Alumni Stories

Bruce Franco

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Name: Bruce Franco ‘11
Major: History
Current Job Title: Real Estate Agent & Business Owner 
Employer: Franco Realty Services

How would you describe your greatest personal or professional accomplishment since graduating from Rutgers?
My greatest personal/professional accomplishment is comprised of more than one. I was a non-traditional student who returned to Rutgers after being displaced from my career due to the economy.  I found myself having to start back at square one. This is where I learned how to plan, help myself, and face adversity head on. While at Rutgers, I applied to roughly 2,000 jobs and didn't have any success in over 18 months. Upon graduation, I landed two roles and chose JPMorgan Chase. This experience has shaped me and given me unwavering confidence and faith. It has also helped me to overcome a crippling fear of flying two years ago. Since that time I've been on 18 flights and counting around the world. I'm very open about this and I've found others draw inspiration and comfort from it. Through these times I've experienced a tremendous amount of personal growth and vision as a result. To that I've leveraged my experiences to go after a passion and become an entrepreneur in real estate.  This is a snapshot of my journey to success and Rutgers University was the launching pad. Rutgers means a great deal to me.

How has your arts and sciences education at Rutgers benefited you? Is there a particular course, professor, or experience that was most meaningful? Please describe.
My degree is in history. I made sure my studies focused on global history. I work in finance so it is always a conversation piece when my colleagues from Sterns NYU, Wharton etc. find out I studied history at Rutgers and work next to them. The most meaningful aspects are that history taught me about other people and cultures. In business this has helped me create inroads to relationships, communicate effectively and be open minded.

What advice can you offer to School of Arts and Sciences undergraduates about how to successfully connect their education in arts and sciences to their lives and careers after college?
Create a plan while you are in school. Highlight what you are strong at and what you need to improve on. Be honest with yourself. Think about finances, what student debt you have, what your living arrangements will be, educate yourself on what career paths and income potential your major has. Begin to take control and ownership. Learn how to network while in school, do it daily, make networking another job, seeds must be constantly planted. Seek out a mentor. And also try different jobs. You are not bound to one thing. Find your own way. Find a strong, collegial, supportive peer group and grow from it. Be relentless and step out of your comfort zone. This is where true growth occurs.