PHILADELPHIA (Feb. 28—March 1, 2017)—Kevin R. Alger, ’81, CFA, visited La Salle’s campus for two days, in which he delivered engaging presentations to students in Delta Sigma Pi, the Summit Program, and the Academic Discovery Program (ADP). Alger, author of Son of a Postman: Delivering Straight Talk on Managing Fluffers, Bullies and the Rest of the Team, also did a book signing for all students in attendance.
“The people that I admire most are those who focus not just on their own careers but those who have a broader view of their role as a mentor to others and as a citizen overall,” said Alger, who tailored his messaging to students in each group. Among all La Salle students, Alger told inspiring stories of how hard work and dedication create opportunity and accomplishment.
For students in Delta Sigma Pi, La Salle’s professional business fraternity, Alger shared decades-worth of valuable insights and anecdotes on the financial industry, as a man who has managed hundreds of people over the course of his successful 32-year career at J.P. Morgan.
“The current Delta Sigma Pi membership is one of the largest we’ve had,” said School of Business Interim Dean MarySheila E. McDonald. “Our students very much enjoyed Kevin’s practical and professional advice. He alerted them to many intriguing issues, including increased use of technology that will impact most and may eventually replace many jobs.”
Highlights from the talk included managerial best practices and what makes a job candidate the most memorable. Alger graduated as a finance and management double major from La Salle University’s School of Business.
“Our students are always seeking professional development through alumni success stories, and we hope we can engage with Kevin in the future,” said McDonald.
During his second day on campus, Alger held break-out sessions with small groups of Summit and ADP students, giving them the opportunity to connect with him personally. He coached students on interpersonal communication skills and interview techniques to help them stand out from the crowd.
“My visit is a continuation of helping people become confident. It’s an extension of what I am doing in New York with students of all ages,” Alger said. “I believe that days like today make a difference. One student said to me, ‘You’re the only person I ever met who wrote a book who’s really cool.’ I mean, that’s better than any paycheck anybody could give you.” Another student told Alger that he opened up his eyes about becoming an entrepreneur.
Len Daniels, Assistant Director and Counselor of the ADP program, said: “Kevin’s visit was invaluable. In the words of some of the students, he kept it ‘real’. Kevin was most engaging with his ‘down-to-earth’ approach. This is the kind of programming that is needed. Students need to hear and discuss life in the real world. The fact that he is an alumnus drove the point home that they too can be successful if they apply themselves and work hard. ”
Through academic and whole-person support, both the Summit and ADP Programs serve many La Salle students—a percentage of whom are the first in their families to attend college. The self-proclaimed “Son of a Postman,” Alger was also a first-generation college student, one who balanced his studies with a demanding late-night, forty-hour-per-week job at Frankford Torresdale Hospital.
“Whatever it is that you want, it can happen. You can’t be too specific about a role, function, or career path. You just have to get in there and start doing whatever it takes and your career path will develop from there,” Alger said, adding: “Sometimes on days like today, I learn things about myself from the students that I never thought of before.”
Alger regularly speaks to various groups of students and organizations throughout the country. He also provides one-on-one mentoring, career coaching, and connects professionals at all experience levels. He is an advisor to several start-up companies.
He is actively involved in mentoring the students at Highbridge Voices, which is an after-school program located in the South Bronx, New York. (Visit highbridgevoices.org for more information.)
Alger is a seasoned yoga practitioner who has traveled the world extensively to attend yoga and meditation retreats, most recently in India. He is also a longtime supporter of animal welfare and land preservation.