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Alumna connects passion and career

| Sunday, February 15, 2015

Kristin Boyd, director of Credit Suisse and member of the Notre Dame class of 2005, delivered a keynote address that focused on the importance of finding fulfillment, friendship and passion when developing a career. Her presentation was the culmination of the seventh annual Undergraduate Women in Business (UWIB) Professional Development Conference.

During the keynote, which explored her experiences leading up to her career at Credit Suisse, Boyd explained how her time at Notre Dame provided her with a foundation in business focused on ethics and flexibility that allowed her to succeed in the business world.

“Notre Dame gave me the moral foundation that I needed to navigate my career,” she said. “Some of the things that I learned here are the importance of ethics above all else … while Notre Dame didn’t explicitly prepare me to sell complex equity derivatives, it did prepare me for a career on Wall Street during a period of crisis and rapid change.”

Boyd said her experiences with peers and mentors both strengthened her connections in her career and provided her with invaluable support during the transition from college to the workforce. She said her experience as an intern with several fellow undergraduate women allowed her to overcome insecurities related to her abilities and capacities in the workplace.

“I encourage you as you’re thinking about jobs and career paths [that] this group of peer friends is really important,” she said. “They’re different from mentors and sponsors in that these are people who can really make the difference during those tough times.”

Finding fulfillment in her career was a journey, Boyd said, and certain periods in her career forced her to question how she could find longterm fulfillment in her chosen path.

Boyd said the encouragement she received from her boss allowed her to gain a new perspective on ways to find fulfillment in her career and led her to become more heavily involved in philanthropic efforts, which included work on the junior committee of New York City’s Inner-City Scholarship Fund. Boyd said pursuits in these areas, as well as photography, motivated her to stay in her career.

“While most people don’t describe sales and trading as personally rewarding or fulfilling, for me it’s taken some time to figure out what a fulfilling career path means to me, and the answer to that is something more difficult than what I expected,” she said. “I thought I had to quit my job and become a travel photographer or work at an education non-profit in order to find fulfillment in my career.”

Boyd said she encourages women to reflect on the direction they hope their careers will take, spend time developing a list of goals they hope to achieve during their lives and evaluate whether their career paths can make these goals possible.

“Whether you stay at the same job or move to a new job or new firm, as many of you will at some point, you’ll find your focus may need to shift to a seven-year plan, which encompasses not only the job you’re doing now but the life you want to lead and that needs to be in harmony with your job,” she said.

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