Alumni Return to SRA to Share Career Stories
April 6, 2018
From left: Joe Beaudette ’82, Amy Issa Cembar ’94 , Lea Alexandre Gannon ’10, Chris Prazeres ’93, Carey Mullen Richard ’94, Charles Nikonu ’86, Tracey Beaudreau Ginaitt ’89, Luke McLaughlin ’00, and Sister Regina Brennnan. Missing from photo: Greg Sampson ’02.
As the junior class begins to turn their attention to college searches and SAT test prep classes, the Guidance Department hosted its bi-annual Career Explorer Day on April 4. The event brings several alumni back to campus to talk with smaller groups of juniors about their chosen careers and how they got there—which, as they learned, is not always a straight path.
SRA Chaplain Rev. Carl Fisette gave the opening prayer, and told students how becoming a priest was not immediately apparent to him. He went to Bryant University to study computer programming, but changed his major to accounting, graduated and entered the work force. He worked with National Grid, which he said was a good job, but he felt like something was missing. It was then that Fr. Fisette heard God calling him to the priesthood. He was ordained in 2001, and he shared that he has never felt more joy and peace in his life. He urged students to listen to God and ask Him what he is calling them to do.
Waking up every morning and loving what you do is the best measure of success, according to Chris Prazeres ’93, owner of several Dunkin Donuts franchises. In his oprning remarks, Chris said that while he worked for his father’s franchise as a teen, he never planned to own one. In fact, his father encouraged him to study pre-med in college, but after one semester, Chris literally threw his books out the window of his dorm room and realized that was not the right path for him. He instead changed his major to political science and then went on to law school, all the while encouraged by his father, who highly valued education. After a few months of working at a public defender’s office, the opportunity to own a Dunkin Donuts franchise presented itself. From there, he grew his business to own several franchises in the East Bay.
Also in the food service industry is Charles Nikonu ’86, owner of House of Pizza in Pawtucket. Charles said that the outlook for employment in food service industry is growing, and there is currently a shortage of available workers. While his job requires long hours and hard work, he said the rewards are great, including the many new people he meets every day, and the instant gratification of watching patrons enjoy their meals. Charles especially enjoys welcoming SRA students in his restaurant, and he urged them to “always keep that spark … even if you fail, just keep trying.”
Amy Issa Cembar ’94 asked students to “allow yourself to think what might be possible.” Speaking as an admissions counselor for Providence College and from her own personal experience, Amy recommended that an internship can even help students discover what they don’t want to do, which can be just as valuable an experience in their career paths.
Other alumni who presented were Tracey Beaudreau Ginaitt ’89, Lea Alexandre Gannon ’10, Joe Beaudette ’82, Carey Mullen Richard ’94, Luke McLaughlin ’00, and Greg Sampson ’02.