Alumni return to share wisdom of business world

Four Linfield alumni returned to their alma mater to host a panel-style discussion to pass on their workplace wisdom and to network with current students.

Peter Fisher of the class of 1995, Joe Murray of the class of 2008, Samantha Lau of the class of 2012 and Brenna Patterson of the class of 2012 comprised the panel.

Fisher is a partner in Human Investing, an investment company based in Lake Oswego, Ore.

“Why I started my own company, I have no idea. You know, I had become greatly disenfranchised with corporate America,” Fisher said. “It was painful for me.”

Fisher began his career with Merrill Lynch, which was considered at the time to be one of Wall Street’s top investment companies.

“My perspective of what it was going to be like and the reality of what it was like, there was a huge delta between those two things,” Fisher said.

“Just sitting in your seats right now, just say out loud, ‘I have no idea what I want to be or what I want to do,’” Fisher said to the students in attendance. “If you can say that and own it, [...] because once you kind of get out of that mind set [of rigidity], you start fielding different opportunities, which can potentially have great significance for you in life.”

Murray is currently employed by Nike as a global merchandising manager for NFL apparel.

Murray said, I recently asked my boss what makes the most successful merchandisers and he told me about the three “C’s.”

The first “C” stands for consumer.

If you’ve perfected and understand who your consumer is, and you know where they shop and why, then the next step is to make that consumer a customer, which is the second “C,” Murray said. Customer is the second “C.”

The final “C” stands for competition. Through this analogy, Murray stressed the need to understand your market.

Moving onto the topic of job searching, “I know there’s that old saying, ‘It’s who you know [as opposed to what you know],’ but nowadays, I think it’s who knows you within your job search,” Murray said, reliving his own experience.

All four panelists stressed the need to stand out and network as opposed to relying on your resume for a callback.

Patterson is currently employed at Ponzi Vineyards as a sales and marketing coordinator.

Patterson interned at Oregon Mutual Insurance during her time at Linfield.

“You’re probably all looking at me like, ‘You work at a winery now, what were you doing working at an insurance company?’” Patterson said.

From her time at Oregon Mutual Insurance, Patterson developed a solid base of business fundamentals from real life experience that she was able to carry over to her current position at Ponzi Vineyards.

“This was really a turning point in my life where I was really figuring out what I wanted to do,” Patterson said. “You definitely won’t know right away.”

Ryan Morgan / Culture editor

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