Meet a Deac – Patrick Sullivan (’93, MBA ’03)

Administrative offices are closed today in honor of the MLK Holiday.  However, we plan ahead in the Parent Programs office!  Today we bring you the profile of one of the great team members in the Office of Personal and Career Development (and if your student isn’t connected to the OPCD yet, please tell him or her to take advantage of all its vast resources).  Here is Patrick Sullivan, Assistant Director, Career Education and Counseling.


What is your official job title?
My title is Assistant Director, Career Education and Counseling.  I work in the Office of Personal and Career Development.

You’re an alumnus.  In what year did you graduate and what was your major?
I graduated from Wake Forest in 1993 with a BA in Political Science and in 2003 with an MBA.

Another “Double Deac!” How long have you worked at WFU?
After graduating, I worked in Washington, DC for a Member of Congress who, coincidentally, also graduated from Wake Forest. While working on the Hill, I helped his office set up an internship program and I’ve been working around internships ever since.  I returned to Wake Forest in 1997.

In laymen’s terms, what do you do here?
I help students define their career interests and goals and I help them pursue internships and jobs that are consistent with their goals.  On a daily basis, I get to talk with the students and help them sort through the range of career options available to them.  On any given day, I might be:

  • encouraging a student complete a self-assessment to more fully understand their values, interests, personalities, and skills
  • helping a student develop a set of goals for their internship or job search
  • teaching a student how to explore career areas of interest
  • training a student to put their best foot forward on a resume or in an interview, or
  • advising a student on how to tap into the WFU Career Connectors Group – a group of more than 3,000 Wake alumni on LinkedIn that have volunteered to help out in career searches.

How would you characterize the Wake Forest student of today?  What are some common attributes they have?
Wake Forest students are hard-working, balanced, and all-around impressive.  Today’s Wake Forest students continue to have the “work hard, play hard” mentality that I experienced while I was a student at Wake Forest.

What advice would you give to students?
Ask more questions.  Virtually everyone on campus is interested in helping you reach your goals, but if you don’t ask for help, we won’t know how to help you.  Use the resources available to you on campus.  There is a wealth of information and opportunity available to you.  Every once in a while, get out of your comfort zone.  Do something new and different to challenge yourself.  Remember that there are plenty of educational opportunities outside the classroom.  Internships, volunteer experiences, and the relationships you develop outside the classroom all add to your educational experience at Wake Forest.

What are some of your favorite memories from your time as a student?
Faculty engagement.  I remember a faculty member in the Religion department encouraging me to take a class that I would never have considered without his input.  I remember Katy Harriger both for leading intellectually stimulating (and challenging) classes on civil rights AND for demonstrating a personal interest in me as a student.

Wake Forest sports.  The basketball team was strong and Rodney “The Durham Bull” Rogers led the team to some great wins during my time at Wake Forest.  The football team managed a winning record and went to the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, LA.   I remember watching that game with a group of Wake Forest students in a hotel while attending a conference in Boston, MA.

Graduation day on the Quad.  In addition to the ceremony and the diploma, some practical joker convinced a pizza delivery service to deliver food to one of the graduates during the ceremony.

What do you like best about working at Wake Forest?
The people I work with.  All of them are committed to serving the best interests of our students and each and every one of them brings something valuable to the table.

Ready for the big finish?

Favorite movie: Junebug.  This movie was filmed in Winston-Salem and the casting call was held in the Magnolia Room.  The movie gets the Winston-Salem area just right and there are several Wake Forest students that appear in the movie.

Website you frequent: Honestly, I’m on the Office of Personal and Career Development website multiple times a day to show students the resources and tools they can take advantage of.

Favorite place to be on campus: The Quad on a sunny day in the springtime.  There’s nothing quite like it.

Categories: meet a deac