monmouth business students entering the real world. In reflecting on the topics discussed during this event, undergraduate finance student, Justin Cormey, said, “I think it was very informative and extremely beneficial. Katelyn provided crucial insight in how one should navigate the transition between college and the workforce.”

Professor Joe Palazzolo, Ed.D., mediated the forum, initiating the discussion by first welcoming introductory remarks by Raj Devasagayam, Ph.D., Dean of the Leon Hess Business School. “Welcome to the Alumni in Management Series,” began Devasagayam, “This is a series of one-on-one conversations, designed to bring in the expertise and experience of emergent leaders to our classrooms.”

Devasagayam continued, “At the Leon Hess Business School, we believe that learning outside of the classroom is truly essential to supplement our learning…I also thank Professor Palazzolo for organizing this event, he is a proud alumnus from Monmouth himself.” The Dean then concluded, saying he hoped the audience would take the advice given today to use it in their lives tomorrow.

After Devasagayam’s address, Palazzolo welcomed the alumnus and guest herself, Katelyn Walsh. Walsh responded by briefly introducing her background and relationship to Monmouth. “I graduated from Monmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration Management, minoring in Information Technology. After graduating in 2014, I stayed for another year to complete my MBA in 2015,” said Walsh. From there, she elaborated on how her time at Monmouth jumpstarted her career at Johnson & Johnson.

“I started as an intern with Johnson & Johnson in the summer going into my senior year, and I have been there for almost nine years,” Walsh continued, “I have had the pleasure of working within different departments at J&J; the opportunity to work for a large, global healthcare company has been such a great experience.”

Upon Walsh’s introduction, Palazzolo asked, “You explained how you graduated from Monmouth, and even got your Master’s, so take us on your career path and how that got started. What did you do after you graduated from Monmouth?” Walsh began, “My professional experience has been unique, not the typical business path many pursue. I’ve been with the same company for nine years, having had that summer internship I mentioned earlier last two years.” She said that while she was responsible for regular intern responsibilities in the beginning of her career, her initiative to collaborate and network aided in the extension of her internship, which ultimately transitioned into a full-time position.

Palazzolo mentioned how many students in attendance are actively seeking these types of opportunities or are beginning their internships now. He asked Walsh what tactics she felt were helpful in enabling her to secure an opportunity with J&J. “From the beginning, I knew I wanted to work for Johnson & Johnson. I had applied on my own a couple of times, prior to my first internship, with no success. What helped me get my foot in the door was making connections with people within the company and industry,” said Walsh.

This ushered in the topic of networking during one’s undergraduate years. “Many of our undergraduates are always wondering how they can network and learning about people and positions in different industries. There may even be some self-consciousness from the perspective of ‘I am just a student,’” said Palazzolo. Walsh agreed, underscoring how useful of a tool LinkedIn is. “It’s always good to see the people that work at your desired company and send them an invitation to connect and have a conversation about the role and their own experiences.”

Palazzolo and Walsh’s discussion diverted into speaking about the current job market graduating students should expect to enter. “What do you think the job market is going to look like for these folks?” posed Palazzolo. “Anything related to data analytics and data science has so much potential—there are just so many opportunities. Possessing that technical skillset is a huge advantage since most people don’t have the time to learn that acumen…However, in addition to being tech-savvy, those soft, personal skills are just as important,” conceded Walsh.