RAMSEY, N.J.– They went from classroom to classroom on Friday, listening to the men who once walked the same halls of Don Bosco Prep as they do now.
The seniors and the juniors heard from Ironmen in all walks of life as part of Alumni Career Day.
Over 50 DBP grads – the largest amount in history, and significantly more than the dozen from the inaugural edition – spoke about their experience at and after their time at the Ramsey parochial school. They talked of where they went to college, what they studied, what they do for a living.
They came from all walks of life: doctors, civil servants, business owners – even NFL quarterback Matt Simms (Class of 2007).
In groups of four inside the classrooms of De Sales Hall, the graduates preached accountability, networking, focus, interviewing skills, achieving goals and following dreams.
Shake Shack Chief Executive Officer Randy Garutti ('93) gave a 30-minute presentation describing how he went from making $6 an hour at Chili's to heading up a billion-dollar company.
"At the end of the day, if you like what you do, you're going to be good at what you do," Career Day founder Bob Zuppe ('91) told Daily Voice.
"I didn't take advantage of the opportunities I was given while I was here," added Dave Natt ('91). "...It took some time for me to get established. But the second it was done, I felt a need to come back and tell kids [not to] give up these opportunities in front of you. This is the springboard for the rest of your life."
Natt, a partner in Autonomous Research US, estimates that he's interviewed, hired, or helped 30 Bosco graduates over the past 15 years.
"It may not hit them today, but it's going to affect them at some point," he said. "Hopefully it clicks and they can reach out to us and help them in their path."
Back in 2002, the first five graduates Zuppe called thanked him, wished him luck and declined to participate. The sixth helped put things in motion.
"We're challenging the kids now," said Zuppe, who's a State Farm agent in Pearl River. "Be a kid that comes back here and represents your [graduating] class."