All in the Family

Graduations tend to make one stop and think about their journey up to this moment. Albertus Magnus College has been a part of my family for longer than I can remember. My aunt, mother, father, and sister have all attended the College, from the mid-seventies up until this past May when I received my bachelor’s degree in Marketing. But my family’s connection with the College goes back even further to cousins and great aunts, making me the 7th person in my family to earn a degree from Albertus. I have grown up hearing stories of all the different traditions and was always struck by how each family member had a different experience but still identified as Albertus graduates, whether as Aggie Maggies, or Falcons. The education and experiences in the classroom and on the campus are the things that define Albertus Magnus College alumni.


I have loved my time here, I was able to have a unique experience and be a part of the founding of a new and very exciting organization, the Student Alumni Association. This group of like-minded, extremely motivated fellow students, made my experience at Albertus what it was, and provided me with a deeper love for the College and our distinctive traditions, as well as affording me with a connection to the much larger network of alumni outside of the College. This organization will go on to do great things, and build a stronger bridge between current students and our incredible alumni. This exposure to Albertus’ amazing alumni network has not only made me aware of the great things Albertus graduates go on to accomplish, but it has made me proud to be a part of this community.

This connection has made it so that I couldn’t wait to be a part of the system that helps keep alumni connected to their alma mater. A week after graduation I began working in the Alumni and Advancement office here at the College as the Alumni Intern. Even though I wasn’t graduated very long, it still felt like I was coming home. Being newly graduated and beginning to get everything in order for my pending move to England to begin graduate school in London, coming back to campus each day and seeing how much work and care goes into reaching out to our alumni, makes me proud to be a part of this family. This job allows me to help create and distribute alumni materials as well as getting the opportunity to reach out and speak to other alums, especially at Reunion, and meet the fellow alumni in my reunion year.

IMG_8189Even though I have graduated, and by summer’s end will be establishing a new home in another country, I know that I have an entire network of Albertus alums that are no more than an email away at any given moment. A lot of colleges and universities boast of their elaborate alumni networks that are at students’ and graduates’ disposal, but these are often so massive and the alums included had drastically different experiences at their college with no core of traditions or happenings. But the Albertus alumni network, while maybe smaller than some others, has the lifelong bond of our unique traditions and small, familial campus and community. No matter when we graduated, we are all Falcons (or Mags!) forever.

UQ6A1662Liz McGarry ’14, hails from North Haven, CT and graduated this spring with a bachelor’s in Marketing. In the Fall Liz will be attending Richmond, The American International University in London to pursue a master of arts in Advertising and Public Relations.


Have You Been Called?

“Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation.” That’s what Aristotle had to say about “vocation.” The word “vocation” comes from the Latin “vocare” which means voice. You might think of it as the voice of your soul! If you mention the word “vocation” to most people, they usually think you’re talking about priests and nuns. But, those are only religious vocations. It isn’t all that often that we hear others talk about their vocation. Recently on television, however, a retired NYC firefighter who had been on scene on 9/11 spoke of his vocation as a firefighter, something he knew from childhood he was going to do. A vocation is a “calling,” a sense, perhaps from a higher power, that you are destined to serve some particular purpose.

Let’s say the average American begins working at age 22, retires at 70, and (let’s be generous here) takes 4 weeks of vacation a year. That person will spend 92,160 hours at WORK. If your work is your vocation, then those hours will pass much more quickly and be much more rewarding.

program_concentration_artIn fact, more and more research is indicating that job satisfaction is strongly linked to whether you approach your work as “just” a job, as a career, or as a calling.  A “job” is a ‘9-5, I’m here to get paid’ mindset. A “career” is a step up from a job; there’s a little more focus on advancing, on climbing the ladder. But as Bill Barnett said in a Harvard Business Review blog post, “…people with callings are different. They see their work as a positive end in itself. They feel good about what they’re doing. They give more to their work. They get more from it. And here’s a secret about people with callings: Not only are they happy and fulfilled, they’re often very successful, often bringing financial rewards.”

But it isn’t only job satisfaction you get when you have a calling; you probably won’t think about your job as work at all. If you’re going to spend almost 100,000 hours of your time on earth doing something, shouldn’t it be something you love?

Whether you’re currently in the workforce or will be entering it soon, are you passionate about the path you are on? Do you feel like you are contributing to some greater good with the hours you spend at work? Is there a little voice in the back of your head asking, “is this all there is?”

If you wonder if you have a vocation, consider this: do you struggle to balance your work and life, or do you feel they are integrated? When you follow your calling, you see your work as an integral part of the whole of your being, not as a separate role you must juggle. Because technology is already blurring the line between work time and private time for many people, some degree of integration is already happening. When you create that integration on your own terms, it is less likely to be an impediment to your well-being.

If you have never considered what your vocation might be, please do so! It is never too late to change your life. There are no promises that you won’t face challenges or that the workplace will be without conflict, but if it is important to you to use your gifts, listen to that little voice that is guiding you to fulfillment.


Kathryn M. Larson is presently responsible for technology and communications for the U.S. Province of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Hamden, CT. She is a 1982 graduate of Boston College and in 2011 enrolled in the Master of Arts in Leadership program at Albertus, a move she considers a “calling” of sorts. She graduated in 2013. Kathy considers herself a “servant leader” and embraces the paradox that to lead, you must first serve. She believes that the single most important thing a leader can do is to empower the people at all levels in the organization, making sure they have the tools to succeed.


Is Your Deadline Approaching? Don’t Bury Your Head in the Sand

So you’ve submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and now you think it’s time to kick up your heels and enjoy summer break? Put your beach plans on hold until you’ve confirmed that your financial aid file is complete. A lot of deadlines are approaching, so make sure you don’t lose out on any financial aid opportunities available.

Don’t Let an Incomplete Financial Aid File Sink Your Ship
Nothing to do on that rainy day? Make sure your financial aid file is complete:

  • Outstanding Documents – Friday, August 1, 2014 – We know you’re getting our mailers, emails, and voicemails! Stop procrastinating and submit your documents.

  • Appeals – Friday, August 1, 2014 – Students interested in submitting appeals to reinstate or increase financial aid eligibility must submit all documentation in order to be reviewed prior to the start of classes.

  • Outstanding Federal Work Study Documents – Tuesday, September 1, 2014 – Work study students are not allowed to work until all Federal Work Study documents are submitted to the Financial Aid Office.

Blog - Office FishDon’t Count Your Sand Dollars Just Yet
Check that you have completed the following items so that you don’t get sunburned when you try to move in:

  • Payment Plan – Wednesday, July 16, 2014 (for four-month payment plans) and Saturday, August 16, 2014 (for three-month payment plans) – Enroll early and spend less time stressing and more time sunning.

  • Alternative Financing – Friday, August 1, 2014 – PLUS and private loan applications should be finalized with the lenders to ensure all balances are covered prior to classes starting.

  • Waiving Insurance – Tuesday, September 9, 2014 – If you are planning on waiving your insurance, and don’t want to pay for it, make sure you’ve submitted your waiver before move in starts. Otherwise, it will be a reimbursement.

  • Scholarships – Rolling Deadline – Check the Alternative Financing Page on the Financial Aid section of the myAlbertus Portal for scholarship opportunities. Be mindful of the submission deadlines and notify the Financial Aid Office of any outside scholarships that are being received.Blog - FA Counselor Sign

Want to confirm you’re ready to kick back and relax? Stop in or call anytime. We’re here to help point your raft in the right direction!

Location: Aquinas Hall, Room 107
Hours: Monday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:30a.m. – 4:30p.m.

Phone: (203) 773-8508
Fax: (203) 773-8972