From a landscaper to a CEO, Schenectady County Community College (SCCC) alum Bruce Beaudette has become the face of Sunmark Federal Credit Union. Beaudette began his journey to CEO as a mail room worker at SCCC as a student taking business courses, enjoying the business field and finding his niche. As he continued to take night classes, Beaudette graduated with a Business Administration associate degree from SCCC in 1980. He used that degree to begin a career & eventually become the President/CEO of Sunmark Federal Credit Union in 1986. Sunmark serves more than 48,000 members and 183 employer groups, including GE Power Systems, Lockheed Martin Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories, GE Corporate Research and Development, and Quad Graphics.
Beaudette’s road to success was one that was quite unusual. Growing up he didn’t envision becoming a CEO–he bounced around a couple of different majors during his college career. From a chemistry major to a history major, Beaudette was unsure of what he wanted to pursue. Throughout his college and work experience, prior to landing the President/CEO position at Sunmark Federal Credit Union, he overcame failures and earned valuable experience that contributed to the success he has today. It was through applied experiences working and learning that Bruce was able to find his calling in the finance and business management world, where he has spent the past 27 years.
Bruce likens his path to success to five key rules, or ways to behave and carry out your actions from college to career. Some bits of advice for all students who are in pursuit of a successful career were shared by Bruce in a recent interview.
When asked about the needs of education, he replied “A bachelor degree is becoming more and more common and it is important to try and earn as much education as possible in order to land a great job. The more education you have the better it will serve you.”
On Work Ethic:
Beaudette is a firm believer of having an strong work ethic despite your level of job satisfaction. He informed us that “There is no such thing as a bad job.” If you have to clean floors for a living, make sure you try and become the best floor cleaner you can be. Growing up, Beaudette was a bus boy and landscaper, and his dedicated attitude allowed him to develop a strong work ethic that he has utilized throughout his journey toward becoming a CEO. “If you can work hard performing a job you dislike, you can work hard doing pretty much anything.”
On Personal Communication (Being a People Person):
As a Carnegie public speaking program participant, Beaudette advises all students to develop friendly relationships and properly communicate with everyone you meet because you may never know who you may meet at any given time. He says, “Remember, the person you meet today can be the future interviewer for your dream job.”
On Taking Measured Risks::
Being ambitious and aggressive are two qualities that Beaudette encourages students to have. Knowing your future risks and how to overcome them are keys to success.He says, “If you can be aggressive and ambitious in a likeable manner, career success will come your way.”
On Finding Your Passion:
Figure out your life passion and what you are best at. The most successful people work in fields that they are very passionate about. Beaudette stated that “The day you work in your desired field is the day when work simply becomes living life.”
James is a University at Albany graduate student assistant with the Office of New Media at SUNY System Administration.