Student-athletes have made the most of St. Mike’s in launching careers
Seniors Max Rossignol and Christian Gallagher, captains for soccer and ski team respectively, say sports experiences taught marketable skills; they urge all students to tap extra-curricular opportunities to the fullest
Max Rossignol ’22 and Christian Gallagher ’22, two successful Saint Michael’s College student-athletes with good business jobs already lined up, encourage undergraduate students to begin their networking processes early and to utilize the College’s networking resources to their full advantage.
Rossignol, a business and economics double major and soccer captain from Hopkinton, NH, is graduating at the end of this fall semester to launch his professional journey as a portfolio manager at BankProv in Bedford, NH. Similarly, Christian Gallagher ‘22, economics major and alpine skiing captain from Stowe, VT, already has secured a position as an investment analyst at Monashee Investment Management in Boston to begin directly following graduation in the spring.
As captains on Saint Michael’s sports teams, Gallagher and Rossignol attribute much of their success during job interview processes to the leadership and time management skills they gained as leaders on their teams. “Being on a sports team was definitely a differentiating factor during the interview process,” said Gallagher. “I was able to talk about overcoming challenges, the ability to persevere and manage my time. That was something that I think resonated with a lot of people; if you find the right people, you can really align in values. It also gives this stamp of approval that says ‘This person can do more than one thing at a time,’”
Rossignol believes that his leadership position on the team helped to bolster his confidence in the interviewing process, but he also appreciates the motivation it gave him. “As a leader, you’re chosen for that role because of what you’ve done for the team in the past. The role comes together to be a motivating factor to keep you working hard,” said Rossignol. The role of a varsity sports captain inherently involves practice in balancing extracurriculars, sports, and academics. Gallagher believes that employers associate this ability with being an athlete. He said that competing at high levels while also maintaining great grades is both profoundly demanding and rewarding.
Gallagher sees even more valuable lessons in having a leadership role on a varsity team since being an athlete opens one up to another network of connections, whether those are with alumni who were athletes, coaches, or teammates, said Gallagher. He also believes that connecting with employers who are ex-athletes is a great way to connect on a human level. “Utilizing sports to your advantage is really smart — that’s just another network that’s out there for athletes,” Gallagher said.
Rossignol and Gallagher agree that cultivating a network of connections outside of their sport is crucial as well. “A lot of what I did was utilize LinkedIn and the St. Mike’s search part of LinkedIn. I talked with over 20 very willing Saint Mike’s alumni,” said Gallagher. He believes that sites like LinkedIn and SMC Connect are crucial in undergraduate students’ success in securing job and internship opportunities. “Some people in the Burlington area offered a lot of advice and actually helped me with my resume,” said Gallagher.
Rossignol agrees with the importance of building strong connections. However, the first connections for him were on a smaller scale right on the Saint Michael’s campus. “The Career Education Center was a big help with searching and finding internships,” he said. “They’re always willing to help and be there for you. I think that’s something that’s unique to Saint Mike’s.”
From those early connections with the CEC, Rossignol built his network outward. He began reaching out to Saint Michael’s alumni who were also economics majors to see what they had done with their degrees. “If you’re a pre-med major, at least you know that you’re on the path to becoming a doctor or working in the medical field. But with economics, you have to just go with it and see what’s out there,” said Rossignol.
By gaining the knowledge and perspective of all of these people, he was able to pinpoint where he was looking and what he would enjoy doing. “I then had the background knowledge as to what direction I should be looking,” said Rossignol. Once he spoke with other people who have graduated with economics degrees, he saw the wide range of possibilities to explore. Gallagher agrees that exploring all of your options is a critical step in the career development process. “I recommend trying a lot of different kinds of jobs through internships or working. That gives you an idea of what you like and don’t like,” said Gallagher.
Gallagher also believes in starting the career exploration process early. He emphasizes that exploring your options is vital, so giving yourself enough time to do so is smart. Gallagher also encourages undergraduate students to believe in themselves during the job search process and to understand that everyone’s process is different. “It’s more about finding the fit. You’re going to have a job for 40-50 years, so find the right fit for you. That might take some time, but it’s important,” said Gallagher.
Rossignol agreed, saying that it would not be fun to do something just because you need money and not because it is work that you are passionate about doing. Rossignol and Gallagher believe that everyone should find a career doing work that they are passionate about in a place where they fit in and feel comfortable.
Rossignol also urges students to begin the career exploration process early, and advises students to get involved with as much as they can on campus that can help them explore their interests. “School is a whole lot more than going to class, and Saint Mike’s has a lot to offer and explore,” said Rossignol. For example, he believes that joining clubs or teams is a great way for students to hone in on skills and interests they already have or would like to explore more. Having experience with a slew of extra-curriculars also proves that you are able to balance your time well, he said.
The student athletes appreciate how the Saint Michael’s campus is vibrant with 40 clubs, 21 varsity sports teams, more than 40 majors and minors to explore, and frequent school-sponsored events of all interests. Rossignol and Gallagher both said Saint Michael’s is the place for motivated students to find the right career by exploring every passion. They both feel that they did their best to take advantage of the opportunities presented by Saint Michael’s, and they encourage current undergraduates to do the same.
As Gallagher puts it: “Everyone at Saint Mike’s is connected and willing to help.”