About 20 of Keene State’s alumni have come back to the college, joining the athletic department to pursue a career here.
Why did so many alumni come back to go after a career here?
What kind of advice can they give to students now that they have the perspective of both a student and a faculty member?
A few of the alumni gave just the answers to understand their commitment and dedication to the school.
Sports Information Assistant Ryan Hearn graduated from KSC in 2017 and has officially been working in the athletic department since January of 2019. Technically speaking, Hearn worked for sports information when he was a student and then continued to chip in as much as he could between graduating and officially starting.
“I’ve lived in Keene for most of my life and enjoy it, so I figured I’d stay,” explained Hearn. “It also allows me to continue helping with family things, which is a bonus. Additionally, I am very familiar with the people around here, which helped me settle in and not have to learn a completely new work environment. I greatly appreciate Abe [Osheyack for] giving me the chance.”
Unlike Hearn’s situation, swim and dive head coach Chris Woolridge had 11 years in between his time as a student and college coach.
Woolridge graduated in 2004 and has been working at Keene State since August of 2015.
“To be honest, I almost didn’t make the move to come back to Keene,” said Woolridge.
“I spent 11 years building my career as a club coach and was finally in charge of my own team. Coaches that transition from club to college coaching rarely go back, so I was a little nervous to make the leap.”
Woolridge described how rewarding his experience at the school has been thus far by saying, “A college coaching friend of mine encouraged me to go for it and I am so happy that I did. The campus community is great! I enjoy working in a department surrounded by other coaches and working with college students is a lot of fun. A lot of personal development happens during the college years, and I feel that I am able to have an impact which is extremely rewarding.”
A Class of 2020 graduate and a former Keene State swim team member Madison Pechulis agreed with Woolridge, continuing on to explain how he had a positive impact on her.
“Chris absolutely impacted me, I would not have become the athlete I was without him,” said Pechulis.
The two alumni gave some advice to the students of Keene. Wooldridge’s advice to the students was to “get involved on campus and branch out, try things and meet people. Also, internships are important and not always easy to find. Take the time to get some real world experience.”
Hearn also gave a strong message to the students, saying, “This is advice and words that I actually did hear throughout my academic career – not just college – but I’d reiterate to really work hard, savor, and enjoy your four years… they go quickly! I can assure you that. Additionally, and I also heard this many times as I was going through grade school and college, always try to find something you enjoy doing… something that may not feel like ‘work.’”
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