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Banking on Success

Darrell Pacheco '12 delivered advice via Skype to students in the Career Center. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

Darrell Pacheco '12 delivered advice via Skype to students in the Career Center. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

Alumnus gives students helpful career advice via Skype

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

The more business and economics classes Darrell Pacheco ’12 took, the more intrigued he became. Poring over The Wall Street Journal in the library and chatting with professors, economics majors and Career Center staff, Pacheco, a political science major, began to think seriously about a finance career. So he sought out an internship at a regional bank. Today, Pacheco manages a team of a dozen employees at a global finance organization, and he’s among the many alumni who pass along the wisdom they've gained through individual and small-group sessions with current students.

Speaking via Skype from his Philadelphia-area office, Pacheco described how he transitioned from student and intern to an employee at Vanguard, one of the world’s largest investment companies. In the half decade since, he’s moved from client specialist to investment advisor to manager of a specialty-operations group, earning four certifications. Along with several other Vanguard alumni, he hosts a group of 10-15 Dickinson students for an annual information session at the company’s headquarters.

Pacheco passed along some of the skills and knowledge that helped him get where he is today, including tips on how best to investigate different fields and how to research organizational fit. And he encouraged students to expand on what they're learning in class by taking advantage of college resources, including the professional publications in the Waidner-Spahr Library. “This is where passion will come into play,” said Pacheco, who still feeds his daily business-news habit and reads financial reports in his spare time—for fun. “You'll familiarize yourself with the language and industry news, and over time it will inform your thinking. So when an interviewer asks you about current business trends, you’ll have something to offer.”

The 2012 grad closed the session by encouraging students take full advantage of the Career Center and described how they can harness social media to find potential alumni contacts. International business & management major Mariel Arias ’19 said he planned to put both of those nuggets of advice to use right away.

“I definitely do think that these events and networking opportunities give our students an edge, because we learn great tips and information [applicable to] any given industry,” Arias said, adding that these sessions, combined with the breadth of Career Center resources “can put you on the right track to knowing where you want to go and what you want to do.”

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Published April 3, 2017