Alumna Returns to NECC to Share Business Advice
Proof your PowerPoint, know your audience, watch your body language, dress appropriately and watch out for those pesky “ummmmms’…These were just a few of the tips Northern Essex Community College alumna Reanne Malesky’s shared with NECC hospitality and business majors recently.
Her Presentation Skills Workshop was co-sponsored by the new Business & Accounting Academic Center and Career Services. It was held in the newly renovated Lecture Hall A in the Spurk Building on the Haverhill campus.
Malesky dispensed advice she said she never heard in high school or college regarding presentations, yet “presentations are an important part of the corporate structure.” The first dozen times she presented, she said she was “terrified”. Now that she’s a corporate trainer, it is second nature, but only because she reports for every presentation prepared and practiced.
She earned her business transfer degree in 2010 and then transferred to UMass Amherst. She graduated
from UMass in 2012. Malesky who is now a trainer for Charles River Development in Burlington, visited the Haverhill campus recently. Using equal parts humility, levity, and professionalism, she passed along real world experience in the hopes of helping students avoid embarrassing situations or worse give a poor presentation.
“PowerPoint should be a visual aid to support a message,” she said. “A poor PowerPoint can kill a presentation. Rule of thumb – don’t use more than 10 slides and establish a message.”
Malesky presents on presenting a PowerPoint presentation.After graduating from UMass Amherst, where she changed her major from business to political science, she worked as an unpaid intern for U.S, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s campaign. Through networking, she landed a job at Putnam Investment’s call center eventually moving into the training department. After several years, she migrated to Charles River Development where she trains clients on how to use the investment management software.
She loves the autonomy of the job as well as the potential for travel within the international company.
Some of the finer points she has learned along the way she said include not completely appreciating Northern Essex faculty and small class sizes until after she gradauted. As an NECC student, she said, she valued the fact she was able to take a variety of classes including accounting, business, art, biology, and physics.
“I really got to know my professors,” she said. “I still stay in touch with (business professor) Pat Morrow and visit the campus a few times a year.”
Networking is imperative, she said. “Networking is about communicating. It’s helped move me forward.”
Other tips? “Expect to be frustrated in your job search. Rejection is part of the process,” she said. Once she went through a series of four interviews and a full background check and still didn’t land the job.
“Take your frustration and use it as inspiration,” she said. “Don’t beat yourself up. I take my mother’s advice and appreciate those times when I get the ‘carrot’. ”
Malesky, who grew up in Merrimac and graduated from Pentucket Regional High School, said she would encourage Northern Essex students to explore transferring to a state school. “They make the process really easy.”
She also said students should consider getting involved in extracurricular activities on the NECC campus as well as wherever they transfer. As a Northern Essex student Malesky was president of the Community Outreach Group and involved with the Gay/Straight Alliance Club.
Goal oriented, the 27-year-old who now lives in Malden, hopes to purchase her own home in the not too distant future and get involved in politics at the local level.
“Local politics feel more impactful,” she said.