In the holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” old Mr. Potter delivers the following line while making a job offer to the incredulous main character: “Oh, yes, George Bailey – whose ship has just come in.”
It was in Bailey’s best interests to decline that offer, but when Pete Lipinski’s ship came in last year, he very willingly climbed aboard. The 2013 Monmouth graduate is a yacht accountant for Hill Robinson International in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He began as the accountant for one vessel, but now manages the accounts for five separate super yachts.
During his senior year at Monmouth, the accounting major with a minor in business was beginning to fear that he would not find employment.
“When I began to look for jobs about a year ago, I quickly came to the realization that it was going to be much more difficult than I had initially anticipated,” said Lipinski. “I posted my résumé on numerous job search sites, and I applied for upwards of 150 positions, only to receive feedback telling me that I did not have enough experience or the position had already been filled. I thought I would never be able to find a job in the accounting industry and that four years of late nights, early mornings and too much caffeine would have been for nothing.”
Lipinski said a turning point occurred when it was suggested that he visit Monmouth College’s Wackerle Career and Leadership Center for assistance.
“They were able to help me to improve my résumé as well as introduce me to alumni who were in the field of work I wanted to enter,” he reported.
Lipinski spoke with Marnie Dugan and Michelle Merritt in the Wackerle Center, and they got him in touch with a Monmouth graduate in the Ft. Lauderdale area (Sara Ingersoll ’07) who had received help in her job search from Merritt.
“After speaking with Sara and her boss at the Marshall Islands Yacht Registry, they helped me to reformat my résumé and informed me of a yacht management firm in search of an accountant,” said Lipinski.
Encouraged to simply walk into the office at Hill Robinson with a copy of his résumé, Lipisnki did just that. Two weeks later, he received an email from the president informing him that he had reviewed Lipinski’s résumé and was interested in speaking with him, and he was hired one month after the interview.
“When I first sat down at the Wackerle Center to discuss what I was looking for, I didn’t have the slightest clue what to expect,” recalls Lipinski. “Looking back, I could not be more thankful for them pushing me to come in that day and meet with them. That was the catalyst that started it all – a snowball rolling down a mountain that would eventually end with me living in South Florida and working for a company I would never have imagined even existed.”
And he’s even making a bigger salary than the figure that old Mr. Potter offered George Bailey.