Undergraduate Opportunities Lead to Career of Success
Lebanon Valley College’s alumni network has grown to more than 16,000 individuals, each with his or her own personal experiences, interactions, and accomplishments.
One individual shares a small portion of his journey at LVC and encourages students to make the most of the precious time they have at this institution.
Jeffrey Boland ’86 recalls his days at LVC, extremely grateful for the opportunities granted to him during his days as an undergraduate student, and in the years following his graduation from The Valley.
Boland attended LVC from 1982–1986 majoring in accounting. He currently is a partner and department head for Senior Living Services Consulting Group at RKL, a CPA accounting and business-consulting firm in central Pennsylvania.
While an LVC student, Boland was a member of the cross country team as well as of the Phi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society. He was also a brother of the national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, which he remembers very fondly.
“Whether it was just hanging out or some impromptu cookouts outside of Funkhouser and throwing a football, it was just fun,” Boland said.
But Boland also remembers another aspect of life at LVC just as fondly as the time spent with his fraternity and the tremendous educational opportunities.
“LVC helped me get my first job out of school because I did an internship at the Business Office,” Boland said. “I was asked to help with the main audit, and as a result, the audit manager invited me to an office visit at what is now known as KPMG. Then, they offered me a job.”
Moreover, Boland also appreciates the relationships built between LVC faculty and students and recognizes that these strong relationships are sometimes more difficult to establish at larger institutions.
“I’ve talked to a lot of graduates and the differentiator at LVC always appears to be the relationships with the professors,” Boland said. “I had friends at other schools that never talked to a professor, in fact they never took anything but a multiple choice test because their schools were so large. Whereas, LVC’s professors are there to help you with your career and to get you ready for a career.”
Boland credits some professors personally for many of the opportunities he received, as well as for the many tools with which he has been equipped to find success through these opportunities. Among these professors is Dr. James Broussard, professor of history, who still teaches students at LVC today.
“A lot of people don’t put much thought into a liberal arts education, but Dr. Broussard’s history courses really helped me,” Boland said. “For one of my jobs I travelled around the country, so when I was out on the West Coast, people from California would ask me things about Pennsylvania. I happened to take Pennsylvania History with Broussard so I was able to rattle off all these facts, and I think without that liberal arts education, what else would I have been able to talk about?”
It is in these seemingly small moments that Boland is truly grateful not only for the liberal arts education that LVC has granted him, but also for the personal connections forged with professors as well as with fellow students and other faculty and staff members that he still carries with him today. Boland urges students to intentionally look for additional opportunities to build relationships while at LVC.
“The one thing I regret is that I wasn’t friends with more people because that’s really your professional network to start off with,” Boland said. “There are people now that I see on LinkedIn that I wish I would have known better because you never know where that next job opportunity will come from.”
Even though Boland may regret not connecting with as many people as he would have liked to while he was a student at LVC, he presently makes sure to build relationships while serving on various committees at The Valley.
Boland is currently a member of the Alumni Awards Committee and the Leadership Council, and is typically on campus at least once a month.
“These committees make good networking opportunities because you’re with other business leaders, not only locally but also with leaders from all over the country,” Boland said. “So you get to network with LVC graduates all over the United States.”
Not only did The Valley equip Boland with tools to succeed and networking connections to take with him after leaving LVC, but it also continues to provide these opportunities that Boland utilizes very earnestly.
“I thank the school for my education and also for the opportunities,” Boland said. “If it weren’t for them I don’t know that I would have chosen public accounting. In working with the auditors through my internship, they talked me into public accounting, and I’ve been there ever since, more than 25 years later.”
His one piece of advice for LVC students is simple: “Get involved more: your education really is what you make of it.”
Cassi Barrett for LVC 430 Feature Writing