NHIOP Students Get Connected and Stay Connected

April 13, 2018

By Alexis Soucy

The New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP), in partnership with the Office of Alumni Relations and the Career Development Center, welcomed back 30 alumni for a networking event with current Saint Anselm College students on April 4.

“Get Connected, Stay Connected” has been an NHIOP tradition since 2014, when Executive Assistant Lorie Cochran introduced it during the College’s 125th anniversary year. After a successful event in 2014, Cochran has continued to coordinate and grow the networking night every spring. It’s an opportunity for students involved with the NHIOP to find jobs and internships, and for NHIOP alumni to take a break from their busy lives to catch up with old friends.

This year’s “Get Connected, Stay Connected” was divided into five alumni panels based on industry: politics, lobbying and government relations, communications, business, and politics and law. Clare Robbins ’18 and Brandon Pratt ’18, who both obtained internships through the event in past years, moderated the panels and facilitated questions.

Each of the panelists explained how they got from Saint Anselm College to where they are today. Griffin Roberge ’15 commiserated with the student audience, saying, “It’s okay to have absolutely no idea what you want to do.” This statement was echoed by many of the alumni on later panels.

Several panelists shared the experience of working all day, then attending graduate school or law school all evening. Others discussed what it was like furthering their education full-time, and the remainder shared their plentiful work experience in various professional positions.

“You see these kids you worked with come back to visit with jobs like lawyers. I just thought it was awesome,” said Neil Levesque, executive director of the NHIOP. Levesque connected with former Kevin B. Harrington Student Ambassadors and student workers who are now implementing what they learned at the NHIOP in their careers.

At the conclusion of the last panel, attorney Grace Harrington Napolitano ‘09 was directed to “remind us who your grandfather was and why we should be thankful for him.” She then shared that her grandfather was the late Kevin B. Harrington, the Massachusetts politician for whom the NHIOP student ambassador program is honorably named.

Following the five informational panels, students had the chance to network with professionals who might have piqued their interest. They were able to hand out their business cards and exchange contact information with alumni who were once in their shoes, and who “love to hire Saint Anselm graduates.”

“It was cool to connect with recent grads. It was a fun event,” said Dan Flatley ’18.