“It’s very enriching to be part of the lives of students who will be future leaders and problem-solvers,” says Jane McKay-Nesbitt, whose lengthy career in the field of finance before joining Bryant in 2008 included positions as a financial planner, bank manager, and investment advisor. Freely sharing her real-world business experiences, McKay-Nesbitt empowers women students to view themselves as strong individuals who shouldn’t fear the challenges women are likely to face in the male-dominated financial services industry.
“Bryant has been recruiting faculty and staff who care for each other and care for students,” says McKay-Nesbitt, which “has been modeled and driven by President Ronald K. Machtley.” Too, networking is absolutely vital to succeeding in business, she adds. “I made my living in business and grew that business by networking.”
As Director of Bryant University’s Honors Program and Associate Professor of Marketing, McKay-Nesbitt engages with some of Bryant’s most accomplished students who enroll in that rigorous program. She strives to help students develop self-confidence and essential skills and guide them to interview for and acquire great positions.
Of her students developing a passion for women’s issues, McKay-Nesbitt adds, “That will carry into the workplace for them; they are able to be mentored and be mentors to other women.”
With plans underway to create a formal network of Honors alumni, the Alumni Honors Council, she anticipates expanding the opportunities for networking between and among Honors Program students and alumni; now, she often relies on LinkedIn to connect with Bryant alumni.
Frequently recognized by Bryant faculty and students for her excellent teaching acumen, McKay-Nesbitt says, “I view education, especially post-secondary education, as a gift. Students work hard, but they are the beneficiaries of the contributions of work and money from so many other people.”
“I like to contribute," she adds. "It’s what we’re here for. I didn’t come from much when I was growing up … I’ve been given so much, so I want to give back.”
At the end of every semester, McKay-Nesbitt urges students to think of the gift of their education as something that is meant to be used for the benefit of others. She also quotes the Chinese philosopher Confucius to her students, “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” She also reminds them of the words of Holocaust survivor, professor, author, and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, who spoke several years ago at Bryant: “There should be an 11th commandment: Thou shalt not stand idly by.” To that end, she reminds her students that, when they see things that should be changed, they have the power to make a positive impact on the world.
Director of Bryant's highly-competitive Honors Program
Recent research focuses on how the financial services industry’s social marketing impacts Millennials’ financial wellbeing
“I like to contribute; it’s what we’re here for. I didn’t come from much when I was growing up … I’ve been given so much, so I want to give back.”
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