Nate Cousineau '09

Nate CousineauMajor: Small Business & Entrepreneurship
Hometown: Turner, ME

Describe your current job role:

Here at Quantum Foundation I work directly with nonprofits in Palm Beach County to help develop, support, and fund initiatives that improve the health of our residents. I am responsible for managing our grant making portfolio of approximately $3.5 million a year.

What professional experience(s) did you have prior to your current job role?

Prior to coming to the foundation, I worked on the service side of the nonprofit sector. I spent time at both CROS Ministries and Boca Helping Hands working with individuals and families living in poverty. Before that, I spent four years working at The Breakers hotel as a banquet server and then in the materials management department.

What do you know now that you wish you had known about being a working professional?

The value of relationships. On a personal level, it’s the most important thing in life. Everything else is fleeting, but relationships will be the one thing we care about most in the end. Professionally, you cannot understate the importance of networking. Making meaningful relationships can be such a boon to your professional pursuits.

"... hold fast to God's promises, and to work hard toward achieving [your] dream."

How did PBA prepare you for the world of work?

Having professors who weren’t just teachers but also had lived-experience. Individuals who were also practicing the subject they were teaching was so valuable. Having an accounting professor who works for an accounting firm, or my entrepreneurship professor who had started his/her own business, it really helped bring the lessons to life.

What advice would you give to current PBA students and/or young alumni who are about to start their first professional full-time job?

Work hard AND smart! It’s easy to just see the opportunity to grind your way up the corporate ladder, but don’t be afraid to be innovative. Don’t shy away from bringing forward new ideas and concepts in your workplace.

Have you been mentored by anyone in your professional field since entering the workforce? If so, what impact has that had on you?

Yes. Having a mentor can be such a valuable part of your professional development. I have been fortunate to have multiple mentors provide guidance and advice as I’ve traversed both personal and professional landscapes. The impact it has had in my life is profound. Countless times I have had to rely on them for advice and help in situations both small and large. Whether it be helping pick out a suit, or seeking valuable life advice, I cannot overstate the importance of a great mentor.

Spotlight posted in September 2018. For current updates from Nate, visit his LinkedIn.