Delaney Bradley: Bryant Alum & College Relationship Specialist

Her Campus Bryant was lucky enough to sit down with Delaney Bradley, an alum of Bryant University’s Class of 2017 and current College Relationship Specialist at ALKU, a staffing and recruiting firm based in Andover, Massachusetts. Delaney was helpful in providing insight about how her Bryant education has helped her in her career, what she has learned out in the workforce, and shares her personal advice for current Bryant students!

If you’re interested in seeing what life after Bryant is like, keep reading:

 

HC: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your time at Bryant - what were you involved in, how did you pick your major, all that good stuff!

DB: My name is Delaney and I graduated from Bryant in 2017! I am from Salem, NH and honestly had no idea where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do with my life when I was applying to college. I had applied to Bryant without even seeing the campus, and it wasn’t until I visited on accepted students’ day that I knew I wanted to be a Bulldog.

I originally declared an International Business major with a minor in Spanish, as I always had an interest in traveling, but ended up changing my major to Marketing during my sophomore year. Although my interest in International Business had decreased, my love for traveling was definitely still there! I participated in the Sophomore International Experience (SIE) program, spending time in Prague and Budapest, and I spent a full semester studying in Florence, Italy. I was heavily involved in Colleges Against Cancer throughout my time at Bryant, holding the position of Director of Relay for Life as a sophomore and sitting on the E-Board my junior and senior years. In my current position at ALKU, I am lucky enough to be back on campus every now and then for career fairs and other various recruiting events, so be sure to stop by and say hello!

 

HC: There are so many different routes you can go down within the world of marketing - did you always know you wanted to work in recruiting or is it something you fell into?

DB: 100% something I fell into! I was a bit all over the place in college – not in a bad way, but in the way that I wanted to learn about anything and everything and definitely didn’t have a set career path that I wanted to follow. I remember sitting in a history class when I was studying in Florence and it dawned on me that I had spent just about all of my money on traveling the world. I wasn’t regretting anything, but I was realizing that I needed a job over winter break before heading back to school. I reached out to a personal connection (proof that networking and building connections actually pays off!), who let me know that she could forward my resume along to the Human Resources department at her company. I ended up interviewing, getting hired, and completing three internship sessions within Human Resources throughout my time at school. I knew I wanted to continue building a career within in the HR field after that, and here I am two and a half years later doing what I love!

 

HC: Do you feel like your education at Bryant prepared you for the workforce? If so, what is the most valuable thing you learned or most influential class you took?

DB: Again, 100%. Thinking back to when I was in school, group projects were definitely not my favorite thing in the world. Having to work with a group of people with different opinions, who did not always see eye to eye and whose strengths and weaknesses varied wasn’t something I necessarily looked forward to at the time.

As you all know, professors at Bryant LOVE incorporating group projects into the syllabus, so it was something I just had to deal with. Fast forward two and a half years and having to work with a group of people with different opinions, having to work with a group of people who do not always see eye to eye and with people whose strengths and weaknesses vary is one of my favorite things about ALKU and my job, specifically. Is it always easy? No. Does it force me to step out of my comfort zone and grow as a professional? Absolutely. My advice would be to allow all of these group projects to help you learn more about your own strengths and weaknesses, while enhancing your communication and leadership skills. It will all pay off in the long run… I promise!

 

HC: On the flip side, what is something you have learned in the corporate environment that school never taught you? 

DB: Over-communication is key! I cannot stress this enough. My manager, Marissa, shared this bit of advice with me when I started at ALKU and it has stuck with me since. In my role, specifically, I am in contact with every single department at ALKU on a daily basis. Whether I am working with our Marketing Department to ensure event logistics are organized, or I am working with Dave Bruner, VP of Business Development and former Bulldog himself, to create new ALKU Case Scenarios for our ALKU-Exclusive Sales Competitions, there is almost always a handful of moving parts that need to be in check.

Always overcommunicate and always ask how you can help. It will go a long way!

HC: Tell us a little bit about ALKU and your role. How did you get involved with working there and what has your experience been like so far?

DB: Over 50% of ALKU’s employees were referred by a current employee and I was one of them! One of my good friends, Zach, was an intern at the time and had always told me about ALKU. He constantly raved about the culture, opportunity for growth, and ability to build your own career path here, and already had a full-time offer in ALKU’s Medical Device division as an Account Manager.

Reality hit that I had just entered my senior year and post-grad life was sneaking up on me, so I eventually asked him to forward my resume along to the Internal Recruiting team (again, personal networking!). I interviewed and accepted a full-time job offer in November of my senior year. I still didn’t necessarily understand the staffing business at the time, but I knew I connected with the hiring managers throughout my interview process and I trusted what each and every one of them told me about my potential future here at ALKU!

I officially joined the ALKU as an Internal Recruiter in May of 2017! I was screening candidates, taking them through the interview process and working closely with hiring managers to fulfill company hiring needs. Most importantly, I was working as hard as I possibly could to prove that I wanted to build a long-term career here. As a result of this hard work, in April of 2019, I was presented with a brand-new opportunity on the Talent Acquisition Team! After talking with management and learning a lot about the term ‘blind-faith,’ I transitioned into the role of College Relationship Specialist.

This role did not yet exist at ALKU, so I was nervous, but excited, to make this change in my career. In July of 2019, I was promoted to Senior College Relationship Specialist and my main responsibility is to attend on-campus events and host ALKU-exclusive events to help build ALKU's brand on college campuses across the country. The most important thing I can tell you is that I absolutely love what I do. Here at ALKU we don’t have ‘set career paths,’ so I worked closely with my manager to set goals – work-related and personal, short-term and long-term, and team and individual-based goals. I love what I do and who I do it with and am excited to watch the College Relationship Development world develop and grow!

 

HC: You started off at ALKU as an Internal Recruiter but since then have moved up to a College Relationship Specialist and more recently, a Senior College Relationship Specialist - what have you learned from these roles and how have you been able to move up the ranks in only two years?

DB: All three of these roles have been a learning experience and each one has taught me a lesson that has helped me to grow professionally. As an Internal Recruiter, I learned the importance of relationship building. As a College Relationship Specialist, I was the first person in the role here at ALKU which really brought me back to the basics. I learned the importance of prioritizing and organization, and I also lived by the saying, “you’ll never know if you don’t try!”.

Lastly, as a Senior College Relationship Specialist, I incorporate all of the above plus the idea that process is key. Eventually, the goal is to have a department that focuses on College Relationship Development, so I am really focusing on perfecting the processes I have created so far to set future College Relationship Specialists up for a successful career. I’ve always tried my best to keep my head down, work hard and consistently ask my manager how/where I can improve which has definitely contributed to the growth in my career path.

 

HC: ALKU has an internal women-empowerment initiative called AWE (ALKU Women Empowered) - do you find this to be a helpful resource in the workplace environment?

DB: Absolutely! Sales and staffing are known to be male-dominant fields and I think it is admirable that ALKU’s leadership team not only recognizes this but takes action to show our female leaders that this is top-of-mind. I think AWE sets a good example for all of the females here at ALKU. It is comprised of successful, hard-working, and goal-oriented women who have directly contributed to ALKU’s continued growth and success.

 

HC: Not too long ago you were in our shoes: a student at Bryant, soon to be starting your professional career. If you could go back to senior year of college and give yourself advice, what would you say?

DB: My advice to my senior year self would be to spend more time in the library and less time napping. Just kidding! My advice to my senior year self would be to make a list of what is important to me, to prioritize that list, and to stick to it regardless of what others are doing or saying. The transition from college to the real-world can be somewhat overwhelming. I thought I needed to have the perfect job (I got lucky with this one!). I thought I needed to be making 6-figures as soon as humanly possible, and I thought I needed to move out of my parents’ house ASAP.

Basically, I thought I’d need to have it all figured out but jokes on me because I don’t even know what I’m having for dinner tonight. Some of your friends will travel while others will be working 60+ hours per week. Some of your friends will move to the city while others will live at home with their parents. Some of your friends will stick with the same job for a couple of years while others will jump around a bit to find the job of their dreams. Figure out what is important to you and stick with that! Not everyone needs to be on the same timeline.

 

A huge thank you to Delaney for sharing her experiences and advice with Her Campus Bryant to pass on to all of our readers. We loved hearing about what she thinks the true value of all of Bryant’s group projects are (even though we still have a love-hate relationship), and other tips she has for current students.

If you’re interested in some more candid advice from other accomplished women, stay tuned for an upcoming article featuring three more female professionals from ALKU!

 

All photos provided by Delaney Bradley