Jonathan was recently named one of Hartford Business Journal’s 2020 40 Under 40 honorees. Congratulations Jonathan!
Jonathan Bellamy graduated from UConn in 2012 with a B.A. in Political Science. Currently a Supply Planner for Stanley Black & Decker, he has also previously worked as an administrative professional, signal officer in the Army, and a program supervisor at a center for people with disabilities. Bellamy most recently earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Operations and Finance from UConn this year. As a Supply Planner for Stanley Black & Decker, Jonathan manages inventory levels at various distribution centers, completes data analytics, and optimizes production. His interesting career path after his undergraduate education shows the value that a CLAS degree offers.
Erik Zawodniak: After receiving your B.A. in Political Science from UConn, you have worked in a variety of fields. How has your Political Science degree prepared you for the variety of occupations you have been in?
Jonathan Bellamy: In my case, the Political Science Degree helped me to improve upon my communication, networking, and public speaking skill sets to dominate any interview. I never truly understood how difficult it is for some to deliver a clear and concise message verbally until I entered the workforce. I quickly realized that this is a valuable characteristic.
With my strength in soft skills, I found an authentic love for contributing to our community’s youth. I started to work with the Special Education demographic soon after graduation, and I found this work challenging yet so fulfilling. My political science degree taught me to advocate for those individuals that cannot advocate for themselves and communicate effectively to a team that is highly invested in the well-being of our students. Even with the military, the soft skills that I gained from my undergraduate degree proved to be very helpful when managing Soldiers emotionally and verbally in high-stress situations. My Political Science degree helped me to understand how to unpack various concepts, conduct thorough research, and laid the foundation for my analytical/practical skillsets that I use every day in my role as a Supply Planner.
EZ: What was your college to career transition like?
JB: The transition from college to career was not easy for me, as I was constantly looking for a purposeful career that excited me. If I could do my undergraduate career over again, I would have invested much more heavily in the internship opportunities that UConn provides access and information to. The truth is no two transitions are the same. Everyone has a different journey, not a sprint but a marathon. Sometimes we get so caught up with trying to achieve everything all at once or we want that success and recognition for our efforts right away. The key is to remain relentless in the pursuit of happiness and celebrating your small victories in the arena of life. Give yourself the credit and the fuel to keep grounded and driving towards those goals. It is imperative to note that goals frequently change after graduation, and smart graduates are open to those opportunities.
EZ: What are some resources that you feel have helped your career the most?
JB: My relationships that I have built throughout my career have genuinely been my greatest resource. Simply being nice to people, being authentic and transparent has benefited me in more ways than one. The art of relationship building can be very challenging but also very exciting in the process. I’m not just referring to shaking hands and connecting on LinkedIn, but I am referring to the actual maintenance of that relationship: executing the actions that appeal to hiring managers and people that have the power to pull you into your desired position. I call this authentic networking.
EZ: What did you do at UConn to create connections/explore your career options?
JB: In hindsight, I would have integrated myself more into the undergraduate clubs and boards. Get involved if you are not already. That way you meet more people that you may not usually cross paths with. During my graduate career at the UConn School of Business, I was determined to get more involved in the school’s culture. I became a Part-time MBA ambassador and made it my mission to be a mentor and resource for all the incoming students and current students that need some authentic guidance/advice. Creating these genuine connections and establishing mutual respect within those connections will lend many different career options and insights on possible opportunities. Growing up my mother had a saying, “Closed mouths don’t get fed.” In this context, do not be ashamed or timid to inquire about opportunities, set up lunches with some connections, and do your research before these conversations take place. Take the leap of faith and embrace the vulnerability that you experience when asking for help.
By Erik Zawodniak