Kerry Donnelly

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’17 Economics | Category Management Advisor, Cigna | Philadelphia, PA
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Kerry Donnelly

Minor: Business and the Liberal Arts

Hometown: Millburn, NJ

Current Location: Philadelphia, PA

What enrichment activities did you participated in as a student?

Throughout college I was actively involved in THON, serving as a Hospitality captain senior year and a Donor and Alumni Relations captain junior year. I was able to study abroad the summer before junior year in Florence, Italy, which was incredible! I took a supply chain class as well as a history of food and wine course, which came with a tour of a Tuscan vineyard! The summer before my senior year I interned at Bayer Healthcare in its procurement organization.

What was your first job after graduating from Penn State?

I joined Cigna’s Operations Leadership Development Program upon graduating, and am in my final year of the program now. This program has allowed me to experience new cultures by moving down south to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and then back north to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’ve also been exposed to a variety of projects and had leadership exposure.

Who was your favorite faculty member?

My favorite professor was James Tierney, who taught advanced macroeconomics. Although the course was challenging a lot of the principles have stuck with me and help me understand how our economics affects daily life. He also was able to make real connections with his students, even when teaching in a large lecture hall.

How did your liberal arts education and skills prepare you for life after graduation?

My liberal arts education has allowed me to think of problems with an expansive perspective. Often times my colleagues will think of things in a strictly business-oriented sense, and I believe my background has helped me consider varying viewpoints.

What networking advice would you share with current students?

Never be afraid to reach out! I’ve received promotions and incredible professional opportunities just by getting to know my colleagues and forming relationships. When leadership is aware of who you are and what you bring to the table, it can open up a lot of opportunities.

What role have mentors played in your career progression?

At Cigna, the OLDP has a robust mentorship program that pairs associates with senior leaders and older associates to help develop and guide their professional career paths. These mentors have served as trusted confidants and play a role in how I’ve achieved my goals thus far.

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Flashback to Kerry as an Undergrad:

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