As part of a joint initiative between Development and College Counseling, juniors are invited to attend sessions with Suffield Academy alumni who have achieved success in their chosen career paths.

SuffieldConnect allows alums to support other graduates and utilize the trusted Suffield Academy environment to expand their professional networking. By fully integrating with social networks, and cultivating a culture of helping and giving back, alums can again benefit from being a part of the Suffield Academy community.


You’re going to be the best version of yourself when you’re doing something you want to do.

Learning what you don’t like is just as valuable as learning what you do like.

Enjoy your time at Suffield because it’s going to go by very fast... Take advantage of it.

Mechanical Engineer
Mariam Ibrahim ’13

Mariam shared how Suffield prepared her for college, noting that navigating a campus, managing a busy schedule, and creating good study habits were three big things she felt comfortable with as soon as she began her freshman year. Mariam is currently pursuing her M.B.A. and master’s in mechanical engineering with a focus on product design and development from MIT.

Positive Psychology Researcher
Abby Blyler ’15

Abby spoke about transitioning from Suffield to college, citing the challenge of shifting from of a structured high school schedule to having more free time at college, and recommended students not think about living life as a means to an end. Abby manages and conducts research on topics related to well-being, agency, happiness, talent, and expertise at the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center.

Manager of Business Development
Matt Jones ’07

Matt shared details about his experience selecting his college, saying that he wanted a smaller school environment, where he felt he would be more successful and happy, and he recommended this guidance to the juniors. His also advised them to soak in everything at Suffield and not rush to into the next stage of life. He is the Manager of Business Development at Oracle. 

Medical Resident
Arielle Kempinsky ’09

Arielle spoke about how there is no one path to a certain goal and that college is really what you make of it. Her parting words of wisdom to the juniors was to appreciate the friendships and relationships that Suffield Academy provides. She is doing her medical residency in Chicago. 

Freelance Theater Director
Jasmine Brooks ’14

Jasmine spoke about her decision to switch colleges after her first year, going from a smaller to a larger university, and emphasized utilizing both the resources on college campuses, as well as the connections you make. She is a Boston-based freelance theater director.

Account Manager
Amanda Leonard ’14

Amanda spoke about breaking out of her shell to become more confident in an effort to most strongly articulate herself, as she entered a career that required strong and consistent communication. She is the Account Manager for the Colorado Rockies, working on building and maintaining brand partnerships.

Associate at AlpInvest
Peter Derby ’14

Peter spoke about how the college search experience should be organic, and that it's important not to pigeonhole oneself when right out of college. He is an Associate on the Carlyle | AlpInvest Co-investments Team based in New York. Prior to joining AlpInvest, Peter was an Investment Banking Analyst at Guggenheim Securities in the Restructuring Group, where he advised companies and stakeholders across a range of industries on complex restructurings, financings, and mergers and acquisitions. 

General Manager
Tyler St. Pierre ’07

Tyler highly recommended pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone to expand your horizons personally and professionally, while also being the most authentic version of yourself. He is currently the General Manager at The Britely Social Club, overseeing all Food & Beverage operations for the club, as well as operations across the entire property.

Chief of Staff
Brendan Moss ’08

Brendan spoke about the value of being able to concisely write and summarize information, as well as how to focus on both what you like and don’t like about the opportunities you experience. Over the last seven years, he has held various positions working for Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, including Governor’s Press Secretary and the Chief of Staff for the Executive Office of Administration and Finance. 

Associate Creative Director
Callie Jacobs (Aldrich) ’10

Callie emphasized the importance of finding a school that offers the best path for you, rather than trying to go to a school because you think it’s prestigious or you “should.” She is currently the Associate Creative Director at FCB, one of the largest global advertising agency networks, managing a team of designers and creatives.

Associate General Counsel
Juan Arreaza ’06

Juan reminded students that their process doesn’t end just because they choose a college or a graduate school or a career, and that you don’t have to have it all figured out right away. He is currently the Associate General Counsel at JLG Industries, after majoring in political science at The George Washington University.

Production Coordinator
Dan Bennett ’16

Dan discussed what to look for when selecting a college, mentioning that it's about where you think you'll find the best fit and be the best version of yourself. He also reminded students that the right opportunities come along when they're meant to. Dan is currently at ViacomCBS as a Production Coordinator, Multiplatform Production Group - Kids and Family. 

Vice President of Artist and Repertoire
Tyler Arnold ’10

Tyler recommended some of the simple ideas that made a huge difference in his life to the junior class, from demonstrating that you want to be where you are every day to doing the little things that you love. He has worked at Republic Records in NYC since 2014, making his way up the ladder from intern to Vice President for A&R.

Marketing Coordinator
Denison Smythe ’14

Denny spoke about her college search experience, giving listeners advice about how there is no “right” school to choose, and how whatever school you decide to go to is probably the right place to be. She is currently the Marketing Coordinator with Charlotte Football Club, supporting the Marketing, Sponsorship, Ticketing, and Communications teams.

Operations Manager
Izzara Ugarte ’14

Izzara spoke about not limiting yourself in terms of considering colleges. She attended the University of San Francisco for one year before realizing she wanted a more hands-on experience, which Les Roches Marbella in Spain could offer her. She now works as the Operations Manager for Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort, her family’s business in the Philippines.

Vice President, Municipal Finance Investment Banking
Kirsten Chalke ’08

Kirsten focused on the importance of finding a place that is a good fit, and not to be worried if you have to try a few different things to discover what is best. She also advocated for taking chances and always being willing to learn. She currently works at Jeffries in municipal finance investment banking. 

Creative Strategist
Jamel Torrence ’12

Jamel talked about the importance of hard work, internships, and perseverance, and how he realized that even though he loved sports, education would last longer than athleticism. That said, he is the Creative Strategist at CSM Sports & Entertainment, and so was able to combine his passions for sports and writing into his career. 

Account Manager
Amanda Leonard ’14

Amanda spoke about breaking out of her shell to become more confident in an effort to most strongly articulate herself, as she entered a career that required strong and consistent communication. She is the Account Manager for the Colorado Rockies, working on building and maintaining brand partnerships.

Senior Facilitator
Jackie Pannell Zinck ’04

Jackie urged the junior class to take advantage of their college counselors to help make decisions on where to go for undergrad, and then to truly get to know the different people they meet along their paths. She followed her passion for sports and community into the Senior Facilitator role at the Institute for Sport and Social Justice and is also the Director of Justice Strategies at the Edward E. Haddock Jr. Family Foundation.