Alumni Connections

When Rhoden Monrose (’05) was a sophomore at Trinity College without the foggiest idea of what he wanted to do with his life, he turned to Middlesex, contacting alumni in various fields to see if he could spend a day with them to get a better idea of where his future might lie. The response was overwhelming. “I was a little taken aback at how welcoming the alumni were and how willing they were to take time and have me at their workplaces,” he says now, clearly still amazed.

Among the people he emailed was Jody Holden (’84), who was in sales at Bank of America at the time.  It was during a visit with her on the trading floor that Monrose found his calling. “I loved the energy, the people there. It wasn’t like a typical 9-5 job, which I wanted to avoid. I wanted to do something challenging and fast-paced that grabbed my attention.” He had discovered his niche, and in Holden he’d found a lot more as well.

Holden saw something unusual in Monrose, too. Fortunately, she knew from experience exactly how to approach a smart, eager young person: “One thing I always say Middlesex did for me was to treat us all like equals,” she says.  And so she followed suit. “If you have questions I’ll answer them,” she remembers telling Monrose. “If you want to know what my career’s been like I’ll tell you. If you want to know the pitfalls you’re going to run into and what I think you shouldn’t do even if it’s just my opinion, I’ll tell you that as well.” For a budding financial whiz who had no other role models, Monrose recalls, the straight talk was “invaluable.”

Over the course of the next few years, he kept coming to Holden with questions and thoughts as his interest in finance developed. Along the way to his current position as a trader at Citigroup, he taught Holden a thing or two as well--about finance but also about mentoring. “Over time with him continuing to contact me and ask questions he made me think,” she says. “I had to respond!” Needless to say, she’s talking to a deeply appreciative audience.  Monrose admits,  “She taught me everything!”

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