Name: Frank O’Donnell
Majored in: Law / Public Administration
Year of Graduation: JD/MPA in 1998
Career: Senior National Security Executive
We all know that Suffolk can lead us to a great and successful life, and for Frank O’Donnell, a Suffolk alumni, it certainly did the job.
Georgia: At what point in your life are you at today?
Frank: Currently, I am at a point where I am 15 years removed from graduating from Suffolk Law School and the Sawyer Business School.
Georgia: What is your current job position, and how did Suffolk University help you get here?
Frank: Currently, I am the Vice President of Mission Support for a Massachusetts’ based Defense Contractor called CSMI. The “Suffolk” brand is well regarded in the New England region and I am confident that the skills I acquired at both the Law School and in the Sawyer Business School adequately prepared me for the road ahead.
Georgia: How did you decide to go to Suffolk University?
Frank: I chose Suffolk for 2 reasons: First: the ability to pursue both my Law and Master’s Degree simultaneously, and second: its proximity to the State House. I knew entering Suffolk that I wasn’t necessarily interested in pursuing a traditional legal career, so the opportunity to supplement a legal education with a business/public service degree was intriguing. Additionally, I had begun working for the Senate President of the Massachusetts State Senate around the same time, therefore the close proximity of both schools to the State House allowed me to seamlessly move between the two.
Georgia: What are some of your major accomplishments since attending Suffolk University?
Frank: Since graduating 15 years ago I have had the opportunity to help grow a few different organizations from infancy stages to thriving enterprises, as well as the opportunity to be part of senior leadership for one of the largest divisions of a Fortune 200 company.
Georgia: Since you’re a Suffolk University Alumni, how do you give back?
Frank: I have had the opportunity to give back in a few different ways. In terms of giving back to Suffolk, for the past 3 years I have served as a mentor to current students of the law school. Additionally, I have been part of a panel of alums who meet with current students to discuss post school career paths and how to position yourself strategically to get there.
Georgia: What kind of advice do you wish to give to current Suffolk University students?
Frank: There are 3 pieces of advice I would give to current Suffolk students. First, always think about “building” your resume; Second: there is no substitute for hard work and Third: don’t be afraid to take chances.
“Building Your Resume”
In order to increase your marketability post-graduation, you should focus extensively on building your resume. This can be accomplished in a number of ways:
- Foreign Language Skills
Georgia: While you were attending Suffolk, did you envision yourself to be where you are today?
Frank: No! I think what is exciting is that Suffolk gives you the tools to be successful, but it’s up to you to create your own success story.
Georgia: Where do you hope to see yourself in the future?
Frank: I would like to lead an organization. My ultimate goal is to take the various academic and professional skills as well as life lessons I have learned and apply them to running an organization – providing the vision and leadership necessary to lead a successful enterprise.