Geneseo alumnus inspires students to pursue post-graduate success

Geneseo alumnus Daniel Martin gave students a look into life after college on Tuesday March 20 when he presented a Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development workshop. Martin highlighted the importance of giving back to the community, balancing work with life and taking time to enjoy experiences. (Theo Lieu/assoc. photo editor)

One concern weighs on the mind of just about every college student: the future. The instability of the American job market, combined with uncertainty about what passions to pursue creates hesitation surrounding life after Geneseo. 

Alumnus Daniel Martin ‘16 shared his experiences about post-diploma life to a group of students on Tuesday March 20 during a Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development program “Lessons Learned Two Years Into My Career.” 

While attending Geneseo, Martin was an economics and international relations double major, a resident assistant, a GOLD mentor, the business manager for Colleges Against Cancer and more. 

GOLD Program Director and Martin’s former mentor Tom Matthews described how the program revolved around the theme of “servant leadership.” 

Martin approached the program with an eye toward collaboration, allowing time at the end to engage with the audience, rather than posing as an authority figure.

Martin is still obtaining education after Geneseo, as he is interested in obtaining a graduate degree. Currently, he works as a district manager for Nestle. While offering his eight points of advice, he was honest about the surprises involved in his path and that his journey is not over yet. 

Martin’s current work has him living in Des Moines, Iowa, which is something he never expected, and not where he intends to stay. 

“Even two years into my career I’m still an open book on what I want to do,” Martin said. 

One theme in Martin’s advice was the importance of interacting with people. A critical element he cited as influential to his current career success is his ability to network. He advised the audience to always keep track of everyone they meet, and to seek someone who could serve as a mentor in their field. For young professionals, he stressed that this tactic is especially important as a support network.

Another theme in Martin’s talk was making time for self-care. Despite being devoted to his career and working 60-hour weeks, Martin volunteers at a local animal shelter, goes to the gym and hangs out with his friends on the weekends. He stressed keeping in touch with the friends who really matter and has even started a podcast with several friends from college. 

Despite being very frugal, one of Martin’s tips was to allow splurging. He insisted that young adults should reserve some money for things that bring them joy. Following his own advice, Martin took a trip to Portugal.

When asked how he handles a situation where he is overwhelmed, Martin was genuine. 

“I ask for help,” he said.  

Martin’s advice to enjoy life and acknowledge limitations offered a different perspective to students compared to the suggestions they would receive from a more experienced worker or employer. 

International relations and communication double major junior Melissa Hartlipp described the experience as very helpful, especially because she is a student who will be leaving Geneseo in spring 2019. 

“I thought it was really informative and liked it a lot,” Hartlipp said. “I thought he did a great job discussing his Geneseo experiences and translating it to his position now.”

The transition—from college student to a member of the workforce or a graduate student—is a daunting one, but students found it helpful to receive advice from someone who can empathize and has found success on the other side.