Today’s Class: May 29, 2015


Chevell Burgess (left) greets Marcey Santos prior to our class

Marcey Santos, the Lead Accountant at Amica Mutual Insurance Company, was today’s guest.  Chevell Burgess was our Life Skills host providing an outstanding introduction of Marcey to the class.


Chevell introduces Marcey to the Life Skills class

There were many important life lessons Marcey shared with us, from the benefits of a great personal brand and getting involved in community activities to the importance of asking questions.   But

being prepared“,

a topic we’ve spoken about before Marcey’s visit, became more obvious after her comments and personal story today.

Being prepared for a job interview or a meeting with an influential person is worth the extra effort of doing

research beforehand to create future opportunities for success”

Marcey stated.   “Knowing about the company you’re looking to get a job at or researching information about a specific person you’ll meet in a networking event can change the course of your life“.    Marcey shared the story of how her preparation for her first interview at Amica helped her create a strong impression for her brand which eventually led to a job offer from Amica.


Marcey begins to share her story of challenges and success with the Life Skills class.

Marcey also spoke about

the impact of personal brand.


Marcey also spoke about her most significant mentor, her mother, who clearly helped Marcey create her respectful and inquisitive personal brand.

She told the story of volunteering at a community event benefiting animals.    Unbeknownst to Marcey, she happened to meet and speak with an Amica executive during the event.   At the end of the day, the Amica executive gave Marcey his business card and encouraged her to follow up with him about a potential job opportunity.  In the weeks following, Marcey received a phone call to arrange a meeting with other Amica executives to discuss her experience and skills.  Marcey was ultimately offered a job at Amica, one of Rhode Island’s most successful companies.

I’m always aware, during any event I attend, I may meet someone influential and my personal brand will always be evaluated by people I meet or observing me from afar.

As a result, I always treat everyone with respect.   I show interest when a person speaks with me, always eye contact, a smile, and an occasional nod to show I’m listening.   I’m aware of the importance of a good handshake.  ‘Please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘it was nice meeting you’ are always included in my conversation.  This seemingly innocent community event I told you about turned into an opportunity which has changed my life.  I’m convinced the perception I created of my brand, which I hope is, someone who is always respectful with the courage to stretch out of my comfort zone to meet new people, to start a conversation and an ability ask simple, thoughtful questions has helped me throughout my life.

Good lessons for all of us to embrace.   At the end of class, a few minutes remained for our own class networking session.  Marcey told me she felt especially good when one student told her she too has a mother who is her mentor and inspiration.


Hafzat Akanni (in the blue blouse) extends her hand to greet Marcey.

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