Where They Are Now – Robbin Beauchamp, Wentworth Institute of Technology
Director of Cooperative Education and Career Services – Wentworth Institute of Technology
Robbin received a BS from Emerson College and a MS from Boston University. She recently started in her current role at Wentworth Institute of Technology in October.
What was your career path to get your current role? I began my “professional life” in television in Hollywood, California working on game shows. I came back to Boston after one year and worked at WSBK-TV in it’s hayday as “the Boston sports channel” and during the Dana Hersey years. After some career counseling, I realized my calling was in HR so I began a 10 year career in HR at Boston University, Joslin Diabetes Center and Putnam Investments. I then decided to move into college career services and went to Stonehill College (Easton, MA) as first the Employer Relations person and promoting to Associate Director, then went to Roger Williams University (Bristol, RI) for 12 years as the Director and now am back in Boston at Wentworth.
Why did you choose this career? After speaking to my peer group, I knew that I wanted to leverage all of my experience in HR to help students start their own careers. Knowing about recruitment from the employer side of the desk, plus benefits, compensation and employer relations, I knew that I could assist students to be excellent job candidates.
What is the skill that is most important in your current role? Listening, reflecting on what you hear, and then collaborating to make decisions. Utilizing my networks to learn about best practices in our ever-changing field. Negotiating across campus to meet the needs of all of our constituents and getting what we need, too.
How did you develop this skill and how do you fine-tune it regularly? It comes over time. I have been fortunate to be in this work for awhile now and learn from others who have formally or informally mentored me. Being part of EACE has been a HUGE help to me, especially the last four years as I have served on the board. I have access to some of the most accomplished professionals in our field as they have become my friends and I can ask them just about anything and know it will be confidential and their answers will be thoughtful.
What is your biggest career accomplishment? Being elected to the EACE board twice in two different roles has helped me to become more confident in the work I do daily. EACE is a terrific association that wants it’s members to grow and is there to help make that happen.
How many years have you been a member of EACE? 15 years
Have you served on EACE Committees or the Board of Directors? I have been a member and/or chairperson of Road Trips to the Real World, Professional Exchange and Professional Development. I have at least five years on both RTRW and PE committees and really enjoy that work.
My first two years on the Board was as Director of College Member Services and I worked to survey all members about their experiences which helped the board create a three year strategic plan. Currently, I am in my last year as Director of Leadership and am working to put tools on our website about being a leader to help encourage members to become one. It is not a huge time commitment and you really do get more out of it than you put into it.
I have also been an active member of NACE, was President of the New England Association of Employment in Education (NEAEE) for one year and was a member of Boston Human Resource Association.
How did EACE help you in your personal career development? I learned strategic planning. I thought I knew how to do it before I was on the board, but I was exposed to a “higher level” of it from my peers and I was able to implement it immediately in my work. It made the process much easier for the staff to understand and to work toward completing.
Did you have an EACE Mentor or another member of EACE serve as your unofficial mentor? I have had so many mentors in EACE “unofficially”. People are so open to sharing their thoughts and ideas and to listen to your challenges and offer solutions, it’s hard to see the differentiation between “friend” and “mentor”. I want to give shout outs to my “friend/mentors”: Ade Alberts, Ayanna Wilcher, Bev Lorig, Walter Tarver, Jenn Barr, Laura Mills. I’m sure I’m missing some folks and I want to thank all of the EACE membership for always being available and open for discussion.
What is your advice to current EACE members who aspire to your current or a similar role to yours? Raise your hand! Laura Mills, my former supervisor from Stonehill College, used to call me “helium hand” because I was always the first to raise it. My experience has been so much richer because I volunteered. Don’t wait for someone to ask you to do something. Put your hand up and say “I’ll do it” and then DO IT. Once people recognize that you are a reliable person, you will naturally become a leader. Don’t be afraid to nominate yourself for a role. As Nike said so eloquently, “Just do it!”