SHU Alumnus Todd Cassler Speaks to WCBT

On Feb. 16, the Jack Welch College of Business and Technology (WCBT) hosted its Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Event at the East Theater on Sacred Heart University’s West Campus. They hosted Todd Cassler, whose presentation was titled “You Own the Contract For Your Career.”

            Since graduating from SHU with an MBA in 2001, Cassler worked as President of Financial Institutions and Advisory Solutions for John Hancock Investments for 16 years. He currently works as a Chief Strategy and Growth Officer for Mariner Wealth Advisors.

            “The different things students should focus on are how they use their time, practice continuous learning as they progress in their career, and just be willing to show up and participate in whatever is in front of them,” said Cassler. “If they do those things then they will be successful in their careers.”

            Dr. Catherine McCabe, former Dean of the WCBT, discussed the importance of alumni-student relations.

            “When we have people who are able to come back to the students and say I graduated from here, there’s that connection and feeling that my success started with my experience at Sacred Heart,” said McCabe. “When you see someone like Mr. Cassler, who is at the top of his career with an amazing position, it shows students that there are successful alumni who are at the top of their field.”

            She also discussed how Cassler was picked for this event.

            “Todd has great advice from his journey, and that advice can certainly help students, that is a big reason why we brought him back to speak, and I believe that his presentations are aimed to explain to the students what he is doing in his industry and how it can be helpful to the students,” said McCabe.

            The WCBT hosts its Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Event every semester to bring in an individual who can impart practical advice to students. Bringing in SHU alumni is even more favorable because of the connection they can make with students.

            “Mr. Cassler is obviously a valuable source for the students, as a speaker for this event, not only for his career but because he is an alumnus. He is the kind of speaker that the department would especially want to bring in because the alumni-to-student connection is so valuable, and I have never seen an alum turn away a student when that student is attempting to build a network,” said Prof. Melinda Formica, Executive Director of Advancement at the WCBT.

            Cassler presented advice about the inner workings of the finance industry and some of the essential steps toward success.

            “As cliché as it does sound, it really is about who you know and not what you know.        Your network and connections are incredibly important,” said Cassler. “Everything you do now will affect you later on in the future. It is the little differences you can make within yourself that will set you apart from the rest of the applicant pool.”

            Sophomore Madison Breckner attended the event.

            “I thought the presentation was helpful, particularly, the parts about making connections and the importance of having confidence in yourself to start conversations,” said Breckner.  “I think having a speaker be an alum of SHU made a huge difference. Knowing he went through many of the same things we are currently going through and then using what he had learned from his education at the University to further his career is encouraging.”

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