Last February, Kevin Richardson ’18 presented to the Board of Trustees as president of the Student Government Association (SGA). The student report is a standard feature of the trustees’ meetings, but what happened next was anything but ordinary. Trustee Tony Librot ’94, CFO of the real estate investment and management company AAM 15 Management in Burlington, Mass., had just accepted an analyst’s resignation. Librot, with his business acumen, sensed an opportunity and asked Richardson to send him a resume. Richardson was hired 10 days later.
It was lucky timing, but it was also the culmination of Richardson’s hard work. Raised in Ghana and educated under the English secondary school curriculum, he characterizes his success at Colby-Sawyer as a series of “calculated good fortunes.” Devoted to serving the Colby-Sawyer community, Richardson got involved with student government; that and his three internships helped his resume stand out after his critical thinking and public speaking skills caught Librot’s attention.
“This college has been an avenue to discover myself and grow, allowing me to lead, serve and cultivate relationships” Richardson said. He also found opportunities to lead and grow as a Resident Assistant and member of the Wesson Honors Society and Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. Alpha Chi’s Aletheia Journal of Undergraduate Scholarship published his research paper, co-written with Muhammad Ibrahim Rana ’18 and sponsored by Assistant Professor of Business Administration Loren Wehmeyer, last December.
Richardson and Librot share a dedication to service. Librot was also co-president of SGA, and he cherishes the experiences and connections fostered at Colby-Sawyer. Librot pays it forward through his trustee service; generous gifts that have funded renovations of the business administration department’s offices and public spaces; and his work on the President’s Alumni Advisory Council and Power of Infinity Steering Committee.
Librot also often guest lectures in accounting and economics classes. In fact, by the time Richardson graduated, he’d had the opportunity to hear Librot’s expert advice in three courses, which also helped the two to build a rapport.
“At Colby-Sawyer, I received a transformative experience where I formed close relationships with my peers, professors and the staff,” Librot said. “When I come here now, it’s very special for me, and I’m thrilled to be in a position to give back.”
With more than a half a year’s work experience already under his belt, Richardson has made valuable contributions to AAM 15 while expanding his skillset. As an analyst, he creates financial models, potential budgets and other materials that measure the performance of AAM 15’s current holdings and project the potential of assets the company is looking to acquire.
“It’s a lot of responsibility, but I’m encouraged by the knowledge that my work carries weight,” Richardson said. “I feel a strong sense of support from my managers, especially Tony. He’s invested in facilitating my career development, and we frequently reflect on my work to identify areas of strength and improvement.”
Just as a personalized education at Colby-Sawyer means relationships often go beyond the classroom, the relationship between Librot and Richardson extends beyond the office: Librot attended Richardson’s housewarming party, and he welcomed Richardson into his home for Thanksgiving.
Richardson’s job at AAM 15 is not the first time deep Colby-Sawyer connections helped him on his career path. Richardson was an intern with Little Harbor Advisors, a boutique investment firm managed by the husband of former trustee Susan Hassett ’79. The Hassetts hosted Richardson at their home in Marblehead, Mass., and Richardson put his classroom learning to the test supporting investment research efforts and designing statistical models.
That experience helped Richardson navigate the realities of the workforce, a deficit Librot sees in many college graduates.
“There’s a big disconnect between theoretical readiness for a job and being ready for a job in reality,” Librot said. “Kevin brings a tremendous ability and enthusiasm to wanting to learn. Some of that is innate to Kevin, but the practical experience students receive at Colby-Sawyer through the internship requirement only adds to it.”
Richardson has always wanted to pursue business. His mother teases him because he wanted to work in a bank when he was only four years old. When Richardson graduated with his Bachelor of Science from Colby-Sawyer, it was the culmination of his life’s work up to that point. And his excitement has only increased since entering the workforce.
“I’m eager to attempt new things because that is how I learn and gain experience,” he said. “Fortunately, managers like Tony are present to make this whole experience worthwhile.”