High School Name: Manchester West High School (Manchester, NH)
There is no doubt that music was the most influential class I had during high school. I was in the band. I played piano. I was in the chorus and went to All-State. (I even wrote the music to the class ode!) My music teacher, Peter Marino, influenced me to go to college and to become a music education major. He encouraged my interests and gave me confidence to pursue the field I was most passionate about.
University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH – BA, Music Education
MS, Financial Planning
Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. A few years later, I pursued my Certified Financial Planning designation and got a Master's Degree in Financial Planning.
I think that just being able to go to college and taking the liberal arts degree taught me how to think and deal with people. It taught me skills that are still valuable today. I'm a financial planner and wealth manager - orchestrating their finances. There are corollaries to orchestration and I actually took some conducting classes in college, too.
I don't know exactly. My parents had always said it was important to go to school, if I could, but that I'd be on my own to do it. I was lucky because I got some grants and loans to help pay. I know times are different today with the costs rising, but, for me, it was well worth the investment.
At one point, I left college to play in bands and follow my passion for performing music live. I just had to get it out of my system. Ultimately, I went back and graduated with honors, but it took longer than four years... In the end, it was my future wife who most encouraged me. In fact, we supported each other and it was really the beginning for us.
Money was my biggest challenge. Back then, I worked throughout school and I did get a work study position on campus as a theater manager which was great because it combined my passion for music with need to earn money for tuition, books and living expenses. At one point, I worked doing sales and advertising for the student newspaper. That was a turning point in some ways for me because it taught me a valuable lesson about my ability to be entrepreneurial. You see, they were hiring for an advertising and sales position at an hourly rate and I asked them if they would consider not paying me the hourly rate, but instead to give me a percentage of what I sold. They agreed and, believe it or not, I made more than the editor that year! I increased the size of the paper by reaching out to businesses I thought appealed to students. Back then I also played in bands. I started a booking agency and booked bands. Those experiences helped pay for tuition and fees and helped me to realize that I could be effective in generating my own income.
Being out on my own and being with others who shared my passion for music was the greatest thing about college. Music gave me confidence. The fact that I had to pay for my own school forced me to get out there and work and be creative. And that translated into the financial services world 32 years later running a successful company. I was able to set some financial goals for myself and made the decision to teach in a different way; by working directly with clients, sharing my expertise on radio and television. Those early skills have been adapted to what I do today.
I attend an annual alumni gathering and donate to various funds.
In high school, I worked as a dishwasher at Blake's Restaurant on Main Street for $1 an hour…and all the food I could eat!
I went into insurance.
Education is extremely important, but I wouldn't discount a vocational program, either. With a relatively minimal investment, a person can gain a great professional advantage even with a career school or two-year degree.
Life has many twists and turns. Focus on what you are interested in and what you love and things will take care of themselves from there. On the financial side, research shows that on average college grads make a million more than only high school grads, so you can consider college an investment in yourself. As with anything, though, you'll get out of it what you put into it.
It is good to know what the job market offers, but the jobs of the future don't even exist today. So, if you choose something you are really interested in and love and you put in the hard work it takes to be successful, you will be happy. Ultimately, professional happiness is doing a job you do love.
1. Your resume should be professional and you should have absolutely no typos. It can be the first impression an employer has of you. 2. Expect to have to network. Often with job opportunities, it isn't what you know, but who you know that gets you in the door. Now, staying in the job will take commitment and talent and smarts. 3. The utmost important thing in your professional and personal life is having a positive attitude. 4. If you have an inflated sense of self-worth, lose it. You should be confident in your ability to learn, but you have to be ready to learn and listen to those with more experience.