Alumni Profile

Niall Keane

Development Associate at New York Presbyterian Hospital

What did you major in and what is your current profession and city?

At Saint Mike’s I majored in English and religious studies. Upon graduation I returned to New York, and currently work at New York-Presbyterian Hospital as Development Associate, in the office of Development.

 

How did your St. Mike’s education bring you to your current career? Did you end up where you thought you would, or did things work out differently than you planned?

When I began my career at Saint Michael’s I was indecisive about my future. For my first year, I took liberal studies requirements, exploring different subjects, hoping to find one that I would enjoy. With the help of the Career Education Center I decided to become an English major. 
Since my first year at Saint Mike’s, I worked for the Phonathon two nights a week, soliciting donations from alumni and parents. This opportunity nurtured my affinity for the college and enhanced my written and oral communication skills. 
In my junior year, I understood that I had a knack for fundraising and it invigorated me. That recognition pivoted my focuses for the remainder of my time at Saint Mike’s to nurturing my skills as it pertained to fundraising. I took advantage of my opportunities interning in the Corporate Relations office at the College, studying grant writing.  One month after graduation I accepted a job as a Development Associate at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. I attribute my post-grad success to the opportunities I had at Saint Mike’s especially my internship and the Phonathon. 

 

What made you choose St. Mike’s? 

To be honest, I actually didn’t care much for Saint Mike’s when I was looking at schools. I thought Vermont was the middle of woods, and knew that wasn’t the environment I desired. It wasn’t until I was accepted and saw my scholarships and aid awards that my parents insisted we take a look at the school. 
Walking around campus, the feeling of visibility struck me. You aren’t a number or invisible at Saint Mike’s, your professors, college staff, and other students are all eager to know you and understand what makes you unique, whether it is your athletic ability, artistic talent, or your affinity for exploring and nature. Also, having Burlington so close was perfect! 

What was one of your most memorable experiences during your time at St. Mike’s?

My most memorable experience at the college was my first M.O.V.E trip to New Orleans. I went December of my freshman year as the only first year on the trip and to this day stay connected with many of the other participants. 

What advice do you have for current students? 

My advice for current students is to be open to trying as many things as you can. You don’t know what you are going to like or not like until you try it! Whether it be a M.O.V.E trip, an interesting class, or a study trip, put your name on the list of participants, you won’t regret it! 

 

How did you adjust to the ‘real world’ after graduating from college? 

Since I only graduated 4 months ago, I am still adjusting. One thing I have tried to do is stay connected with friends. I have also kept myself busy, staying late at work to better understand the functions of the office, as well as, joining a gym, and traveling to visit friends in Boston! 

 

What was the most valuable thing you learned at St. Mike’s? 

The most valuable thing I learned at Saint Mike’s is confidence. My professions did not just grad my papers, but they demonstrated where my mistakes were, how I could improve them, as well as taught me how to ask questions about my education. These skills have served me well so far in my work place. I am not afraid to make a mistake, but also less likely to make a mistake because I ask questions to better guide my projects at work. 

 

Is there a professor or person that had a significant impact on you? 

Heidi St. Peter is a very special person and the Saint Mike’s community is lucky to have her. Her tireless benevolence to students is unmatched! I met Heidi two weeks into my first year at the college and continued to talk with her weekly from that point forward. I jokingly call her my Vermont mom! We met to talk about my academics, she coached me through advocating for my self with my professors, demonstrated how to best organize my time, and did all of this with contagious positivity. 

 

Which of your achievements, either from your time at St. Mike’s or since then, are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my work with the 2018 Senior Class Gift. This was my first real experience with running a fundraising campaign; creating a committee, brainstorming marketing strategy, and watching the dollars roll in. It was an exhilarating experience. At the end of the day, our class broke every record set by previous classes. Over 50% of the senior class donated, students on average gave larger gifts than their predecessors, and we raised more than a $1000, more than the second grossing Senior Class Gift Campaign! 

 

What do you enjoy most about the work you are doing now? 

I have been attracted to fundraising because, not only do you get to ably your skills, but you also can impact your community. When I go to work every day, I know that I am impacting the delivery of healthcare for millions of people, fast-tracking research, funding the construction of new facilities better serving the patient, and improving the quality of life for New Yorkers. I can’t think of a better way to live than to serve others with your talents! 

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