No matter where you are working, do a good job, and make connections.
Those tips helped Nathan Stonecipher, current Chairman of the St. Petersburg College Board of Trustees and an SPC graduate, land his first job after college, he told students.
SPC’s Downtown Campus hosted a Holiday Harvest luncheon on Nov. 16 featuring Stonecipher as the guest speaker.
As students filled the room, they also filled their plates with traditional Thanksgiving fare and enjoyed the free lunch while Stonecipher, comfortably dressed in jeans and loafers, spoke of his career ascension. He said that, as a St. Petersburg native and child of an SPJC graduate, SPC was a great choice for him.
“Going to SPC allowed me to learn, grow up a bit and sock some money away before I went off to the University of Florida to finish my degree,” he said.
Stonecipher, who is now co-owner of Green Bench Brewery in St. Petersburg, earned an associate degree in Business Administration at SPC before going on to finish a degree in finance at UF. Stonecipher gave an inspirational talk based on his own experiences. He recalled how he worked two jobs while in school at SPC, one of them being at a local gym, where he made smoothies and wiped down gym equipment between users. He emphasized the importance of doing a good job, no matter where you’re working, and also of making connections.
“When I graduated from UF, I had a hard time finding a job,” he said. “I had two business cards I’d collected from people who came to the gym where I’d worked when I was at SPC. I sent them both a letter and a resume, and the next day one of them called me. He got me an interview with Raymond James, and that was my first job.”
The engaged audience had many questions, on topics including brewing, hops, shipping, licensing, stock and employee management. Phillip Pena, an SPC student and Student Government senator, said he thought the lunches, which are coordinated by Student Life and Leadership Coordinator Frank Jurkovic, are a good chance for students to see into their own futures.
“It’s important for student to see SPC alums who’ve gone on to be successful,” Pena said. “The response during the Q&A shows how interested they are, too.”
Associate Provost Tashika Griffith agreed.
“We try to get speakers who went to SPC,” she said. “It’s good for students to be able to see themselves in the future.”
Stonecipher expressed satisfaction in not only the education he received at SPC, but also the lasting relationships he built here.
“The education I got at SPC was critical to everything I’ve accomplished,” he said. “The family I created here gave me the ability to be able to give back to the college. And it’s an exciting time to be here now, with our new President and all the transitions the college is making. I’m proud to be a part of the process.”