Advice for Successful Professionals

Individual Professional Development and Professional Conduct and Behavior


Our speaker, Mr. Sean Burnham, began the meeting by talking about how Dunkin invested in themselves and were able to triple their revenue by focusing on their culture via the internet. The reason he brought this up was to establish why companies invest in themselves with the goal of becoming more successful and profitable. This is the same logic that applies when one invests in themselves, and Mr. Burnham specifically focused on the investment of educating oneself.


Mr. Burnham began to talk about education as a valuable asset, because no one can take your knowledge away. He noted that in the current job market an individual with 3 internships prior to finishing college will be seen as someone equivalent to someone with an MBA. Throughout his discussion on education, Mr. Burnham made it clear that the education system is not rigged, saying, “no one at the university is getting rich.” His message to the room is that education is important because it will provide assets that will aid you in your career, and is a meaningful investment to make in yourself.


As he progressed from the importance of education to starting your professional career, Mr. Burnham hit on the fact that your first job will be your most important job. He noted that at your first job you will get out as much as you put in. An example he presented to the room was someone being interviewed for their first job and they say that they seek a good work life balance. With this example, Mr. Burnham established that this question is fine for those later in their career with families, but for someone just beginning in their career, this response shows that you are only going to work the minimum required. Ultimately, your first job establishes the basis for your career to grow off of, thus it is crucial that you perform at your highest level.


Mr. Burnham then transitioned to talking about his “Pearls of Wisdom” and some advice he would give about professional conduct and behavior. Starting off with his “Pearls of Wisdom”, he gave a number of quality examples of life advice that are good to note. Some notable examples were: Be on time, be reliable, no drama, carry yourself well and professionally, be the first to arrive and last to leave, communicate on all levels, and dress for success. Continuing with his advice on professional conduct and behavior. He began by stating you do not want to be the employee who says “This place will cave in without me” or be the employee who uses the workplace as a platform for personal ideological activism. Another piece of advice was to not handle business when stressed or emotional, because one cannot make good decisions in those moments. He told the room that it is crucial to learn how to write and establish a personal awareness of oneself.


Thank you on behalf of PR-FBLA for your time and all of your detailed insights, Mr. Burnham


-Sami Saah, Reporter