I had the fortunate opportunity to frequently interact with Patty Phillips when she was Executive Director of the Career Management Center at the Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Rochester while I was pursuing my Master of Science and MBA degrees (2006-2008). Patty was always extremely 'buttoned up' and expected each of her students to be as well--knowing the importance of detail, presentation skills, analytical and written acumen, interpersonal skills/etiquette, and appearance/dress in business--in addition to the technical expertise in Finance, Accounting, Marketing, etc. that we gained through our core coursework. Patty genuinely cared about each of her students. It was easy to see that her passion, vision, and ultimate goal were to help each of her students become better than we were at 'current state,' to push each and every student to grow and continuously learn, to present our best selves at interviews and throughout our career journeys, to always put our best foot forward. To Patty, her work was more than just a 'job,' and she was fulfilled when her students succeeded.
As Executive Director, Patty led a team of ~10 professionals who served as student career coaches, each with 15-30 years of experience working at large companies or Wall Street firms. Patty also created a curriculum for all MBA and Master of Science candidates, which was required for graduation, above and beyond regular coursework in our fields of study. The program included typical topics like interview practice sessions, resume writing, cover letter writing, but also included business etiquette classes, dressing for success, public speaking, and presentations + written assignments where we received two grades--one, graded by actual Senior Leadership at local companies (and our professors) on how well we thought through and articulated the content and/or analysis, and two--grammar and diction graded by Rochester Ph.D. candidates in English.
Patty and her team also helped each student develop his/her own "personal brand" and a "strategic plan" for our long-term careers. She understood that we are each the CEO of our own lives, and that if we don't take control of it, there are many others who are happy to try to control our lives for us. This work was extremely beneficial and eye-opening to me, as I took various personality and skills assessments--including the "Career Leader" assessment which identified my strengths/abilities, weaknesses (or gaps that I could work to strengthen/overcome), motivators, de-motivators, and what keeps me most engaged.
Associate Manager at Keurig Green Mountain