By Kevin Gary, Alumni Relations Assistant
Ben McGinty ’00 achieved success before he attained his master’s degree, but despite that it was always his intention to earn a graduate degree. He recalls, “I received my undergraduate degree from St Joseph’s College in 1979 and decided to take a year off. Well, a year turned into 19 in a blink of an eye.” Life, raising a family, and working for industry leaders Lockheed Martin and Reed Tech, where he has been for the past 15 years and currently serves as Senior Director of Life Sciences Business Development, just always seemed to demand precedence over continuing his education. But around the time he left Lockheed Martin he discovered that obtaining a master’s was now more essential than ever. Ben says, “After 20 years with a major company I decided it was time to move on. I was stunned to see how not having a master’s degree limited my new employment choices. So immediately after obtaining a new job I decided it was time to fulfill my dream and pursue it.”
This led him to Rosemont College where he enrolled in what is now the SGPS program. But like all professionals who return to school he learned that the life he built could not simply be put on hold while he furthered his education. Ben remembers the transition being difficult but rewarding: “Initially I struggled with the balance between work demands, family, commitments, and educational responsibilities. But like everything else in life it was all about choices. I wanted to achieve this goal and I wanted to enrich my life through the experience. It’s all about time management. Once I re-aligned my priorities things fell into place. It wasn’t always easy but the journey was worth it.”
Recalling his time at Rosemont, Ben finds he is most thankful for the lasting relationships he formed with his fellow students. These bonds still continue today, and lead him to volunteer often at the college, as well as serve as a member of the Alumni Board of Directors. He also cites the trip he took overseas with his classmates as a highlight: “I had the opportunity to travel abroad to England and Ireland in a Rosemont sponsored educational studies course. This experience truly broadened my view on international business and cultural diversity.” This trip has recently been reintroduced to the SGPS program and took place this summer with another planned for next year.
It was the experiences he had working closely with his classmates that he credits with strengthening him professionally. “My Rosemont experience enabled me to hone my leadership and interpersonal communication skills,” Ben says, “This in turn allowed me to more effectively and efficiently execute work tasks. Having responsibilities in business development requires a significant amount of team work and cross-functional communication.” This is a further testament to the idea that no matter how long you have been in the field there are always valuable new skills to be learned, skills you may not even know you need!
As a person who has learned to juggle multiple responsibilities, Ben was sure to express his believe that life is all about balance: taking risks but planning ahead; and knowing how to prioritize work, family, and social life. He closes with a quote he is fond of, “I don’t remember who said this but I often reflect on it – ‘Money serves three purposes in your life. In order of priority: one, security for yourself and your family; two, giving – make someone else’s life a little better; and three, once one and two are accomplished it’s okay to enjoy what you’ve worked hard for.’” Ben McGinty has strived in his life to better himself through hard work and education, and his continuing service to Rosemont College shows that he has not forgotten that giving back is another essential part of a fulfilling life.