Kelly Fliller

Kelly Fliller

Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation
Director of Communications

Toms River, New Jersey

Q. What is the one piece of advice you would give our current OCC students?

A. Follow your passion, go after what makes you truly happy and build a personal network of people who will support that.  I struggled with figuring out a major and choosing a career while I was in college.  When I finally decided on a business degree, I still wasn't sure where I wanted to be as the business world is so vast.  By taking advantage of every opportunity I could and making connections, I started to see what really made me happy - making a positive impact on others and my community.  I built a strong network of people (including family, friends and colleagues) who helped me get to where I am today.  Having their support gave me the strength and confidence to go after what I wanted.

Q. Can you explain the impact, if any, that social networking has made on your organization or you personally?

A. During my undergrad degree (some years ago), we had a mandatory business networking class.  This was before networking was actually a “thing”. I was not a fan and was a bit upset that I had to take it.  It ended up being one of the best classes and something that actually impacted my career.  Having strong social networking skills is imperative in the business world – in any career.  The point I remember most in that networking class is that it’s not how someone can help you, it’s how YOU can help THEM.  Making connections, learning about others and figuring out how you can help them will in turn help you.  We have an opportunity to help everyone we meet in some way, even if it’s introducing them to someone else.

Q. What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

A. Meeting my dad at the gym motivates me to get out of bed each morning.  It’s the first part of my day and sets the tone.  We always have fun together while trying to stay healthy and strong!

Q. Do you have a mentor? How have they influenced you?

A. My aunt is my mentor and has had a huge impact on me.  She coached me through writing my resume, going on my first real interview and dealing with difficult conversations in the workplace.  Because of her knowledge and experience, I have become more confident in many aspects of my career.  I would email her for some coaching before big decisions or conversations and now I can take what she has taught me and put it to use myself.  She is always there for me even now, to celebrate my career successes or offer advice and it feels great knowing I’ll always have that support.

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